No “Masters”. No Baby Junior Black Belts.


The School of the Way uses a 9 Belt system (White through Black) and there is no junior Black Belt system. We believe that issuing Black Belts to young children sets them up for failure (encouraging them to think they “know it all”) further down the road when they may need to be active in the martial arts the most.


Instead, we issue “Dans” or degrees of lower belts until the child reaches 12-13 years old and then move them up through The Order of Black Belt as they become more and more proficient martial artists and achieve the goals set in their Life Plan.


The School of the Way’s Order of Black Belt:


Street Clothes


Patch (Accepted into the School of the Way as a member of the school)










1st Degree - You have become a simple Teacher

2nd Degree - You have demonstrated a proven commitment to others

3rd Degree - You have demonstrated s proven commitment to community

4th Degree - You have let go of your own ego.  There is no "I" 

5th Degree - You have reshaped the world for the better 

We believe that the word Master is something that other people call you - but you don’t call yourself. We are simple Teachers—and most importantly we are students of the martial arts and students of life and mastery.


Only students and students who teach.