PLEDGES
       “martial arts for everyone.”

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Quality Student (Basic Information: Pledge)
Students of all ages (especially children) understand that becoming a great achiever requires hard work, a wise use of time, being truthful to themselves and others, focusing their energy on what matters most, and imagining themselves not only reaching but exceeding their goals. 
From the very first lessons at Flaherty’s Kenpo Karate, students quickly learn that inappropriate language (i.e., bad words) is not tolerated, and that there are better ways to communicate than to criticize. They also learn enjoyable self-defense techniques, along with basics of kicks, punches, blocks, and stances designed to aid in self-defense in real life confrontations.  
With this in mind, I pledge great effort as a quality student to have fun learning, to help others in need, to work hard, and to diligently practice speaking positive words of acceptance and encouragement to all people, at all times. 

To this, I pledge my all!


Teacher (Basic Information)
The next step after becoming a quality student is to become a quality teacher.  At the Karate Academy, good teachers are ever-present and willing to offer positive, encouraging words to assist all students in need of real life lessons while improving self-defense techniques, forms, and grades. 
Black Belt teachers from other disciplines have joined Flaherty’s Kenpo Karate to improve their own martial arts skills and, through teaching, to grow, develop, and expand their knowledge base.

Teacher (Pledge)
As Flaherty’s Kenpo Karate teachers, we pledge to offer leadership advice with positive, encouraging words geared toward each individual’s unique performance level and knowledge. 

To this, we pledge our all!


Tiny Tiger’s (ages: 4 to 6)
Our little karate children, in the Tiny Tiger’s Program, learn to have fun earning special belts with material taken from our regular students' “white belt” page.  Our Tiger Program children receive new belts up to and including the Tiny Tiger’s Black Belt. 

Tiny Tiger (Pledge)
I pledge to have fun, to learn karate by listening to my teachers, to be respectful toward my parents, classmates, friends, and family, and to practice my karate with good behavior. 

(Right fist up): 	This is my Tiger Pledge!


Tiny Tiger’s (Program): 
    
White belts - Brown belts:    Training time before testing:	    2 to 4 months, or longer
Allotted Testing Time:	    45 minutes

Tiger Black Belts:    Training time before testing:	    4 to 8 months, or longer
Allotted Testing Time:	    45 minutes



White Belt (ages: 7 & UP)
At this level, students learn to have karate fun while practicing the fundamentals of basic, beginner forms & sets, stances, kicks, punches, and blocks. Students also learn the importance of walking away from trouble before engaging in a defensive attack geared toward injuring another person, and they learn to choose their words carefully by speaking kindly and respectfully toward every person they meet or encounter.

White Belt (Pledge)

There is no pledge for the “white belt” level. White belt students are at the entry level of training and have not yet tested for rank. It’s never too late to start the journey toward higher belts or degree levels, and besides, the “white beginner’s uniform” with “white belt” is free for all new students, so, why not join today.

No pledges to recite for the white belt level! 
Training time before testing:	    2 to 4 months
Allotted Testing Time:	    45 minutes


Yellow Belt
At this level, students learn additional material dealing with an aggressive grab, lock, or hold while teachers instill the importance of confidence, discipline, and respect for others.

Yellow Belt (Pledge)

I understand that I am but a beginner in the realm of martial arts, about to learn new and exciting karate movements. I further understand that the more classes I attend, the more time I will have to practice and develop my martial arts skills. I know that as I pursue the FKKA Black Belt or higher, training will become more difficult, and the material of study more challenging. I understand that more personal effort will be required of me, and giving up is not an option.
I pledge to work hard, to keep up with my training, to practice inside and outside the DOJO, to make a commitment to keep improving, to respect others regardless of rank, to be honest with myself, trustworthy, reliable and accountable to the ideals and practices of Flaherty’s Kenpo Karate. I will not become discouraged while waiting for approval for upcoming test examinations. I pledge to remember the academy’s “3 P’s” – practice, practice, and practice. 
I pledge to listen to my instructors, to practice the older material of Kenpo, and to build up my confidence through practicing all prescribed material presented and designed by Grandmaster Flaherty.
To this, I pledge my all!

