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How do I Transfer My Previous Rank and Experience into Complete Shotokan Karate?
The most asked question I receive is, “Will you recognize my previous rank and experience in Complete Shotokan?” I can’t imagine telling someone that the knowledge they have worked so hard to learn is not usable. To me your previous experience is a plus and is a dynamic asset that will assist us in your training. We have many students training with us that have successfully transferred into Complete Shotokan Karate. They didn’t have to start over and many have achieved a lifetime dream of 1st Degree Black Belt and beyond.
Everyone’s life situations varies and creates challenges and opportunities. At one point in your life you are able to actively train and then something happens and you have to stop for several years. You may have moved away from your dojo and had to quit. You had to quit training because your work and scheduling is just not regular, you need a flexible system for training. I have had a lot of people that tell me they just don’t like training in a dojo.
You can transfer into our system where scheduling and location problems go away. Your knowledge and experience will be a benefit in your training. All martial arts are derived from the mechanics of the body. The difference between most styles really boils down to stances, transition between movements and the preparation before the strike, kick or block. Due to the simplicity and straightforward approach of our system we find that students easily move into our system.
If you have previous rank and experience in Shotokan Karate-Do:
As an example, let us say that Thomas Doe, who holds a brown belt (3rd kyu) in Shotokan Karate-Do is interested in “transferring in” to our system.
(1) Thomas will first need to enroll into the Global Martial Arts University Shotokan Karate course. This way he is an officially enrolled student in our course, eligible to rank and progress in our association.
(2) We ask that Thomas provide us with a photocopy of his rank certification for our files.
(3) Thomas will then need to film himself demonstrating all shotokan katas in his style/school (those which he already knows) from white to brown belt. He will simply make a video doing each kata one-by-one, upload this video, and send it to Sensei Jon for review. There is a transfer and review fee of $80 for pure/traditional shotokan students transferring rank in. This fee covers Sensei Jon’s time in a detailed review of the katas, in preparing feedback/guidance, and also issuing our certificate of rank.
(4) Thomas is now a brown belt 3rd kyu in our school of shotokan karate, and will then do the regular minimum training requirements from there on out to black belt.
If you have previous rank and experience in any other traditional martial art style:
As an example, let us say that John Doe, who holds a blue belt in Shorin Ryu karate is interested in “transferring in” to our system.
(1) John will first need to enroll into the Global Martial Arts University Shotokan Karate course. This way he is an officially enrolled student in our course, eligible to rank and progress in our association.
(2) We ask that John provide us with a photocopy of his rank certification for our files. If you no longer have the certification, lost or misplaced it, we will work out your ranking with you according to your knowledge and ability level.
(3) You will train and earn your yellow, green, green stripe, and then blue belt by following the “fast track/current black belt” minimum training hours required of just 18 hours logged for each of these levels. This will allow your body enough time to learn our system, make sure you know our kata, get in proper muscle movement practice, and take each test one by one. By training 3 hours per week, you could complete all of these belts in 6 months. By training 5 hours per week, you could get up to your blue belt with us in just over three months, it is all up to your training consistency and intensity.
(4) Once you do reach blue belt with us, you will then do the regular minimum training requirements from there on out to black belt.
This way, you can get back up to blue belt in an accelerated (but still natural, wholesome, and correct manner), and then move on from there, at a normal pace. You can substitute “blue belt” or “Shorin Ryu” with any belt rank or any style that is reasonably similiar to ours.
What if my current style does not contain forms/kata?
For those who are moving into the system from styles that had no form “Kata”, the same approach is used. You will find that you know the technique that I am using in the form. You will find that learning to use these techniques in a Kata is interesting and helpful toward learning to focus and will improve your movement and balance. Once again we will look at your ability a level at a time until you need to train fully in a certain level, then move on to black belt.
Once again I want you to know that with us your prior experiences are a big plus. Your knowledge in prior systems regardless of what style they were in can be used as a dynamic springboard in your martial arts experience and awareness. So we would take what you already know and assist you in molding it into Complete Shotokan Karate.
-Jon Hodge, 6th Dan, Master Instructor – Complete Shotokan Karate