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So you want to earn a Black Belt in Karate…

How long does it take to get a Black Belt in Karate?

Undoubtedly, the most common question that people have about Karate is, “how long will it take me to earn my Black Belt in Karate?” This is an interesting question because it reveals the intention of the person asking, as well as their desire to achieve expert knowledge. On average, a Black Belt in American Kenpo Karate will take about 4-5 years. However, there are lots of factors that might make influence the process.

1) The Karate Style —

There are over a dozen different styles of karate and even different styles of martial arts. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, for example, is the hardest art to achieve a Black Belt—it takes about 10 years! The shortest time to Black Belt? Taekwondo, which takes 3-5 years. Generally, Black Belts in Karate take approximately five years, but good take less or more. Of course, all of these times are estimates and depend on the other factors below.

2) Time on the Mat —

In general, most martial arts ask that students commit a minimum of 2 days a week to ensure that new learning is supported by lots of practice and application of the techniques. Because Karate is a contact activity/sport, it requires that the student try techniques with a variety of different peers. Black belt karate also requires a master in different components, for example, basics, maneuvers, strikes, self-defense techniques, kata, sets, basics, and sparring. Arts like American Kenpo Karate, that are eclectic require that the student not only study strikes but also grappling and weapon defense. In other words, the more complicated the art, the more hours of practice required for mastery. Time on the mat pays off, not only in speed of belt achievement but also in the skill and expertise level.

3) Athletic Attributes —

Karate and Martial Arts in general help develop athletic attributes such as balance, endurance, flexibility, coordination, and strength. For example, the more you practice hitting a heavy bag, the better your punches, and the stronger you will become. To be sure, those students who are athletes in other sports, or those who have attributes naturally, may earn their Black Belt sooner than 5 years.

Whether it takes 4 years or 5 years, working toward your Black Belt in Karate is a worthy goal and once you have it, your belt is yours for life!!!

Check out Black Belt Set Performed by Master Rick Jeffcoat