Training time before testing:	    4 to 6 months
Allotted Testing Time:	    45 minutes


Orange Belt
At this level, students of most age groups are encouraged to take more than 2 group classes each week and sparring while learning a series of punches, blocks, and striking combinations embedded in our nationally recognized self-defense forms.

Orange Belt (Pledge)

I understand that in order to move forward in my training I will have to practice discipline in my efforts to refine my lower material, while sharpening my newly learned skills. I further understand that the more I practice, the better I will get. I pledge to demonstrate my self-discipline by knuckling down and focusing on any subject matter at hand – be it school homework and grades, a task, or the art of Kenpo Karate.
I pledge a continued effort to pay close attention to my stances, understanding that stances are the building blocks for strength, speed and power. I pledge to begin sparring as soon as possible, to build up my confidence by practicing repeatedly, to be ready to meet new challenges and to continually review lower level material. 
I pledge to try my best, to think positively, and to imagine myself at the desired ranks while achieving my higher goals. At this point, I pledge to practice discipline.
 
To this, I pledge my all!

Training time before testing:	    4 to 8 months
Allotted Testing Time:	    45 minutes


Purple Belt
At this level, students learn the angular attack by swiftly moving on 45-degree angles while developing stronger stances, and a better sense of focus with confidence through repetition and practice.

Purple Belt (Pledge)

I understand that I demonstrate respect for my teachers and myself by training repeatedly and being thoroughly prepared for higher test examinations. I understand that as a student my self-defense can be offensive and hurt others if misused. I pledge never to misuse or create offenses toward other people, and especially never to misuse the art of Kenpo Karate in any violent manner other than for self-defense purposes. 
As I progress in learning the FKKA art, I pledge to practice respect at all times, inside and outside the karate academy, in class sessions, at home, at school and in front of my friends, family and teachers.  
I pledge to perform Kenpo with energy and effort in every movement, to start concentrating on new forms and sets and to review old material more often. I pledge to show enthusiasm while training in class or in test examinations, to become more engaged in sparring, to help my instructors when called to do so, to be confident when embracing the challenges offered by this belt and to pay attention to system details as I commit to work hard. I further pledge a continue effort – to offer greater respect toward others.
      
To this, I pledge my all!

Training time before testing:	    4 to 8 months
Allotted Testing Time:	    45 minutes


Blue Belt
At this level, students learn to be patient while training within the complexities of circular movements and rounding corners (not cutting corners). To obtain the proper testing mindset, students concentrate on heightened mental alertness, while reaching for greater accuracy, speed, and power, displaying the energy and intensity necessary to gain approval from the teachers. Some students have quit before reaching the next level due to this level’s complexities, but many have passed. 

Be patient and you will pass and benefit!

Blue Belt (Pledge)

I understand that I have made excellent progress within the FKKA system and that participating at this level will require a great deal of focus and patience. I further understand that experts at Flaherty’s Kenpo Karate call this level, “a make it or break it level” because it is one of the more difficult levels to comprehend. I vow to be patient learning the new, while focusing on reviewing all previous material. I know patience is the key to learning at this level. In order to develop the proper mindset of the complexities of this challenging level, I pledge to practice and review at least 3 times each week for 30 minutes to one hour in a private area within my home or in class. 
I pledge to take the time necessary to learn and develop when practicing the fundamentals of the prescribed belt material at home or in class. I pledge to take karate seriously, train hard, perform with confidence, and put forth great personal effort. I further pledge to practice being confident. 
I pledge not to be lazy in learning, developing, or performing in class or at home. I pledge to stand out amongst my fellow students and colleagues, to adapt to, or overcome, a self-defense situation spontaneously, and to push through difficulty by putting in more effort.
     
To this, I pledge my all!

Training time before testing:	    8 to 24 months, or longer
Allotted Testing Time:	    45 minutes



Green Belt
At this level, students learn techniques designed for kick executions with bow staff training (long stick), along with better stance control, and maneuverability. Sparring is a must!

