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We have found that this is the most productive and meaningful time for your child in our under-black belt program. Here is a little more information on what Shodan Ho class is all about.

Shodan Ho class is divided into two levels: Beginning and Advanced.


Beginning Shodan Ho: Students in this level will notice that expectations go up in terms of fitness requirements, difficulty of material and discipline levels. In the course of 6 months they will be required to learn 2 challenging katas, review and polish the 5 katas they already know, and master the principles of freestyle self defense. The goal of this level is to learn all the material that will be on their Black Belt examination.

Advanced Shodan Ho: Now that they “know” the material we take another jump with the emphasis on excellence and calmness under pressure. This is where major improvements occur. The time spent in this level depends on the individual student and when they “get it”. You will spend at least 6 months in this level. Here students will be challenged in even more meaningful ways. During the last three months, students will be expected to train for three hours in what we informally call “Boot Camp Classes” during the Saturday or Sunday class (both if they'd like). This training will be with Shihan Doug Adamson, the founder and highest level instructor of our school. Sensei Lowell Johnson, the chief instructor is also heavily involved at this level. This is a highly individual process and you will notice the most noticeable improvements in overall confidence here at this level.


How long is the Shodan Ho program?

This class will last for 12 months (Red Belt, Red with a Black Stripe, and two semesters of Balck with a Red Stripe). Some students will need a little more time if they aren’t ready, nothing wrong with that. Remember, this is not just about what they know – it’s about their strengthening of character. We like to say that it takes three to be successful; A student willing to push themselves and learn, a teacher who puts everything into helping their students, and a support system at home to encourage them and reinforce what we are doing.

What are the stripe requirements for each semester?

  1. One Blue stripe – Extra curricular

  2. One White stripe – Assist twice in the lower classes

  3. At least one black stripe for at home push-up training. The amount of push-ups per day is set by Shihan Paul.

What are the "Boot Camp Classes"?

These classes are designed to help students prepare for their BB examinations.  Shihan has a system that produces results.  Attendees will get to know him and he will get a chance to push, prod, challenge and tweak our Zionsville students. Classes are three hours in duration. You pay by the class, cash or check made out to Douglas Adamson in the amount of $20.

When do we start the classes with Shihan?

Fourth semester, although if you want to participate at third semester to get a feel for what is expected, that is fine as well!

During fourth semester can we do other sports?

Please no. Other sports will only get in the way during this time – and think about it, don’t you want to do your very best on your exam and be fully prepared?  All throughout our program participation in other sports is fine but during this period it’s wise to choose your battles.

How often are the black belt tests?

They are held every three to four months.



After all coursework and hourly requirements are met, the testing process involves the following:

The first "test" is the evaluation held two weeks before the test. Shihan will personally determine who has a shot at passing the exam and who doesn't. If they aren't ready, this isn't a problem. They will be able to try again in a few months for the next test. 

Next up is the test itself. This will be the formal test attended only by students and immediate family members. There will be a review board of more than twenty of our black belts along with the senior Sensei of our Dojo and Shihan. If they pass the test, they will be awarded their black belts and move to a new class time for the black belt class.

How can my child successfully pass?

Shihan and the Senior Senseis of our school will be looking for:

  1. Dedication-- How much of a REAL effort has this student put in to this goal?

  2. Discipline – Has this student shown themselves to be a disciplined Karate student and do they show respect?

  3. Attitude -- How positive is this student and how much confidence in her ability do they have?

  4. Excellence – How correct is this students Karate technique?

  5. Determination under pressure -- Can this student work in the face of chaotic freestyle self-defense?

What happens after they test?

Students are then welcome to attend our Black Belt class! All this training over four years has been in preparation for our Black Belt Program. This is where their martial arts training really begins, taking all of the basics they've worked so hard on and beginning to open them up and apply them in various ways. It's a ton of fun and extremely rewarding and the material they learn would not be possible without the knowledge they've acquired up until this point.

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