June 23, 2019 (retroactive to 6/10/18)
Kevin Kruse I Dan (R)
Concerning D, R, C, Retest results
Both “R” (Recommended) and “D” (Decided) test grades indicate that the student has demonstrated the acquisition of a sufficient level of skill to be ready to move to the next level of training. “D” is a further indication that the performance was judged to be exemplary in all categories. Recipients of both these grades will receive UTF certificates and UTF black belts. Students moving from colored belts to Black Belt ranking should add a black ribbon around the lower edges of their uniform jackets to indicate this preparedness. Congratulations to them.
The “C” test grade means “Conditional”, and indicates that a particular area of the student’s skill needs to be improved before he or she is ready to move to the next level of training. The student will have six months to further develop the necessary skills and will be reviewed at the next Black Belt Test. An unlettered black belt will be worn in the interim, but in the case of First Degree testing the student is not to add the ribbon to the uniform jacket yet. If performance is judged sufficient at the next test, a certificate with the original test date will be issued along with a UTF black belt, and the student is required to add the black ribbon around the lower edges of the uniform jacket. If sufficient improvement is not displayed, the student can be dropped back to black-stripe ranking, or given another six-month Conditional period. The judges have given them an opportunity; it is up to them to finish the step.
A “Retest” means that performance in one, or more, areas of the test was judged not to be sufficiently proficient for the level being tested for. The area, or areas, can be performed again at the next scheduled Black Belt Test, until which the student will wear the belt they wore coming into the test. If the student demonstrates sufficient skills at this next test a UTF black belt and a UTF certificate with the successful test date will be issued. Especially in the case of students testing for First Dan, nervousness may have subtracted from their possible level of performance and this is taken into account by the judges to a certain extent. Beyond that particular allowance, students should perhaps be reminded that self-control, not just physical performance, is what martial arts is intending to develop. These students have come a long way since white belt. They just have to develop their skills a bit more before they are ready for the next step.
Master James Langlas
Master Paul Irvin June 9, 2007