Green Belt (Pledge)

I understand I have made it to another exciting and challenging level, but that participating within this rank will require extra focus and patience before considering higher advanced levels of training. I also understand that sparring is a valuable part of the FKKA learning, and I shall do my best to attend sparring sessions on a regular basis.
I pledge to practice humility in each class session as I begin the journey from less challenging karate movements to more intricate and complex material. I understand that Kenpo Karate by definition can help or hurt someone, and therefore I pledge to take the high road, should a self-defense situation arise in which my karate skills might be required. If forced to defend myself, I will use my better judgment and at my discretion try to walk away first, before I am forced to hurt anyone who might pose a threat or bodily harm.
I pledge to respect and honor the lessons learned from my karate teachers, the Black Belt staff, and our Kenpo Karate Association. I pledge to polish new material, to continue sparring, and to always review old material. I also pledge not to get discouraged, to be patient while learning and remain committed to my personal karate development. I completely understand that the higher my ranking status, the more humility, respect, and honor I must exhibit with proper DOJO behavior and etiquette. 
At this level of my training, I understand that there is no room for “play time.” I further understand that all students are treated as adults, and that I am completely responsible for my own actions.
To this, I pledge my all!

Training time before testing:	    8 to 24 months, or longer
Allotted Testing Time:	    2-hours



Brown Belt
At this level, students learn isometric movements designed to increase their personal speed and strength while performing self-defense against aggressive stick attacks. They also consider “Arnis” (i.e., Filipino Martial Arts) for better understanding of handling stick, sword, and dagger. 

Arnis (stick fighting) classes are offered at Flaherty’s Kenpo Karate!


Brown Belt (Pledge)

I pledge a continued effort to sharpen my martial arts skills by focusing on both the physical and the mental aspects of Flaherty’s Kenpo Karate. I understand the physical material will consist of exercises, basics, techniques, forms, sparring and sets, and both the mental and physical aspects must be considered in the breaking of boards or bricks, meditation, history, and system details in the introduction to advanced self-defense concepts, principles, and theories.  
I pledge to self-motivate, to understand the meaning behind movements, to project confidence and to show enthusiasm for my karate training by knowing the required material. I understand that at this level sparring is a must and shouldn’t be avoided. I further pledge to develop better stances, to be serious and responsible toward my training commitments, and to begin getting the “Black Belt” attitude of focus, determination, perseverance and self-respect as I make great efforts to respect others.   
I pledge to cooperate with higher-ranking instructors regarding my training in private or group lessons and class lectures in a way that welcomes higher-level advice, knowledge, and expertise. I understand that practitioners of martial arts may perform at different mental, physical or emotional levels, and I will therefore respect their abilities as being unique to their individual performances. I pledge not to look down upon lower level students seeking help. I further pledge not to be judgmental with other karate members and never to correct an instructor of higher rank regarding stances, material, perception, or knowledge. I pledge to diligently practice humility, confidence, discipline, and respect.
  
To this, I pledge my all!

Training time before testing:    	8 to 24 months, or longer
Allotted Testing Time:	    2-hours


Brown/Black Belt
At this advanced level, students learn defensive techniques useful to take knives or guns away from aggressive opponents with rapid fire movements. Students refresh their knowledge of all lower level material while learning and practicing the new. 
This level is considered the hands-on level where the pre-black belt members learn the “3 codes of a fighter,” how to perform in the “red zone,” and how to defend against multiple attackers with extreme levels of focus, energy, accuracy, speed, and power. Students also learn that aggression is a last resort - to walk away from trouble, before they hurt another person, or before they are forced to kill.  
During this intense level of learning and developing, students of most age groups practice repeatedly in and out of group class sessions while taking private lessons under the leadership of our karate teachers. In addition, some students prefer to start private lessons before this level is achieved, if they qualify. Chief Instructors offer private training sessions to the qualifying members. 

Without private lessons, it is impossible to reach Black Belt status!



Brown/Black Belt (Pledge)

I pledge to acknowledge all training recommendations from the Academy Owners and not to take their suggested classes, programs, or training workshops lightly. At this point, I fully understand private lessons are an essential part of my growing development in order to obtain Black Belt status.  
I pledge a continued effort to help class instructors teach under ranking students whenever given the chance, and I recognize that teaching is a valuable part of my training: "The more I teach others, the more I will practice, and the better I will get.” 
I understand that this is the last big test before Black Belt. I pledge to be patient with myself while learning and not to give up. I pledge to practice often, pose questions to Black Belt Instructors, and to respectfully ask to be reviewed for test examination approval. I pledge never to question Black Belt Instructors on any issue. I completely understand that my private questions or concerns should be conducted away from group observation.  
I understand that details are crucial. My maximum effort in refining all prescribed material and my concentration on all physical, mental, and emotional aspects of my next test examination will define my efforts to receive a passing grade. I pledge to practice while teaching others, to lead by setting a positive example, to demonstrate correct knowledge of movements, to envision my goals coming true, to work and train extra hard, and to continue my practice of lower belt material. I humbly pledge to practice patience.
  
