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An important step in your karate journey is testing for your next belt. Testing for your next belt shows your dedication, hard work, skill and enthusiasm for karate.


The successful completion of each test brings you one step closer to becoming a black belt. The specific skills required for each belt level are listed in your Student Progress Manual which will also show you when you will be ready to test based on the required amount of stripes. 

Belt Stripe System

For each belt, you are awarded different colored stripes that are added to your belts. These stripes are a way to help you understand your progress towards the next belt and also a way to celebrate your successes, hard work, and karate spirit!

  • Black Stripes are awarded when you have demonstrated skill in the techniques you have been working on. They act as a progress report allowing both you and the instructor to know how you are progressing and each black stripe shows that you have worked in class, practiced well, and understands the required techniques to the best of your ability.

  • Blue Stripes are unique to the IMA organization and is a tradition that was started to honor students who demonstrate positive character outside of class.

  • Yellow Stripes are awarded to students who show improvement in their scholastic endeavors or those who have strong academic records.

  • Red Stripes are awarded to students who demonstrate extra effort, focus well, are courteous and respectful in class, and have set a good example of positive attitude and good spirit.

You can read more about the IMA stripe system in your Student Progress Manual

The Process 

During the course of your karate journey you will earn stripes for your belt. When you receive the necessary number of stripes you will be invited to test for your next belt! 


You will only be invited to test if Shihan knows you have the skills to move onto the next belt level. 


  • Testing is a place where you have the floor to show your loved ones all that you have learned and accomplished. 

  • Memorizing combinations and katas, a structured and guided warm up, conditioning exercises and if at a high enough level, sparring. 

  • During the test, each student will be evaluated by an instructor and provided a copy of the written evaluation. This evaluation will have scoring, notes as well as suggestions.

    • Scoring may vary depending on the evaluator and individual students, and should not be used as a basis for comparison among students as students are evaluated as individuals.


Upon successful completion of a belt test, you will be presented a new belt at the test and a certification of the rank. 



Little Dragons
Testing for White/Red (11 kyu)


Testing for White w/ Yellow, Yellow w/ White, & Yellow (10, 9, & 8 kyu)


Testing for Orange w/ White & Orange (7B & 7 kyu)


Testing for Green w/ White & Green (6B & 6 kyu)


Testing for Purple w/ White, Purple, & Blue (5B, 5, & 4 kyu)


Testing for Brown w/ White, Brown, & Brown w/ Black (3, 2, & 1 kyu)


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