Purpose of the Black Gi Grading

Here at Brisbane Goju Karate the karateka is given a choice at 3rd kyu (brown belt in our system) whether to attempt a black gi grading. A black gi grading, as the name suggests, allows the karateka to wear a black coloured gi (karate outfit) during training in classes. We would normally wear a completely white canvas gi.

The Purpose of the Black Gi Grading

As I have mentioned in the post on the purpose of karate a karateka begins training in the karate system with a particular purpose or intent in mind. What the black gi grading begins to undertake is a process of committing the karateka to a purpose that is outside of their original intent in training. It is a challenge that they are unaware of until requested to attempt. During training they are obviously exposed to the thought of a black gi grading as they would have seen higher ranked karateka wearing black gis that had successfully passed the grading. Regardless of possibly hearing about the grading, there is an enormous element of entering into the unknown, which we know requires tremendous courage. Overall the purpose of the Black Gi Grading is to challenge the karateka in a way that they have never chosen to be challenged in the past. The purpose of this is to train the mind and provide a platform for the development of skills that are required in times of panic, extreme stress and guaranteed failure. My simple way to explain this is that you are forced into a ‘fight’ or ‘flight’ environment and to pass you must attempt to fight through the flight response.

If you have any specific questions about the Black Gi Grading please ask them in the comments section below and we will answer them more specifically.

About Jay Killeen

I began training in 2004 under the guidance of James Duggan Shihan. I have since achieved my Nidan in Goju Ryu Karate do Seiwakai. My favourite kata is Sanchin and I enjoy the challenge of kumite against great opponents.

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