To this, I pledge my all!


Training time before testing:	    12 to 36 months, or longer
Allotted Testing Time for Junior Black Belts (under age 15 ½):		    8 to 10 hours
Allotted Testing Time for 1st Degree Black Belts (over age 15 ½):	    8 to 10 hours


Black Belt Training Recommendations

All Black Belt members should take two group classes each week taught by the Academy Owners, and degreed Black Belts should take at least one private lesson each week. 
Being consistent is very important! That's why we require Black Belt graduates to attend two group classes and one private lesson for the allotted time period between each degreed level. If an instructor decides to teach a group class, then the Black Belt should teach the assigned class, participate in one or two group classes taught by the Chief Instructor, and take a weekly private lesson.  
Black Belt members will receive the option to test on time only if they demonstrate consistent class training and involvement. Those Black Belt Degree Members who take time off from training, attend only one class per week, or have inconsistent overall attendance, will be required to wait for testing privileges for 5 years or longer.
Black Belt Members who demonstrate responsibility, accountability and dependability are gems to their Academy and are deserving of great respect and admiration.   
Keep Sparring! 

Junior Black Belt - (Our “Teacher’s Assistant” Level)
At this level, students learn additional grab techniques, offensive & defensive movements that are easy, fun, but highly effective by design. Our Juniors are encouraged to participate in tournament competition, keep sparring, keep attending our monthly and association programs, and ultimately prepare to secure their Black Belt status by testing for the 1st Degree Black Belt (Associate Instructor’s Level).

Junior Black Belt (Pledge)

I understand that I am at a new and exciting level of training and that the previous belt levels and material were only a taste of what’s to come. 
As my skills and time in self-defense grow, I pledge not to bully or misuse Kenpo to hurt or embarrass others, just because I have acquired the skills to do so. I pledge a continued effort to sharpen my martial arts skills by assisting in teaching, by practicing my old material, and by discovering new and exciting ways to develop the skills as a model martial arts performer. In my understanding, karate is a constant and I am always learning and developing over time through deliberate practice.
I pledge to consider testing for 1st Degree Black Belt by the age of 16 or risk losing my Black Belt status. I understand that to secure my Black Belt status I must test for the 1st Degree Black Belt before age 17 and if I don't test for my 1st Degree, I will have to forfeit my Black Belt, and be required once again to wear the Brown/Black Belt until the completion of the 1st Degree Black Belt Test. 
I pledge to offer respect toward the position of a teacher. I pledge to hold my Junior Black Belt rank with high regard and integrity. I also pledge to humble myself in front of all lower ranking students by freely offering my services to them, to help my peers succeed. I pledge to strive to attain higher Black Belt Degrees by putting my best self forward while performing Kenpo Karate with motivation, clarity, intensity, and system understanding.
         
To this, I pledge my all!

Training time before testing:	    12 months, or longer
Allotted Testing Time for our “juniors”: 	    8 to 10 hours



1st Degree Black Belt (teens & adults)
Not everyone makes it to this level! However, many people do!
At this expert level, students learn additional grab techniques, offensive & defensive movements that are easy, fun, but highly effective by design. Our teens and adults will learn to use a bow (staff) effectively and to take away knives and guns from an opponent, and then if necessary, turn the weapon against the attacker. 
A special note: No bullies have ever made it to the Black Belt level with Flaherty’s Kenpo Karate. Testing candidates have to demonstrate the proper mindset as described within these pledges before achieving 1st Degree Black Belt status, or higher. 

This is the weapons level!


