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ATA Excellence Martial Arts

So Many Stripes!

So Many Stripes!

Posted: August 30, 2017

Have you ever seen those planes that had marks on the side for each plane they shot down? Or warriors who kept different tallies of their victories? That's how I like to think of the belt stripes we have at ATA Excellence Martial Arts. Belt stripes are a way for our students to visually see their progress toward their next belt. Each belt has a series of stripes that are required to qualify to test for the next belt.

In this article we'll lay out each of the stripes and what they are given for. These stripes fall into two categories: rank stripes and life skills stripes. All of the rank stripes are black and the life skills stripes are colored. These life skills stripes are only required for our ATA Tiger and Karate for Kid students.

I'm going to list out these stripes in the order we aim for our students to acheive them.

Yellow: Life Skill Stripe - This stripe is achieved by turning in the life skills worksheet for the current cycle. We want students to start each new cycle strong so we ask them to complete and turn in this worksheet the first week of each new cycle. This is a great way for parents to have a meaningful conversation about the life skill that we will be working on and how to show it over the next 8 weeks.

Black: Learning Stripe - The learning stripe is given out when a student has attended at least four classes during the cycle and is showing proper progress towards being able to learn the required material for testing. Using the student site on our website and our ATA Excellence App to continue to improve skills will help in earning this stripe.

Blue: Consistency Stripe - To be successful, all warriors must train consistently. When our students have attended at least 8 classes during the cycle (hopefully by week 4) they are eligible to earn this blue stripe. They must also be consistently showing a Black Belt attitude!

Black: Practicing Stripe - It's our goal that students earn this stripe by week 5. This stripe is given out when students can demonstrate the skills required for testing on their own. The skills need to be improving at a rate that shows students will be ready to test by the end of the cycle and are on the correct trajectory for achieving Black Belt.

Red: Permission to Test Stripe - By week 6 we want students to be earning permission from their parents and teachers to test. This stripe is given out for completing a Permission to Test form and turning it in. This form is so that parents and teachers can let our instructors know that our students have worked on improving their life skills. It is up to the instructors to determine if a student is physically ready but we want parent permission when it comes to the mental and emotional training.

Black: Ready to Test Stripe - This final stripe will be given out to students in week 6 and 7. This stripe is the official permission from our instructors that a student is ready to test for their next rank. They have shown that they know the physical material required and have permission from their family to test.


These are all the main stripes that our students will work to achieve on their way towards Black Belt. In future articles we will discuss a few other kinds of stripes such as the Green: Leadership Nominee stripe and the 3 Pillars of Excellence stripes students achieve during their initial trial at ATA Excellence. Hopefully this article helps you understand each of our stripes and why we use them. This system is great for helping students monitor their progress and always have a new stripe to work for!

 If you have any questions feel free to contact us!