How to earn your next rank
Once you feel confident in your understanding of that rank level, and are ready to test, it is time to film your rank exam video. Taking a video test requires the same level of intensity, presence, effort, and precision as an in-person exam. We uphold the same standards for our long distance training students as the students who train in the dojo.
Film yourself. Try to find a location with good lighting; indoors or outdoors can work. Verbally state your name and what rank you are testing for. Demonstrate all techniques in the rank requirements section two times on each side. Demonstrate to your left and right side rather than straight to the camera. NOTE: A partner is a requirement for all exams.
Upload your video. We recommend uploading to YouTube or another free service and, if you prefer, making the video private so that only your allowed audience can see it.
- Purchase a “standard” evaluation. After your successful purchase you’ll receive a form to fill out and send to us. We look forward to reviewing your exam. You can always purchase an “In-Person” evaluation if you plan to attend one of our events where evaluations take place. Please see our list of upcoming events for more information.
After we receive your submission, please allow 3-4 weeks for grading. A To-Shin Do Hombu representative will watch, review, and grade your exam. Your test results will be emailed to you. If you pass, you will have the ability to purchase your diploma and belt. If you fail, you will receive a list of suggestions to make your next test more successful.
While online evaluations and ranking are available up to Brown Belt with Black Stripe, we strongly recommend you attend events and visit training locations to receive feedback in person. Black Belt ranking and above must be done in person with a To-Shin Do Licensed Affiliate Instructor or at a To-Shin Do Event. For a list of scheduled events click here.
Ready To Evaluate?
Step One: Purchase an Evaluation
Step Two: After your purchase, you’ll receive an email from us with a link to a form you’ll need to fill out and submit.
Step Three: After your evaluation, if successful, you will be sent a link to purchase your To-Shin Do Diploma which includes the curriculum and checklist for your next rank.
Who is eligible to participate in the online ranking program?
The To-shin Do online ranking program has been created exclusively for students who do not have access to an authorized training location or instructor. If you are training with a group or in a recognized training hall you are indeed fortunate. In this case, your instructor(s) will handle all rank evaluations and promotions. If you are training online and can travel to a recognized training location for evaluation in person, we highly recommend that you do this as often as possible.
How to pass your tests and advance through the belt colors
As a To-Shin Do online practitioner, concentrate on learning the techniques taught as solutions to the most common assault threats, training your body in the mechanics of how to make success happen, and training your mind to expect success.
- Learn the “how to do it” specifics of the new techniques
- Condition your body for the strength, flexibility, and reflexes to perform the techniques
- Internalize the principles behind the tactics of the techniques you are learning
How often do I test for belts?
Our objective is for you to progress successfully from one belt to the next every three to four months; however, this is not always possible or the best thing for you. You may need to take an additional month if necessary to be sure that you have successfully gained the skills expected at your belt level.
What does it take to pass the test for my next belt?
Be able to demonstrate that you know the material, understand it, and can perform it effectively to produce results. Bear in mind that you are learning and growing on many levels. It is not a good idea to judge or compare yourself to others, or wonder whether you are skilled enough to “win a fight against all attackers.” Personal mastery takes time to develop.
What would lead to me not passing the test?
If you have not gotten all your questions answered yet, you may find some gaps in your abilities. Though you may know what the material is, if you do not understand it or cannot perform it effectively, it would be a good idea to work at your current level until more confidence and skill are developed. Again, it takes time to develop mastery.
What do teachers look for as test-passing quality in a test?
Obviously, you need to know what the techniques are and how to do them properly. Beyond knowledge, with every move you make, be sure that you demonstrate that you understand and consistently apply the following 12 qualities:
- Sho-shin 正心 HEART – Grasp the importance of the Student Creed (“How to be successful”) and the 14-point Mindful Action Code (“Our fighting skills make the world safer, not more dangerous!”)
- Chi-shiki 知識 KNOWLEDGE – Know technique & kata details – You understand the purpose and principles so well that even if you leave standard form, you control the situation and take it where you want it to go
- Sei-kaku 正確 PRECISION – Correct, confident, strong, and effective techniques – power and precision
- Nagare 流 COORDINATION – Flowing momentum moves your body as a unit to knockdown or takedown
- Shu-chu 集中 FOCUS – Use eyes and mind and sensitivity to connect to the big picture to judge the problem and make the right decision under pressure
- Kamae 構 BASE – Good flexed-knee foundation for balance and mobility, with shoulders over hips
- Kuzushi 崩 BALANCE CONTROL – Hips, shoulders, and legs aligned to throw off adversary’s balance without giving up your own; he in effect “allows you to defeat him”
- Ukemi 受身 BREAK-FALL SKILLS – Roll with the punches with skillful break-falls for a safe training experience
- Ma-ai 間合 GAP – Use appropriate intervals of timing and distancing and positioning to keep your attacker off-balance and off-line mentally and physically and in perfect position for you to strike
- Ki-ai 気合 SPIRIT – Strong command shout – “Stop it! No! Hold it!” or “Hey!” – with every defensive action
- Shu-toku 習得 MASTERY – Safe control yet highly spirited practice for highest possible safety and realism
- Zan-shin 残心 FINISH – “Fighting Spirit” winning mental focus all through the technique and the completing concentration that follows the ending – no fooling, fumbling, or fading away – this is real!