1st Degree Black Belt (Pledge)

I understand that this is but the beginning of a journey. I pledge to wear my Black Belt proudly at the Kenpo Academy or within the association and to respect and honor all instructors with higher degrees. As I continue to rank higher than others, I pledge to humble myself in front of all FKKA members seeking help or sound leadership advice. I pledge not to be drawn into conversations regarding training or karate instruction outside of the Academy where lessons are not professionally provided.   
I completely understand that my abilities as an “EXPERT” in the field of martial arts call for conducting myself in an honest, professional, respectable, trustworthy, and reliable manner, without any partiality, which will ultimately demonstrate my commitment to the ideals that Flaherty’s Kenpo Karate was founded upon. 
I pledge never to turn my back on any student seeking help or who might be in pursuit of detailed learning. I pledge to offer my knowledge freely without any questions, hesitations, or reservations to under-ranking students who have a genuine interest in developing. I further vow to look for opportunities to teach others, to be modest but confident while helping those in lower ranks, to be able to demonstrate fluidity of movement, to practice self-discipline, and to be open to new opportunities for thriving while learning innovative martial arts skills and techniques.
To this, I pledge my all!

Training time before testing:	    12 to 24 months
Allotted Testing Time:	    8 to 10 hours



2nd Degree Black Belt
At this expert level, students discover highly effective circular movements, insightful information and content, while gearing each practitioner toward higher levels of speed, principles, theories, and concepts designed to overwhelm an aggressor with strategically practiced self-defense techniques and forms. 

2nd Degree Black Belt (Pledge)

I understand that I have reached the “Instructor” level of Flaherty’s Kenpo Karate. I further understand that after 3 years of active duty in learning, developing, and teaching karate class sessions, I will qualify for testing privileges. 
I pledge to cooperate with higher-ranking instructors regarding my training in private or group lessons and class lectures in a way that welcomes higher-level learning, advice, and knowledge. 
I pledge to further my understanding with a greater degree of proficiency while learning all prescribed material in a timely manner, and to perform all requirements with proper energy, intensity and integrity. 
I pledge an unwavering commitment to my family, my education, my teachers, and to the ideals of Flaherty’s Kenpo Karate.

To this, I pledge my all!

Training time before testing:	     48 months (of active duty), or longer
Allotted Testing Time:	    2-hours, or longer



3rd Degree Black Belt
At this level, students partake in a higher degree of circular movements, rounding corners, engaging the flow, while developing graphing insights with spontaneous blending. 

Spontaneity trumps formality!


3rd Degree Black Belt (Pledge):

I understand that I have reached the “Head Instructor” level of Flaherty’s Kenpo Karate. I further understand that after 4 years of active duty in learning, developing, and teaching karate class sessions, I will qualify for testing privileges. 
I pledge a continued effort to lead others by performance demonstration, whether in group or private classes. I pledge to demonstrate my commitment to all Chief Instructors, to the Academy, to the community, and to lower level students by leading and teaching with honesty, great enthusiasm, appropriate energy and ultimately, with a positive attitude.
I pledge to offer insightful information, principles, theories, and concepts to all practitioners who seek to benefit from my guidance. I understand when knowledge is shared with others, it will live, and if not shared, it will not grow or develop. I will also take on the responsibility to offer unselfish assistance to all fellow men and women who seek to benefit from the martial arts. 
I pledge my all to my family, my education, my teachers, and to the Flaherty’s Kenpo Karate Association.
To this, I pledge my all!

Training time before testing:	    48 months (of active duty), or longer
Allotted Testing Time:	    2-hours, or longer


4th Degree Black Belt
At this level, students achieve a greater sense of spontaneity, higher forms, and insightful strategies on the simplicity and complexities of self-defense.

4th Degree Black Belt (Pledge)

I understand that I have reached the “Senior Instructor” level of Flaherty’s Kenpo Karate. I further understand that after 4 years of active duty in teaching martial arts, partaking in community service, and developing my skills, I will qualify for testing privileges. 
I understand that practitioners of karate may perform at different mental, physical, or emotional levels, and I will therefore respect each practitioner's abilities as being unique to his or her individual performance. I pledge not to look down upon lower level students seeking help. I further pledge not to be judgmental with other karate members and never, at any time, to correct an instructor of higher rank regarding stances, material, perception, or knowledge. 
I pledge to offer assistance to my academy as if the DOJO were my own. I also pledge to make an effort to attend test examinations regarding the promotions of under-rank students. I further pledge to be fair and just and to display good character to all members of the F.K.K.A.
   
