In Karate, just like all sports, a certain level of focus is required in order to maintain good performance levels and reach new potentials. Focus is extremely important, yet sometimes hard to maintain during karate training, we at Liberte Karate rewarded our students for their continuous good behaviour and constant focus with a 'focus stripe'. The focus stripe is a black band placed on the belt of the student agreed to have been displaying the best focus throughout the class. By only awarding one focus stripe per lesson, students are encouraged to challenge themselves to retain the same level of focus throughout the entire class yet also provides students with the opportunity to challenge others in the class for the stripe.
It is expected that students once awarded their focus stripe must consistently demonstrate the same level of focus in every class. Once they grade and achieve their new belt they start fresh without a focus stripe. It is now expected that their focus levels improve from their last rank, just as it is expected their technique or speed improves from belt to belt.
An example of the difference in focus we expect from different levels of age groups is obvious. As a 6 year old samurai yellow, it is expected they can stand in their lines in ready position listening to an instruction and then demonstrating that task with the supervision of their Instructor. However, the expectation for a 12 year old purple belt is that once given an instruction they can practice on their own or with a partner and motivating themselves with only broad supervision. Focus ultimately, must come from within and not be forced upon you by anyone else, including your Sensei.
To all Liberte Karate students, continue to stay focused in your quest to become a black belt! We believe in you all.