Martial Arts Blog

The History and Significance of Black Belt Testing in Martial Arts

kids martial arts little elm

In martial arts, the black belt is a system that describes your graduation in the discipline of martial arts where your proficiency is marked by the color of the belt. Belts are used to indicate when a student has been promoted to the next level and are an adaptation of the Kyu / Dan rank system of Kodokan Judo. Kano Jigoro, the founder of judo, first devised the colored belt system and awarded the first black belts to denote a Dan rank in the 1880s.

The systematic use of belt color to denote the rank of the step-up Karate level system signals your progress in the study of the martial arts. The color of a belt indicates your rank and in theory, your ability. Each step forward represents a further accumulation of skills and knowledge. Belt colors generally get darker through each level towards black belt. This seems a likely reason for the black belt to symbolize the most advanced level.

The black belt is commonly the highest belt color and denotes a degree of competence. Testing for the black belt is commonly more rigorous than for beginner proficiency. Rank and belts are not equivalent between martial arts, styles, or even within some organizations. Martial arts vary so that a black belt can be earned in three years or in ten years. The black belt is not the end of training but rather as a beginning to advanced learning: you “learn how to walk” and may thus begin the “journey”.

To advance to a new martial arts level, you take a formal test. These tests for higher ranks can include practical, oral and written requirements. These vary depending on the martial arts level being tested. The contents of tests vary among styles but each school has set criteria.

Preparation for the Karate grading exam comprises many areas, including:

  1. Physical /technical preparation: aerobic, anaerobic and explosive training
  2. Mental/Spiritual preparation: Martial arts are not an activity, but something you become. The focus is on enjoying the journey, not just the end result.
  3. Knowledge and Understanding: understanding the expectations of your body and skill sets helps prepare you for your black belt test.
  4. The Test: Get there early to warm up and stretch to prevent injury. Perform your techniques with full power and focus on total concentration.

In contrast to the “black belt as master” stereotype, a black belt commonly indicates the wearer is competent in a style’s basic technique and principles. Warrior Martial Arts Academy offers periodic belt testing and ongoing instruction in martial arts so that you progress at your unique pace to develop your skills. For enrollment and instruction, please visit our closest location or contact us at 972-473-8721 or via
Email at Info@WarriorMartialArtsAcademy.com.

Congratulations to our Warrior Martial Arts Student of the Month

martial arts for kids little elm

Christina Mendoza is Warrior Martial Arts student of the month for June. Christina is a student at our Frisco location. Mrs. Mendoza is a Sophomore at Wakeland High School. She is an amazing student, leader and athlete. She is a member of our Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Competition Team and the Warrior Martial Arts Demo Team. Most recently Christina performed at the Texas Revolution game and competed at NAGA in a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu competition in Norman, Oklahoma. Christina is also testing for her Black Belt on June 27, 2014. Next time you see this BUSY young lady at Warrior Martial Arts, please make sure you congratulate her! Way to go Christina on all of your accomplishments. You are a true Martial Artist!

Limited Time Offer: Three Months of Class for $89

Your child can spend the summer months having fun, staying active and learning essential life skills at Warrior Martial Arts Academy. Parents who register before August 20th will receive three months of class and a free uniform for only $89. This deal lets you save money on giving your kids access to our elite instructors, cutting-edge training facilities and world-class special events.

[testimonials backgroundcolor=”” textcolor=””]
[testimonial name=”Allison Chafin Bussert” gender=”female” company=”Parent” link=”” target=””]”Our son, Leighton, has been attending for just a few months. We have seen an enormous increase in his self-esteem and self-discipline. He has found something he has a natural gift in, and he loves it. He almost feels sad on the days he doesn’t have class. With the help of his instructors and Mrs. Cohen, he is going to continue to grow by leaps and bounds!!! I whole-heartedly recommend Warrior Martial Arts. I can’t wait to see where we go from here!!!”[/testimonial]

New students can make new friends while learning Muay Thai, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and mixed martial arts. The high-energy classes at Warrior Martial Arts Academy help kids stay physically fit and healthy. Our instructors offer each child individualized training to help them succeed.