To this, I pledge my all!

Training time before testing:	    48 months (of active duty), or longer
Allotted Testing Time:	    2-hours, or longer



5th Degree Black Belt
This is the Associate Professor level. When testing for the next degree, these professionals will be required to explain verbally and physically all techniques with a partner, and perform forms and sets with a partner. All tests must be completed with no more than 10 errors. Greater than 10 errors will result in the next degree being placed on hold until mistakes are corrected and until another test date is scheduled. During the follow-up test date, spot-checking will be conducted on all previous errors, and only 3 errors will be allowed.
Testing for the 6th Degree Black Belt is considered the most difficult of all scheduled examinations. Testing candidates are required to be patient at this level, thorough in all material explanations and knowledge, present the correct system details, and when called upon by the Grandmaster or higher degree witnesses, reflect on speed movements, principles, theories, and concepts (if not already explained during the testing procedures / examination).   

At this level, “Be patient, understanding, and thorough.” 


5th Degree Black Belt (Pledge)

I understand that I have reached the “Associate Professor” level of Flaherty’s Kenpo Karate. I further understand that after 4 years of active duty in teaching martial arts, participating in community service, and developing my skills, I will qualify for testing privileges.    
I understand, defusing volatile situations and placating irate customers are essential skills when influencing people and winning friends. I pledge to set the best example. I understand that it’s easy to spot problems in efficiency and service, but it takes a true leader to find positive answers. I pledge to make it a habit to present thoughtful solutions or give others the opportunity to help solve potential problems. I pledge not to micromanage my staff of karate teachers or student members. 
I am aware that this level of achievement demands greater respect, honor and responsibilities. I pledge a higher dedication to the commitment of my training and teaching. At this point, going forward, it’s my responsibility to make certain that students of all lower levels are conducting themselves in a respectable, trustworthy, and reliable manner while inside or outside the Academy. 
To this, I pledge my all!


Training time before testing:	    48 months (of active duty), or longer
Allotted Testing Time:	   2-hours, or longer 



6th Degree Black Belt
At this level, professors are spot checked on material with a partner (hands-on).  The FKKA Professors are encouraged to continue their workshops and seminar education of rearrangement concepts while studying the F.K.K.A. Core Programs.

6th Degree Black Belt (Pledge)

I understand that I have reached the “Professor” level of Flaherty’s Kenpo Karate. I further understand that after 4 years of active duty in teaching martial arts, taking part in community service, and developing my skills, I will qualify for testing privileges. 
As an advanced degree Black Belt, I pledge a continued effort to respect all members and non-members with honesty, integrity and accountability. I especially pledge greater respect toward the higher levels of Kenpo Karate or other martial arts disciplines of study. 
I understand that humility is considered an essential character trait within the higher FKKA degrees. I pledge to remain acceptable to higher degree learning by keeping an open mind toward new, innovative ideas of business, self-defense, Kenpo principles, theories and concepts. I further pledge to keep in mind that Kenpo innovation is always evolving, and, if necessary, I pledge to change, overcome, and adapt as needed. 
I pledge my all to my family, my education, my teachers, and to the ideals that Flaherty’s Kenpo Karate was founded upon.
To this, I pledge my all!

Training time before testing:	    48 months (of active duty), or longer
Allotted Testing Time:	    1-hour, or longer



7th Degree Black Belt
At this level, testing becomes honorary. Congratulations – No Testing Required! These respected professionals are encouraged to continue their workshop and seminar education taught by higher degrees of rearrangement concepts and out-of-the-box training.


7th Degree Black Belt (Pledge)

I understand that I have reached the “Senior Professor” level of Flaherty’s Kenpo Karate. I further understand that after 5 years of active duty in teaching martial arts, taking part in community service and developing my skills, I will qualify for testing privileges.
I pledge an understanding that upcoming test examinations will be honorary in form. I also understand – going forward - that no physical test will be required of me. It’s understood that the higher I rise in the ranks, the more I will realize how much I don’t know, and the more Kenpo insights I will have to learn.
I understand that the conduct of our students can have a powerful impact on the ideals and integrity of Flaherty’s Kenpo Karate. I pledge that any time the integrity of the FKKA becomes compromised; it will be my responsibility to offer corrective action to resolve any conflicts of bad behavior or poor ethical judgment. 

