Black Belt Exam requirements

Areas of performance

  1. Physical Fitness
  2. Public Speaking
  3. Technical Skills
  4. Teaching and Understanding
  5. Self Defense

Physical Fitness 

Push-Up has chest touch target and arms lock. Sit-Ups (1 Min)


Males Push-Ups Sit-Ups

<11  30 30

12 – 13 40 40

14-over 50 50


<11 15 30

12 – 13 20 35

14 – 16 30 40

16 – over 35 50

Senior 50+ 25 45

Public Speaking

Note: This is not part of the test day but presented at Graduation the following week.

Every black belt candidate is required to write and deliver a speech at the graduation lasting at least 3-minutes on their experience leading up to earning a black belt and what the school has meant for them.

The only real requirement is that the speech comes from the heart and can’t be read verbatim. Notes are allowed but the presentation must be a combination of prepared memory and notes.

Technical Skills

  1. Run them through all requirements from Foundation Skills on.
  2. 5 each side in air and 5 each side on target or back.


  1. Hands Up
  2. Consistent Stance and Balance Integrity
  3. Recovery After Technique
  4. Speed and Power (No pushing)
  5. Distance Control (Stepping in on the first shot, then clearing at the end)
  6. Consistent Head Movement

Technical Execution

  1. Body Posture During Strikes
  2. Proper Knee Position During Kicks
  3. Kick Lines Followed (Side-kick is straight)

Teaching and Understanding

  1. The candidate will teach a lesson without prior knowledge of the subject or technique.
  2. The candidate will answer questions from the panel such as “How do you fight a lead off fighter and why?” “What is the most important skill a fighter can have?” “What is the golden rule fighting in a ring?”

Self Defense

  1. Candidate will Demonstrate Escapes
  2. Wrist Grab
  3. Front Choke
  4. Headlock
  5. North South Headlock
  6. Full Nelson
  7. Hammerlock
  8. Gun to Chin
  9. Knife to Throat

Sparring / Endurance

Full Equipment Required


Five 2-minute rounds of sparring with 30-second rest in between


1. Always dangerous (not on heels huffing and puffing)

2. Must complete the rounds regardless of injury. If you quit, you quit you quit the entire the exam and will have to retake it. The exception, of course, is serious injury which stops everything to care for the injured.

3. Moderate contact is allowed. 

4. Match by size and experience as best as possible.

5. Defense is as important as offense so keep your guard high.




Empower Kickboxing™ Martial Arts Curriculum