Warrior Martial Arts Academy is dedicated to training champions both on and off the mat. Our classes help young people learn skills that help them in everyday life. Students discover practical strategies for dealing with the serious issue of bullying, are rewarded for responsible behavior at home or school and benefit from a healthy outlet for stress. Coaches of youth athletic teams give Warrior Martial Arts Academy credit for improving their player’s performance. Our curriculum also helps children learn the values of leadership, confidence, discipline and respect.

[testimonials backgroundcolor=”” textcolor=””]
[testimonial name=”Lina Zaghloul Bichara” gender=”female” company=”Parent” link=”” target=””]”Great instructors, great management, rich curriculum and friendly environment. There’s no better place for our kid to grow with good martial arts skills and the discipline and positive attitude to go along with them. Our experience with them has been exceptional. We strongly recommend Warrior Martial to anybody who asks.”[/testimonial]

Kids can also participate in a wide variety of great events. Warrior Martial Arts Academy gives our students the chance to have fun at our summer camps, train with experts such as EFC Champion Jason House in special seminars and compete in exciting tournaments. We offer a wide variety of events to make sure there’s something to participate in for everyone.

Parents of students can train free in Warrior Martial Arts Academy’s adult classes. Whether you want to improve their strength, flexibility and energy levels through Fitness Kickboxing or receive instruction in Muay Thai and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, our knowledgeable instructors can help every step of the way. All students can attend class at any of our three locations, so you can fit martial arts training into even the busiest schedule.

[testimonials backgroundcolor=”” textcolor=””]
[testimonial name=”Mrs. Rivers” gender=”female” company=”Parent” link=”” target=””]”Warrior Martial Arts has been great and i’m really impressed with the program.  I can see my son growing everyday, but since he’s been enrolled he really acts like a little gentleman.  He does well in school and listen to his teacher, he’s been helping me around the house, picking up his things, loading and unloading the washer and dryer.  Thank you for everything you’ve done. He’s really excited and shows off his moves all the time.  I can definitely see the change in Chandler Rivers!”[/testimonial]

There’s never been a better time to give your child all the benefits of martial arts training. To learn more about this special offer for three months of class for $89, contact Warrior Martial Arts Academy today. One of our knowledgeable instructors will be more than happy to respond to your questions.

Congratulations to our Warrior Martial Arts Students of the Month

bjj gym frisco

Alex Li is the Warrior Martial Arts Student of the Month. He is a student at our Plano location. Alex is an outstanding student and we are proud to call him a true warrior.

Since becoming a member of WMA in Plano, Alex’s performance has been nothing other than spectacular. From his heavy hands to his powerful kicks, Alex continues to impress his instructor, Mr. Gill every time he comes to class. Alex‘s ability does not stop with his kick and punch techniques. His ability to take his opponents to the ground using great BJJ techniques is equally impressive. The future is bright for this young WARRIOR. Through dedication and hard work, there is only one outcome for this warrior: BLACKBELT.   “Rumble young man rumble.”


Alex has been taking Kickboxing and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu training course at Warrior Martial Art at Plano for 5 months. The instructors are great and always encourage Alex to challenge the new level and stay committed. With Martial Arts training, Alex is trying to understand the spirit of true Martial artist and he becomes much more respectful and honest. Even at home he acts like a real martial artist teaches his younger brother how to protect himself. Alex goes to Warrior Martial art with a great positive attitude and puts a lot of effort to improve his Martial Arts techniques. Currently Alex is an orange belt and he is working hard to move forward since he knew his belt is not given to him free it always needs hard work to EARN higher level belt. Martial Arts also gave Alex a great sense of confidence, discipline, and leadership. Advanced classes of Warrior Martial Arts is an outstanding opportunity and honor for kids who work hard, Alex is ready for that.

– Alex Li’s Parents

Warrior Competition Team’s NAGA Wins Featured in News Story

kickboxing gym frisco

The Warrior Martial Arts Academy Competition Team and the 33 medals they earned at NAGA are the focus of a new article on All About Martial Arts. It features quotes from Warrior students, parents and instructors on the hard work and dedication it took to win big at the tournament. Read this excerpt from “Martial Arts School Wins 33 Medals at Regional Tournament”:

Members of the Warrior Martial Arts Academy competition team had spent months preparing for the tournament. “Being on the competition team has taught me how to be more respectful and how to work hard in order to earn something.  I won four gold medals at my first two tournaments and my hard work paid off,” said Will Hawthorn, a sixth grade student who attends Stafford Middle School in Frisco.

