Why I’m proud to have 99.9% belt pass rate.

Some martial arts classes pride themselves on having a high failure rate in their belt tests. The thinking is that if enough people fail the tests then it will keep standards high. I’ve also heard people, both instructors and students of other classes say that maybe we should fail more people in choi kwang do and everyone seems to pass.

My pass rate for my students is exceptionally high. It would be 99.9% or there abouts. Yet i do this and keep fairly high standards for my students. I would say that overall the standards in my classes are higher than average.

How do i manage this? It’s really very simple. I do not put a student in for a test unless i know they are ready for it. If any of my students aren’t good enough to pass i hold them back until the next test our do a catch up test later on when they are ready.

I think if you are consistently putting your students in to test and have a high failure rate then you are doing your students a great disservice and you are failing them as an instructor. If you are doing it and are pleased that your failure rate is high then you are  also a bit of an ass.

One of the main benefits, in fact I would say,  the most important benefit of martial arts training for children AND adults is to develop self confidence. Self confidence takes time and effort to build up, yet can easily shatter if it takes a hard blow of failure too often and too soon. Our job is to build our students up, guide them and nurture their confidence, not take a perverse pleasure in seeing some fail like it’s a badge of honour for us as instructors.

Don’t get me wrong. There has to be a standard. Your students HAVE to be good enough to pass the test and every belt should be fully earned and not given out no matter what. By not doing that you devalue the belt and their achievements.

Why though, put your student into a test unless you know almost 100% they will pass? It is far easier on their ego and confidence to have a quiet word,  tell them they are not quite ready yet, but you will put a training plan in to get them ready within the month to pass their test, than it is to put them in with false hope only to see them crash and burn at the testing.

As an examiner. Failing a student is one of the worst feelings I’ve ever had in my life. Especially if it’s for a major belt test such as black belt. It really should not happen and neither the student or examiner should be put in that position.

I’m not however saying that if a student fails it is the instructors fault all the time. Students can have off days and perform particularly badly. It does happen but it should be the exception and not the rule.

If you are an instructor you should be looking to have a high pass rate for your students  belt tests. You should be proud to have a low failure rate as long as you are only putting in those students who are good enough to pass.

If you have high failure rates and are proud then maybe you should free evaluate your choice of profession.

I hope you enjoy this article. If you are interested in Choi Kwang Do classes for your child, family member or yourself and are in the Bristol or Trowbridge area then please go to my web site at http://www.CKDBristol.co.uk for more information on our Choi Kwang Do classes that are great for teaching you self defence, self confidence and also keeping you fit and healthy no matter your age. We offer 2 FREE lessons to all who sign up via the web site.

If you don’t live in my area and are interested in Choi Kwang Do then please visit http://choikwangdo.com/locations.html where you can find the nearest location to you. Most of the classes offer some sort of free lessons so please take a look.

If you are already an instructor in another Martial Art and you would be interested in converting to Choi Kwang Do please go to http://choikwangdo.com/school-conversion.html or contact them by email at ckd@choikwangdo.com and let them know you found them through Master Millers blog.


Dale Miller

Master Instructor of Choi Kwang Do.


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