Northwest Indiana Martial Arts Academy


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It’s Time to Prepare for Your Next Black Belt Test
Congratulations! You have continued your Martial Arts journey successfully! Now it is time to prepare for the Fall Black Belt testing cycle!



Step One – “Advanced Cho Dan Bo” Test

The first step in the process is to successfully complete an Advanced Cho Dan Bo test. Yes, I know you are already a Black Belt.  However, this test will be our internal evaluation to be sure that you are ready to test at a Regional level.  I am not going to set you up for failure.  I want you to CRUSH your Regional Black Belt test!  

Your next two opportunities to complete this test are in March and June. You must complete one or the other to move on to the next step. There is no limit to the number of times you may participate in the NWIMAA Advanced Cho Dan Bo test.

You should be training hard to prepare for each of these steps. You should plan on attending at least 3 classes per week.  There are two Black Belt classes that are held each week – Monday at 6:45 PM and Thursday at 7:15 PM.  We have Black Belt Prep class Friday night at 7:15.  You should be attending the Friday night Black Belt Prep class, plus at least one of the Black Belt classes.  


Step Should Do Every Year – Dan Camp

As a Black Belt, you should be attending Dan Camp every year.  Camp is in August.  This is an awesome traning opportunity.  You must attend at least two Dan Camps to test for E Dan and three Dan Camps to test for Sam Dan.  Dan Camp this year counts as one of your camps. 

If you have successfully passed our Advanced Cho Dan Bo test, then you should be preparing for the Regional Black Belt pre-test at Dan Camp.  That test is currently scheduled for very early on Saturday morning.  The pre-test may change formats over time.  Be prepared to demonstrate all of your karate skills (forms, one-steps, sparring, marching, and maybe breaking).  You must pass the Regional pre-test to move forward to the next step.

The pre-test is a closed event.  This means we don’t allow friends and family to sit and watch.  The final test is the one you will want to watch.  See step 4 below.

You will also have the opportunity to take the Black Belt written exam.  You have two chances to pass this exam.  The first will be here at the pre-test.  If you do not pass here, then you can try again at the Regional test.  You can use the link below to review our study guides.  You should be prepared to answer questions from both guides:




Step Three – Register for Dan Testing


Now that you have passed your Regional pre-test, the next step is to register for testing.  You need to use the link below to submit the necessary information:


What you need to submit:

  • A digital picture of you that will go on your Dan Certificate.  I suggest a nice quality headshot.  It does not need to be in uniform.  If you have an Action Hero shot, that could be a good choice. 
  • You will need to submit a 2000 word essay for E Dan and a 3000 word essay for Sam Dan.  Your essay can be about anything Martial Arts related.  Don’t stress.  No one fails because they wrote a poor essay. Write about something that is interesting to you.  Talk about how your Martial Arts journey has changed now that you are a Black Belt.  Talk about an aspect of Martial Arts training that is interesting to you.  Have fun with it!
  • Dan Membership.  Your Membership needs to be up-to-date at least 6 months prior to testing.  If you have let your membership slide, you must have your membership updated by April.  You can check your membership status at wtsda.com, or just come talk to us and we can let you know your status and help you register.  

You should complete your Dan Test registration at least 2 months prior to your final testing at the Region 5 fall tournament.  You should be ready to complete this as soon as you are notified that you passed your pre-test. 


Step Four – Fall Tournament and Dan Testing


The time is here.  It’s the Fall Regional Tournament (we usually call it the Midwest Extravaganza or the Masters Extravaganza).  Friday night will be testing time.  This is the event where you can bring your family and friends to watch.  If you have not yet passed the written test, you will have one last chance to do so on Friday night.  What you need:

  1. Your white uniform with correct patches.
  2. Your belt
  3. Your staff
  4. Sparring gear
  5. Boards for breaking
    E Dan Breaking: (1 board jump spin side kick, 1 board for speed break, 2 boards for power break).
    Sam Dan Breaking (6 boards, with at least 4 being randomly set-up.  You will still need to execute at least one kick and one hand technique)
    NWIMAA will provide you the boards as part of your testing fee.  Just make sure you talk to an instructor to help you select your boards. 

It is YOUR RESPONSIBILITY to bring all of the required items. 

Good luck!  You will crush this!

Step 5 – Celebrate!


Congratulations!  You have (hopefully) succefully completed your Black Belt test!  You will be notified of your results shortly after testing. 

The celebration of your accomplishment will occur in three parts.

The first part will be at the December NWIMAA Spectacular.  There you will be awarded additional stripes for your Black Belt and a new Black Belt uniform.  

The second part will be at the next Regional Championships in April.  You promotion to black belt is considered probationary.  You need to continue regular training between your test and the Regional Championships in April.  When you attend Regionals, you will receive your Dan Certificate during opening ceremonies.

The third part will be receiving your new embroidered Black Belt.  This will happen during a ceremony at NWIMAA during June. 


There is a one time Black Belt testing fee: $500 for E Dan/$600 for Sam Dan.  This testing fee will include all WTSDA processing and paperwork, your framed Black Belt certificate, and your embroidered Black Belt and your Black Belt uniform.  This fee is only required after you successfully complete your Regional Black Belt test.