You can read the full article by clicking here.

10 healthiest tips for both men and women

gym stretches

Sed rhoncus nulla turpis, vitae rutrum velit iaculis et. Curabitur vestibulum, erat non imperdiet vulputate, est neque iaculis mi, at malesuada eros ante sit amet elit. Praesent tempus, est in bibendum tincidunt, sapien felis condimentum quam, eu posuere risus sem ac sem. In non massa et dolor venenatis luctus non eget dolor. Duis turpis est, euismod a tellus tristique, ultricies aliquet metus. Quisque pellentesque laoreet diam, eget facilisis ligula pulvinar eu. In vel euismod lorem. Duis vel enim at nisi hendrerit vestibulum. Cras felis mauris, placerat vitae pharetra vel, scelerisque ac felis. Vestibulum tristique est sit amet massa mattis condimentum. Nam auctor, purus in bibendum ornare, erat lacus tempus est, ac molestie nibh lacus pellentesque lacus. Etiam lacus nisl, fermentum eget neque imperdiet, iaculis egestas sapien. Quisque vel dignissim metus.

Read More

Brazilian Jiu-Jutsu Seminar with Bruno “Tank” Mendes March 27th

martial arts for kids frisco

Warrior Martial Arts Academy is proud to continue our tradition of hosting world-class events. On March 27th, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu expert Bruno “Tank” Mendes will teach a free seminar at our Frisco location. This is an opportunity for students to hone their skills by training with an elite instructor.

Bruno’s experience and credentials make this a can’t-miss opportunity for martial artists of all skill levels. As a 3rd Degree Black Belt, “Tank” is a coach and instructor for several notable BJJ athletes. He’s a three-time Rio de Janeiro state champion (2002/2003/2004), and placed first overall in athlete rankings for the Rio de Janeiro BJJ State Federation (2002/2003). Recently, Bruno became a BJJF Brazilian Nationals No Gi 2013 medalist.

The kids session will take place from 6:15 – 7:15 pm, while adults and teens will meet from 7:30 – 8:30 pm. Attire for the seminar is full Gi. Students can RSVP on Facebook for this event, though this is not necessary for attendance. As this class is free and open to the public, students are more than welcome to invite any friends interested in martial arts or Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

Warrior Martial Arts Academy Co-Founder Profiled in News Story

karate for kids frisco

Warrior Martial Arts Academy co-founder Pamela Cohen was profiled in a recent article featured on Frisco-OnLine.com. This profile tells her story of a life dedicated to martial arts, from beginning lessons at age four to now running three schools. Check out this clip from “Lifetime of Work Pays Off for Entrepreneurial Collin County Woman”:

While watching her organization expand has been a source of pride for Pamela, seeing her students’ personal growth has been even more exciting. “We just held a Black Belt test,” said Pamela, “and it was great seeing how all the kids have improved since they started. By that I don’t just mean their martial arts skills. They’ve developed their leadership skills, and that’s great to see.”

You can read the full piece here.


Teens Are Now More Stressed Than Parents!? How Martial Arts Can Help

martial arts school for kids frisco

Think about how stressful life gets as an adult. Worrying about work, paying bills and supporting a family can seem overwhelming. With that in mind, the American Psychological Association released a report parents of teens may find shocking. New research shows teenagers may be more stressed out than their parents. Even more worrisome, the study states high school students’ problems will continue into adulthood if they don’t “reverse their current trajectory of chronic illness, poor health and shorter lifespans.” Kids and teens need an outlet to blow off steam, and many have found that in martial arts.

Any age can make a change when it comes to healthily handling life’s difficulties. Martial arts help kids and adults develop positive, responsible strategies for dealing with stress. If these skills are taught at an early age, they can set a child up for success throughout their teenage and adult years.


Improved Outlook on Life –Martial arts emphasize confidence, physical fitness and teamwork. This foundation of skills help kids and teens grow into responsible, balanced adults. The positive results help children out with current challenges, resulting in improved grades and lower stress levels.

