Kyu test is normally a biannual event held in April and November to honor Master Funakoshi near the day of his birth and the day of his death. SKA members demonstrate the fundamental aspects of karate-do and seniors assess their progress as karateka in the Shotokan Ohshima teachings on that day, and that day alone. This focused judgment of an individual karateka emphasizes the need for a highly focused mind when a situation demands it.
Kyu test is divided into the three main aspects of our techniques (kihon, kata, and kumite), but encompasses all of a karateka’s behavior inside and outside the dojo. Everything shows through in one’s practice, especially when challenged and put in a stressful situation. One can not prepare for kyu test the night before, but must foster an advanced mentality and physicality by attending practice and polishing oneself consistently.
Kyu test may be thought of as an opportunity to receive the most honest, critical feedback on a clear snapshot of one’s practice and development as an individual, rather than as a test one only passes or fails. Regardless of the results of one’s test, each karateka should be able to depart from kyu test with a refreshed frame of mind, able to re-evaluate and further advance his or her practice.