One of the most common questions that students and parents ask us is: how long does it take to get a black belt? We get it, though! A black belt is a huge accomplishment and a symbol of expertise, physical capability, and a lot of hard work. A black belt is also one of the first things that new students see when they come into No Limits Martial Arts in Milton or Oakville, around the waist of their new Senseis. Achieving a black belt is a great goal to have but when it comes to “how long does it take to get a black belt?” the answer isn’t so black and white.
No Limits Martial Arts Black Belt Timeline
There are a lot of different answers out there regarding how long it takes to earn a black belt. Many different dojos have differing cycles and depending on the style of martial art taught at the school, and those who run the club, the answer can vary. At No Limits Martial Arts, however, we find it takes students an average of 6 years to achieve their black belt.
Six years can be an incredibly long time for our younger students, some of whom aren’t even six years old yet! But we promise there will be tons of positive reinforcement along the way. There are lots of belts between white belt when a student starts and black belt, and even more curriculum for students to master. As your child progresses, they will earn stripes on their belt and have the opportunity to attend gradings to get a brand-new belt. Within their first year to eighteen months practicing, a student can easily graduate three belt levels, which will keep younger (and older) students excited about the prospect of coming back.
There are some obstacles along the road on every individuals’ black belt journey. Many younger students who attend our classes have other commitments outside karate. Whether these are other sports, music lessons, or community or family obligations, sometimes the focus will shift from karate to something else. Some students also go away on vacation or to visit family, especially during the summer, and so when they get back, they must do some catch-up. If this is the case for your child, it may take them a bit longer than the average of six years. On the other hand, though, some kids are incredibly dedicated to karate and will progress through belts quicker than their peers.
It’s Not a Race
One of the best things about karate is that it is a team sport with a class of supportive friends, yet it is also a sport where students will be challenged to beat their personal best. It does not matter if you are faster or slower to progress towards black belt, if you are striving to beat your own personal best and be the best martial artist you can be. Some people have achieved black belts in record times, while others have taken more than a decade to earn that coveted rank. If you keep pushing, we know you can get there!
It’s Not the End
A black belt is a rank, and an important milestone in any martial artists journey, but it is not the end. Once your child has achieved their black belt, they will have a whole new set of curricula to learn! A martial artist’s journey is never over, so take your time, have fun, and work with the No Limits Martial Arts Team over the next five, six, seven, or more years to achieve your Goju-Ryu goals!