Since 2013 we've been involved with karate at Maine Dojo. It started with our youngest son. Then my hubby started. And finally we "convinced" our middle son to give it a go. He was rather reluctant about the whole thing. Overall we've been very pleased with their progress and dedication to the sport (hubby included).
Early in May both my hubby and my middle son tested for their new rank. The ironic thing is that these two have not been participating as long my youngest and they now both out rank him. He seems to be doing well with this fact and I expect him to catch up to his brother shortly.
My son is now a purple belt. This is the start of the intermediate ranks. The belts go white, yellow, and orange for beginners. Then purple, blue, and green for intermediate. Lastly are brown and black for the advanced levels.
The best part of obtaining purple belt? The black gi! So much easier to keep clean! I think it makes me happier than it does my guys.
This particular dojo does half ranks where they earn stripes before earning a new belt. For anyone in the younger student classes, stripes are used all the way up through. However, in the junior adult (ages 12+) and adult classes, the only belt advancement that doesn't have a stripe is when you go from orange to purple. This is one of reasons my middle son now outranks my youngest. My youngest has a purple stripe but he just moved up to the junior adult class this year after obtaining that rank. Anyway....
My hubby earned his blue stripe on his purple belt. He has advanced very quickly. This is partly due to the fact that he took karate in college. The other reason is he practices quite a bit at home and at the gym. He really enjoys karate.
I'm just glad my boys have an outlet for exercise and that they enjoy it. My middle son also now takes Brazilian jiu jitsu (BJJ) classes at the dojo as well. What is BJJ? In very basic terms it is wrestling - as far as I understand it. He seems to really be liking it. He's only been taking those classes since this past January and really seems to be enjoying that as well.