Accepting Their Body – Some advertisements for beauty, health and weight loss products contain an ugly message: Your body has to look a certain way, or it’s worthless. Kids may start believing this falsehood after hearing it over and over again. Martial arts counteract this. In a dojo, it’s not about what a body looks like. The focus is on what a body can do, regardless of size or shape. It sends a positive message to children that abilities matter more than appearance.

Self-Discipline – One of the most important ways martial arts help children is teaching them to concentrate on a task from start to finish. On the mat, persistence and practice trump instant gratification. Learning the values of patience, respect for others and discipline at a young age helps cut stress levels later in life.

Self-Esteem – Confidence isn’t a trait everyone is born with, but it can be built by achieving goals. In martial arts, kids are constantly focused on completing their goals. Their self-esteem is given boosts both big and small whenever they learn a new technique or earn their next belt rank.

Respect – It’s one of the foundations of martial arts. Children learn to positively interact with authority figures. That means they’re prepared for everything from taking lessons under a teacher or meetings with their future boss.

Physical Fitness – Kids and adults become stronger, more flexible and healthier through martial arts training. These skills even carry over to other sports they participate in. Exercising reduces stress, helping both their physical and mental health.

Listening Skills –Today’s world moves fast. When information can come instantly through text messages, Facebook and other sources, it can be difficult for kids to develop attention spans long enough to take in lessons during school. The kind of focus martial arts builds in kids not only can help them pay attention in class, but later in their lives as well.

Teamwork – Kids aren’t alone during their martial arts training. They learn with support both from instructors and students. This team-centered environment helps children learn to navigate working with others, an essential skill both in school and life.

Socialization Skills – People who share common interests tend to get to know each other. In a martial arts class, peers from diverse backgrounds have a common bond. That helps them learn to relate and work with others in friendly, positive ways.

Anti-Bullying and Non-Violent Conflict Resolution – Over three million kids skip school due to bullying every month. Bullying at any age can be a huge source of stress. That’s why it’s absolutely essential kids learn non-aggressive, positive ways to deal with this important issue. Martial arts training can help students to respond in non-violent, calm and controlled ways when handling these difficult situations.


Life can be stressful. That fact isn’t changing anytime soon. Young children, teens and adults can still learn healthy ways to deal with stress through martial arts training. The earlier in life these skills are learned, the longer they’ll last.

The Rise of the House of Gracie

brazilian jiu jitsu gym frisco

How One Family Made Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Into an International Phenomenon

The Gracie family name wasn’t always synonymous with Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Their success as martial artists is the result of disciplined training and hard work beginning almost 100 years ago.  This story begins in 1917, when Carlos Gracie began learning a style of Judo from Mitsuyo Maeda.

Starting Small

Carlos went on to pass his martial arts skills on to his brothers. However, one of his smaller siblings struggled with moves requiring him to directly oppose an opponent’s strength. That man was Helio Gracie. He would go on to adapt these techniques so that smaller martial artists could take down larger opponents. This was the birth of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.

The Challenge

Carlos Gracie submitted the famous Gracie Challenge in the 1920s. In an effort to promote and develop Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, he and his brothers dared martial artists of all styles and abilities to test their mettle in the ring. The only rules were the match could only end by submission or knockout.

Many martial artists accepted the Gracie challenge. Few won. The reputation of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and the Gracies began to spread.

From a Garage to Greatness

After the birth of a second generation of Gracies, some of the family migrated to America. There, Rorion and Royce Gracie began teaching Brazilian Jiu Jitsu out of their garage.

From these humble beginnings a martial arts empire arose. Rorion helped host the first UFC match in 1993, in which Royce would compete. This bout was meant as a test to find the most effective martial arts style in the world. Royce was chosen to represent the family and step into the ring, where he gained the title of champion.

The members of the Gracie family are some of the best martial artists to ever live. However, this isn’t the result of raw talent or innate ability. The Gracies simply worked and trained until they possessed the leadership to build a martial arts dynasty, the discipline to work tirelessly to unlock their potential, respect for their opponents and the confidence to believe all things were possible.