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How Long Does It Take To Earn a Black Belt?

What Does It Take?

Karate is one of the most well-known forms of Martial Arts. Due to its popularity, everyone knows what a black belt in Karate means — it is the ultimate goal. When you hear that someone has a black belt in Karate, you know that they have trained for a long time to reach that goal. It takes hard work and dedication to earn your black belt, and one of the most frequent questions we get at Innovative Martial 

Arts Academy is, “How long does it take?” 


What Is the Average Time? 

It will take a healthy person who trains twice a week, roughly 3 to 5 years to become a black belt in karate. Many factors will impact how long someone’s journey will take. Factors like

  • Strength
  • Dedication
  • Your training goals



Strength is an important part of achieving a black belt in Karate. If you are strong, you can train harder, longer and more frequently.

It is not just physical strength that you will need to achieve a black belt. You will need mental strength as well. Achieving greatness in any sport requires both physical and mental strength.



How badly do you want it? This will directly correlate to your achievements. If earning that black belt is a top priority, then it will happen. How hard you work, train, study, and practice will affect how quickly you advance through the belt ranks


Goal Setting 

Karate has a series of belt ranks and is designed with setting and reaching goals in order to advance. If you want to achieve a black belt, it is important to have a plan. Map out your goals and break those up into mini-goals. Make sure to write those goals down to hold yourself accountable. When you finish, you will have a road map to how you are going to achieve that black belt, and you will have a step-by-step guide on how to get there. 

It is important to celebrate all the mini-milestones as well as the bigger ones. If you only focus on the ultimate goal and don’t take time to celebrate the smaller steps, then it will seem like the longest, most grueling journey. However, if you celebrate every milestone (small and big), then you will feel rewarded along the way. So even though it is a long journey, it will be an enjoyable one!


What Skills Do I Need To Earn a Black Belt in Karate? 

In order to achieve a black belt, you will need many skills. However, the three most important are:

  • The ability to learn techniques quickly
  • Mental toughness
  • Studying and practicing outside the dojo


How To Learn Techniques Quickly 

In each of your classes, instructors will teach new techniques that help with the promotion process. However, when students leave the dojo, they often forget what they were taught and have to wait a while until the next class to relearn that technique. Writing things down in a notebook can be beneficial. As soon as class is over, record the techniques learned so you will be able to practice at home until your next class. This will help you learn the techniques faster and allow you to advance to the next belt quicker.


How To Overcome Adversity 

In any sport, you are going to have highs and lows. You may get knocked down and it is important to learn how to pick yourself back up again. After a setback, there is a chance to learn from it and push forward. Allowing yourself to wallow in defeat does not help you to push ahead on your journey. Having a strong “mental toughness” is crucial to your success. Having some coping strategies that you can use when you are feeling down will help. 

Try going for a run, sometimes, just getting in the fresh air and running off that disappointment can help. Exercise will also release those feel-good chemicals in the brain. Or maybe you need to spend some time with friends and take an evening off from thinking about Karate. A small mental break can do wonders. 


How To Train Outside the Dojo 

You’ll never become a black belt if you’re only training during class. Classes are 1-2 hours long and take place 2-3 times a week. This isn’t enough to reach mastery because there’s too much to learn.

Remember that notebook we talked about- this is the perfect way to train at home. Flip through those pages and repeat all the techniques that you have been recording. Practice each night and perfect those moves. This will help when you get back to the dojo in person. You will already have those moves nailed down and will be ready to learn more. 

You can also practice with a friend outside of class. Having someone else that is just as dedicated as you can really help. Even though Karate is an individual sport, you are a part of a community, so why not lean on each other?


Let Your Black belt Journey Begin 

Karate is a martial art that takes time and patience to master. But with these tips, you’ll be one step closer to getting that black belt. Take a look at some of our other articles about martial arts and IMAA’s course offerings. 


Try A Class!

At Innovative Martial Arts Academy, our Martial Arts training offers men, women, and children the opportunity to challenge their bodies and minds without the threat of injury and intimidation. Take on the best training in disciplines like Aikido, Kenpo Karate, and Kali, and build your skills one day at a time with the help of our dedicated instructors

We are proud to serve families across Wake Forest, Wakefield and the surrounding area with a rewarding experience that can set you or your child up for success in all aspects of life. If you’re interested in learning about our martial arts program, contact us at 919.562.4663, or visit our website.  


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Our Reviews

William D.
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This place is great! Charles and his team have fantastic programs for kids. When we started our 3.5 year old son, I didn’t know what to expect. He quickly adapted to the classes and now loves going. Our 2 year old son loves watching and will start as well as soon as he turns 3. Innovative Martial arts also hosted their birthday parties. The kids had a blast doing different activities throughout the birthday party. Can’t say enough good things about this place, and what they teach!
Tara H.
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Innovative Martial Arts Academy (IMAA) is the best place to take martial arts. Charles Falk, the owner, and his staff do a great job teaching martial arts to the students and teaching each student to be confident and disciplined. My son has been with IMAA for eight years - he has earned one black belt and is working on his second.
Niko F.
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Not only are the staff amazing, but there is a mix of fun and learning in the curriculum. My 5 year old daughter absolutely loves this school. She has learned respect and many other aspects making her more focused and well behaved. I definitely recommend this school for you or your child.
Janice P.
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Great school with wonderful teachers. My daughter has a great time learning and everyone is friendly. There is even an adult class that allowed me to try to see if I liked it and everyone was very patient with me. I am thankful to have my daughter be a part of the Innovative Martial Arts Academy in Wake Forest and know she is benefiting from it in more than one way. It amazes me how fast she is learning and how hard she is trying. They have her trying to develop at her fullest with her mind, body, and spirit. I would recommend this school to anyone interested in martial arts.
Kristi F.
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Wonderful place for not only skill development but also personal development. Owner and instructors genuinely get to know students and families and care about them. The lessons learned will provide character growth as well as martial art skills. The owner is also a long time student of many different martial arts, he didn't just buy a franchise, and tries very hard to live what he teaches the students. Proud to have been in this dojo family for 6+ years and proud of the friendships we have made there!

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