SKA dojos administer Kyu tests twice a year, in November and April, the months of Master Funakoshi’s birth and death, respectively. Kyu tests help students understand the level of training to which they have progressed. For the November 2018 Kyu tests, the Chapel Hill (NC), Coastal Carolina (SC) and Charlotte dojos held their Kyu tests jointly at the Charlotte dojo. In part this was in recognition of the tremendous success of the Charlotte dojo under its leader, Maurice Baker (yodan), in attracting newcomers and establishing a flourishing children’s class. Holding the test at the Charlotte dojo was definitely conducive to test candidates from all 3 dojos showing their best and their strongest spirit.
The tests started with the children’s class. From the very youngest ages, the members of the Charlotte dojo showed admirable spirit and impressive training progress. After announcing the new belt ranks, Maurice Baker commenced the tests for the adult class, first white followed by brown belts. Charlotte’s new white belts, who had been practicing only for weeks, and had learned some of the techniques only days prior, demonstrated outstanding spirit. And after a demanding test routine, Chapel Hill member Jesse Berg (second row left in picture below) was promoted to the rank of ikkyu (the highest brown belt rank). Congratulations, Jesse, and to everyone else who came and presented their practice!!
As leader Maurice Baker (2nd row 2nd from right) underscored after the new belt announcements: “Now that you’ve received your new rank, you must earn it.” Many thanks to the Charlotte dojo for hosting us, and for running a strong kyu test!