Northwest Indiana Martial Arts Academy


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It’s Time to Prepare for Black Belt Testing
Congratulations! It’s time to consider taking your final steps to test for Black Belt. We are beginning the Fall Testing Cycle. Read below to understand the next steps.



Step One – Advanced Cho Dan Bo

The first step in the process is to successfully complete an Advanced Cho Dan Bo test.  This is the NWIMAA internal black belt test.  This test is designed to be harder than the Regional black belt test so you will be confident you will crush the Regional 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, with one of those being the Friday night Black Belt prep class.  


Step Should Do Every Year – Dan Camp

Now that you are a Cho Dan Bo, you should be attending Dan Camp every year.  Camp is in August.  This is an awesome training opportunity.  You must attend at least one Dan Camp to be able to test for Black Belt.  Your first Dan Camp can be the one where you are pre-testing. 

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 guide:



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 1000 word Dan Essay.  Your essay can be about anything Martial Arts related.  Most Cho Dan candidate essays revolve around what training in Tang Soo Do has meant to you – why you are excited to earn your black belt.  Something along those lines.  Don’t stress.  No one fails because they wrote a poor essay. 
  • Dan Membership.  There are multiple options here for membership.  The testing fee you will pay to NWIMAA will include a 3 year Dan Membership, so select that option.  If you want to select a longer membership (some students make the Lifetime Commitment), you will need to pay NWIMAA the difference between the 3 year membership and the membership you select. 

You should complete this step no less than 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 (1 board flying side kick, 1 board for speed break, 2 boards for power break).  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 your Black Belt and 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 embroidered Black Belt.  This will happen during a ceremony at NWIMAA during June. 

There is a one time Cho Dan Black Belt testing fee of $400.  This testing fee will include all WTSDA processing and paperwork, the 3 year WTSDA Dan Membership, your framed Black Belt certificate, both your plain black belt and your embroidered Black Belts and your Black Belt uniform.  This fee is only required after you successfully complete your Regional Black Belt test.