The Rank & Promotion Procedure


When you first walk into our school you will notice that students all wear different colored belts representing rank. This is part of the martial arts tradition and is used to indicate the level of accomplishment and mastery of skills. As levels of skill increases, students move up through the ranks by changing the color of the belt to symbolize that achievement.

In the world of martial arts, a person's credentials are determined by the rank they hold and who their teacher is. Legitimate rank is given to a student by his or her teacher. Recognition by the seniors in the martial arts community establishes the stature and qualifications of a holder of rank. At Pacific Coast Academy, we pride ourselves on the caliber of our instructors and senior students. Shihan Russ Rhodes' stature among martial artists is recognized by some of the most highly esteemed seniors of their generation.

When your child begins training  they will start with a white belt. Within a few weeks you will be invited to your first belt rank promotion. This varies with each individual depending on the time and effort put forth in their training. After demonstrating a skill level in many of the basic moves that have been learned, the first colored belt will be awarded. There are different levels of each belt.  For example, a black stripe through the center of the belt exemplifies an advanced level, and vertical rewarded stripes at the end of the belt are given by the instructor honoring achievements learned while at that particular belt level.

As students advance to the next level belt they receive a certificate of promotion as an official certification of the newly acquired skill.  In some cases, such as the Tiny Tigers and Tonbos class an embroidered patch is given in addition to the new belt. For example in the Tiny Tigers class for the first promotion from the white belt level -  a white belt with a single yellow stripe is awarded, in addition the student is awarded an eagle patch. For the next level of promotion, a  white belt with two yellow stripes and a ninja patch is awarded. Patches that have been awarded in a promotion may be sewn on to students uniform (or Gi)

Promotions through the ranks at Pacific Coast Academy are predicated on three factors:

  • Technical proficiency in the curriculum material,
  • Calendar time in the previous grade
  • Attendance


In the children's programs, Pacific Coast Academy holds promotions every month, regularly on the third Saturday of the month.

Regular children's classes are canceled on promotion days.