I also hold that teaching is a valuable part of my training. "The more I teach others, the more I will practice, and the better I will become.” I further understand that good examples are demonstrated, not told. I pledge to set a good example and encourage kind behavior on a daily bases. I will also refrain from “gossip.” I understand that gossip will diminish the FKKA team spirit and may harm the team’s performance.

To this, I pledge my all!

Time in service before next degree:		    60 months (of active duty)



8th Degree Black Belt
At this Associate Master level testing is honorary.  Congratulations – No Testing Required! These respected professionals are encouraged to continue their workshop and seminar education taught by higher degrees of rearrangement concepts and out-of-the-box training, and if necessary, offer instructional seminars and self-defense workshops to under-ranking students of all levels.

8th Degree Black Belt (Pledge)

I understand that I have reached the “Associate Master” level of Flaherty’s Kenpo Karate. I further understand that after 5 years of active duty in teaching, business ownership, and martial arts community service, I will qualify for honorary testing privileges. 
I pledge to offer insightful information to all people who seek to benefit from my extensive martial arts studies. I understand that people have unique training capabilities, and I pledge to foster a friendly but serious attitude that will accommodate diversity in all members by offering everyone the equal opportunity to grow and to develop at his or her own pace. 
I pledge to set a positive example by assuming the best in all people, not speculating about the worst. I further pledge to practice excellent customer service while offering respectful words and thoughts toward higher Black Belt Degree Members.  I further vow to offer words of acceptance and approval to both lower and higher level karate practitioners and instructors, as well as our spectators. 
I pledge my all to my family, my education, my teachers, and to my karate association. 
  
To this, I pledge my all!

Time in service before next degree:		    60 months (of active duty)



9th Degree Black Belt
Master’s Level! Congratulations – No Testing Required! In addition, the F.K.K.A. appreciates and respects your years of dedication and commitment.

9th Degree Black Belt (Pledge)

I understand that I have reached the “Master” level of Flaherty’s Kenpo Karate. At this F.K.K.A. level I understand that after 3 years of active duty in teaching, business ownership, and community service, I will have the opportunity to have the title of “Senior Master” automatically bestowed upon me. I further understand giving my time and service for an additional 2 years will qualify me for honorary testing privileges. 
At this high degree level, I will pledge a continued effort to offer FKKA instruction to local communities who require the need to learn a real self-defense system. I further acknowledge that my earned degree reflects my great efforts and commitment to the ideals of martial arts within our local community, and is not a degree for power, but of service.
I pledge an ongoing effort to learn from all practitioners willing to share, realizing that learning and growing never quite finishes. I pledge to practice by teaching classes and workshops to the best of my abilities while offering the greater detail and expertise not learned in regular group or private class sessions. 
I pledge my all to my God, to my family, to my country, to my karate, education, the Academy, and to the Association.  

To this, I pledge my all!

Time in service before next degree:	60 months (of active duty)



10th Degree Black Belt (Grandmaster’s Level) 
Congratulations! You’ve made it. Yay!!! Now it’s time to have an award (Degree) winning party in your honor.

10th Degree Black Belt (Pledge)

As a Grandmaster, I pledge to offer insightful content, energy, and wisdom to all FKKA members and Association Partners. I pledge a continued effort to freely share key concepts, principles and theories developed during my years of martial arts studies, dedication, and growth to all who seek to benefit. 
I further pledge to give others the opportunity to grow and develop in their studies of self-defense, martial arts and specifically in Kenpo Karate. I pledge to encourage all FKKA participants through my honesty, generosity, kindness, and sincerity while offering earned belts or degrees at all levels and ranks.
I pledge never to offer stripes, awards, belts or degrees to anyone who hasn’t fully earned the title, status, or level. I further pledge to appreciate the FKKA system as an inspired karate system from our heavenly creator and prompted by Grandmaster Randall K. Flaherty.       
I pledge my all to my God, to my family, to my country, karate, education, Academy, and to Flaherty’s Kenpo Karate Association. 
   
