We are pleased to announce that we plan to host Black Belt exams before the year is out. Like everything in 2020, they will be different. But like every year at Enso, we will celebrate the students who have traveled a long journey in their path to mastering the basics and earning their Dan rank.
We know you must have a million questions. We’ll try to answer them below.
Who is testing?!
Please join us in congratulating this year’s exam candidates!
Candidates for Shodan (1st degree black belt)
Candidates for Nidan (2nd degree black belt)
Candidates for Sandan (3rd degree black belt)
There are additional eligible candidates who have chosen to test at a later date.
What are the COVID safety precautions?
Of course any indoor activities require strict precautions, which is why we plan to:
- Limit Capacity: Only 3 candidates will test at a time, and 12 is the maximum number of people who will ever be in the large exam room. That number includes:
- 3 candidates
- 3 in-person judges — Sensei Jay, Sensei Denise, and Sensei Saul
- 6 in-person guests — 2 per candidate; must be from the same household
- Require Masks: Every person in the room, including the candidates, must wear a mask at all times. Candidates will be allowed brief “mask and water breaks,” one at a time, at designated intervals.
- Clean Between Groups: We will sanitize floor mats, seating areas, and high-touch surfaces like door handles between each testing group.
- Modify the Exam: Each exam group will last 45 minutes. The exam will not include any contact with other candidates or judges. Candidates will experience all the typical requirements for Kihon (basics) and Kata, but Kumite will be restricted to the advanced 1-step sparring combos, conducted at a 6-foot distance.
We also understand that the COVID situation is fluid, and both official restrictions and our individual comfort zones are changing all the time. Enso may choose to reschedule if the city restrictions change, or if we decide it would not be safe to proceed with our plans. Individual candidates might also choose to test online, or wait to test on a future exam date. We aim to be flexible and supportive of all our students’ choices.
Where will the test take place?
As you know, we don’t have a physical dojo location right now. We’re working on confirming an exam location.
How can the Enso community help these candidates?
Exam dates are always special — for the candidates, obviously, but also for all the instructors, classmates, and parents who helped prepare them along the way. That’s why our exam dates usually include the entire Enso community, from the morning seminars to the well-attended afternoon exam to the evening celebration ceremony (and even to the after-parties). This year, we can’t gather in the same way. But the candidates need us more than ever. Here’s what you can do to support them:
- Training: Train with them. Hold them to a high standard. Give them helpful comments during class. If you see them struggle, send them an encouraging text after class. If you see them looking awesome, tell them that too.
- Spectating: Just like you’d show up in-person, show up virtually! Plan to attend the exam via Zoom on Saturday, Dec. 19th. Closer to the date, we’ll release a schedule so you can see when your friends will be testing. You’ll be able to see them, and they’ll be able to see you. Your smiles, your cheers, and your presence will mean the world to them.
- Celebrating: Just like you’d show up at our traditional banquet in Chinatown, show up for our virtual celebration on Sunday, Dec. 20th. More details TBA.
Will regularly scheduled classes be canceled?
Yes. All of our instructors will be busy administering the exam, and we want everyone in the Enso community to tune in to support their classmates and instructors as they take this important step.