Black Belt Exam

Black Belt Exam

Dear Black Belts and Black/Red Belts,

Great September 2019 exam full of energy.  We started at 8:00 am with our run and finished in recored early time of 10:30 PM.  :-)  We had 65 on exam day and it filled the school with energy.  I don't know if I've ever seen as many parents stay and view from outside before.

Don't forget about our next “BBE @ Sea” scheduled for 7 March 2020

We had a special guest here on our exam board Professor Jeff Wilber and 7th Degree Black Belt.  He was impressed not only with the talent of our students but how they all worked together to motivate and puch each other.

Names found below are ones who have passed this exam and will be graduating to the next rank.

We look forward to seeing all of you on the next one March/April,  2020!

All times are listed below for the next exam.

As you know there is a lot expected of you on this exam. If you practice hard and keep your attendance up to 3 times a week your exam will seem to be easier. Remember this is your black belt exam and you will be expected to do things that may not be listed here.

This Black Belt Cycle we will be working on:

This cycle our Head Instructors are going to be working with Sensei Shannon Wells an instructor Isshin Ryu Karate.  Sensei Wells has been studing Isshin Ryu for over 30 years and for 11 years ran her own karate school.  She will be training with our Head Instructors at Masters Class and teaching them the fundamentals of Isshin Ryu to add to thier knowledge so they can pass it to you via a new form.

  • 1 TEAM Kata with your school
  • Under 1st Degree Kata: KuSanKu (Isshin Ryu)
  • Past kata: 2 of them, your choice 
  • 1st Degree and Up Kata: KuSanKu (Isshin Ryu)
  • Self-Defense: There will be a series of attacks which schools will work on weekly.
  • Written Exam will be on Ed Parker's “Book 1”  This is an open book exam on chapters 6 - end.  Book is available in our Pro-Shops. 

Dates and times may change. Check with your instructor or check this page for updated information.

Kyoshi F. DePalma

Due Dates & Times

Exam Applications/Belt Fee – October 25, 2019

Must be in full uniform for all parts of the Exam!
All parts of the Exam from Sparring to Graduation must be attended to qualify and receive a belt.

Pre-Exam - Push-Ups, Sit-Ups, Pull-Ups, Bag Kick & Breaking

All Schools:
Wednesday, March 4, 2020 - 7:30 PM (location South Gilbert School NEC Lindsay/Pecos) 

*** Alternate Exam Options; (new date) April 25, 2020 in Ankeny, Iowa or BBE@SEA March 7 - 14, 2020 (Cruise Ship) If you are interested please talk with your instructor or Kyoshi.

*** New Dates***

Run – All schools May 2, 2020 - 8:00 am, South Gilbert School

All who competed at 3 AZMARRS Rated events in 2 black belt division each (a sparring & forms, weapons or musical) Between 9/21/2019 and 3/28/2020 and qualify to skip the run, need not show up for it. Visit for tournament listings.
Please check with your instructor to see if you qualify to skip anything!

Sparring – February 29, 2020 - 9:00 am -  at the Arizona Open Karate Tournament. The black belt sparring exam IS NOT part of the tournament.  The exam sparring will take place in the morning and the tournament will start at noon.  There is no charge for the Exam sparring or spectation. 

Basics – May 2, 2020 - 10:00 am @ South Gilbert School – located on the NEC of Lindsay/Pecos

(What time is the lunch break? After the basic portion of the exam! ? We don’t know how long the basic portion will last. We will finish it when we see everything we need to see. A note will be put on the South Gilbert Facebook page to notify when we are getting close to break.)

Kata – May 2, 2020 - After a lunch break @ South Gilbert School

Self-Defense – May 2, 2020 - after 15 min. break from kata @ South Gilbert School

Graduation –  – TBA – Graduation must be attended to receive a new belt.

Exam Fee is due the week of Pre-exam.  To help things move along for pre-exams please sign-in and pay at your school before your scheduled date.  Fee is $25.00 cash and must be paid to your Instructor. Re-Test Pre-Exam will have an additional $50.00 charge. April 29, 2020 7:30 PM at South Gilbert

Kata Scoring & Breaking

On your exam you will have to perform two kata of your choice. You are scored by the examining board on a scale of 0 - 3, 3 being the highest. If you perform a kata of the beginner level the highest you can score is a 2, if you perform a kata from the intermediate level the highest you can score is a 2.5, from the advanced level the highest you can score a 2.75 and from the black belt level a 3.

Breaking will be done either at the Pre-Exam or Exam

On the Black Belt Brochure mailed out there is a typo of age to board. It should read:
Blue/Brown Board – 10 & Under
Brown Board – 10 - 12
Black Board – 13 & Up

The above are suggestions. Your Instructor may challenge you to do higher. Train for the challenge
Age 10 is in two categories and decided by the instructor.
All ranks must have attended 50 regular classes and 30 sparring classes between October 5, 2019 & March 28, 2020 

Students Who Passed BBE September 2019 

Exam rehearsals will be held with your Head Instructor. Check with your school for dates, times & locations. Click here to visit our School Calendars

To E-mail your instructor please go to the “locations” page.

Students graduating must arrive at Mesquite Jr. High School, 5:30 PM for an all school rehearsal.

Black Belt Graduation: Mesquite Jr. High School, Gilbert - Friday, October 4, 2019 - Doors Open 6:00 PM, Show begins at 6:15 PM

"Failure is the opportunity to begin again, more intelligently."

-- Henry Ford, Founder of the Ford Motor Company 

Please see your instructor for a bio form. This must be filled out and emailed to your instructor no later than the Wednesday before Graduation. Only the bio form from the instructor can be used.

The below names are in alphabetical order and not in any order of score.

1st Grade Black Belt: 
Alex Liu
Angelo Barone
Benjamin Warner
Chudi Ani
Devin Niaura
Gabriel San Agustin
Jacklyn Busby
Justin Bowman
Keenan Ramos
Laila Roach
Michelle Ford
Mitchell Rettig
Nathan Hoff
Robert Nagle
Ryan Vasquez
Srinivasa Vedantham
Tobenna Ani
Trinity Hazell
Victor Engh
2nd Grade Black Belt:
Akil Gopinath
Andrew Erickson
Brandon King
Caleb Gutierrez
David Guzman
Nick Wilson
Serra Robinson
3rd Grade Black Belt: 
Abhinav Chede
Cecile Davidson
David Rounds
Joshua St. Clair
Riley Callahan
4th Grade Black Belt: 
Caden Moffett
Jacobb Leo
Mariana Aguilar
Mary Koch
Nived Ambadipudi
Owen Barkley
Shekaina Rigrish
5th Grade Black Belt: 
Ezana Solomon
William Robinson
1st Degree Black Belt: 
Andrew Compton
Anthony Barone
Austin Bolstad
Braven Velasco
Brock Jordan
Peyton Taylor
     1st Degree – 2nd Jr. Level
Ethan Gohn
Ethyn Terhune
     1st Degree – 3rd Jr. Level
 Joshua Leo
     1st Degree – 2nd Level
David Mincks
Louis Velasco
2nd Degree Black Belt: 
Anthony Loos
Jaydin Leo
Matthew Layne
     2nd Degree – 2nd Level
Andrea Van Duyne
Jake Tangeman
Nicole Hart
3rd Degree Black Belt: 
    3rd Degree – 2nd Level
Stephen Stewart
     3rd Degree – 4th Level
Jordon DePalma
 6th Degree Black Belt
Casimir Wisniewski


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