To this, I pledge my all!


Group Pledges:

Beginner Level (Pledge)

I understand that I am but a beginner in the realm of martial arts, about to learn new and exciting karate movements. I further understand the more classes I attend, the more time I will have to practice and develop my martial arts skills. I know that as I pursue the FKKA Black Belt or higher, training will become more difficult and the material of study more challenging. 
I understand that more personal effort will be required of me, and giving up is not an option.
I pledge to demonstrate my self-discipline by knuckling down and focusing on any subject matter at hand – be it school homework and grades, a task, or the art of Kenpo Karate.
 
To this, I pledge my all!


Intermediate Level (Pledge)

I understand that I demonstrate respect for my teachers and myself by training repeatedly and being thoroughly prepared for higher test examinations. I understand that as a student, my self-defense can be offensive and hurt others if misused. I pledge never to misuse or create offenses toward other people, and especially never to misuse the art of Kenpo Karate in any violent manner other than for self-defense purposes. 
As I progress in learning the FKKA art, I pledge to practice respect at all times, inside and outside the karate academy, in class sessions, at home, at school and in front of my friends, family and teachers.  
I pledge to try my best, to think positively, and to imagine myself at the desired ranks while achieving my higher karate goals.
  
To this, I pledge my all!


Adults & Teens (Pledge)

I understand that I am at a new and exciting level of training and that my previous belt level and material were only a taste of what’s to come. 
I pledge to self-motivate, to understand the meaning behind movements, to project confidence and to show enthusiasm for my karate training by knowing the required material. I understand that sparring is a must and shouldn’t be avoided. I further pledge to develop better stances, to be serious and responsible toward my training commitments, and to begin getting the “Black Belt” attitude of focus, determination, perseverance and self-respect as I make great efforts to respect others. 
I completely understand that my abilities as a “STUDENT” in the field of martial arts call for conducting myself in an honest, professional, respectable, trustworthy and reliable manner, without any partiality, which will ultimately demonstrate my commitment to the ideals that Flaherty’s Kenpo Karate was founded upon. 

To this, I pledge my all!


Advanced Level (Pledge)

I understand that I am at a higher level of training and that my previous belt level and material were only a taste of what’s to come.  
I pledge a continued effort to sharpen my martial arts skills by focusing on both the physical and mental aspects of Flaherty’s Kenpo Karate. I understand the physical material will consist of exercises, basics, techniques, forms, sparring and sets, and both the mental and physical aspects must be considered in the breaking of boards or bricks, meditation, history and system details in the introduction to advanced self-defense concepts, principles and theories.
As my skills and time in self-defense grow, I pledge not to bully or misuse Kenpo to hurt or embarrass others, just because I have acquired the skills to do so. I pledge a continued effort to sharpen my martial arts skills by assisting in teaching, by practicing my old material, and by discovering new and exciting ways to develop the skills as a model martial arts performer. I understand that karate is a constant, and I am learning and developing over time through deliberate practice.
In my understanding, details are crucial. My maximum effort in refining all prescribed material and my concentration on all physical, mental, and emotional aspects of my next test examination will define my efforts to receive a passing grade. I pledge to practice while teaching others, to lead by setting a positive example, to demonstrate correct knowledge of movements, to envision my goals coming true, to work and train extra hard, and to continue my practice of lower belt material. I humbly pledge to practice patience.

To this, I pledge my all!
Written & prepared by:     Grandmaster Randall Flaherty
Posted on:     February 18, 2016
Revised on:     August 3, 2017

                   WELCOME!
Our pledges have been written for the viewing pleasure of the local community of families, students, and instructors. The pledges range from yellow belt (beginner’s level) up to and including 10th Degree Black Belt (the Grandmaster’s Level). 
The F.K.K.A. pledges are designed to let students know what is expected of them as members of our Martial Arts community, including the information necessary to go on to new belt achievements. This includes training insights, training times in between levels, and the allotted time given for each test examination. 
Those interested in starting at Flaherty's Kenpo Karate Association are eligible to receive a free trial class, and, upon joining, a free student uniform with no contracts involved and one free month. Why not begin your karate journey today?  

Our pledges are as follows: