Requirements for 11th Degree Black Belt
(Master of Judo)

By Neil Ohlenkamp

Well before testing for this rank any experienced Judo teacher should have already learned these basic techniques:

Escape from Dojo the quick exit to avoid clean up and helping with the mats. Sleeper Stance standing at the corner of the dojo pretending to be observing the students as they sweat with exhaustion. Sigh of Wisdom sudden, forceful exhalation when a beginning student unexpectedly survives a dangerous body slam without injury. Crossing Fingers a hopeful posture used when uke has been choked unconscious. Gift of Instruction the act of taking credit whenever a student wins a tournament or performs a technique correctly. Seeing Without Seeing the dazed look of amazement given to the student who asks a stupid question. Kuchi Waza (mouth technique) using an hour of class time to answer the stupid question while students sit on their knees in seiza. Mugger’s Defense offering to lighten the student’s wallet to reduce the risk of confrontation. Sensei’s Downfall failing to ask for enough money to keep the dojo open.

Further requirements:

Must be able to walk on water (while it is in liquid form). Must be able to disable a man using only a Kleenex tissue as a weapon. Must be able to make up meaningless Zen koans on the spot. Must be able to catch a fly with chopsticks. Must be able to defeat multiple masked ninja movie warriors after they disclose their evil plans to you and leave you to die in an easily escapable situation. Must be able to voice over a Godzilla movie properly (i.e. coordination between the movement of the lips and the voice). Must be able to take a bullet (not in the chest of course but maybe in the foot or something). Must be able to make your own nuclear device with a piece of bubble gum, a pencil, some coconuts, and an alarm clock. Must be able to change into a judogi in a phone booth at any given moment. Must be able to sing Karaoke. Must be able to use nature to your advantage (e.g. sick a dog on the enemy, throw stones at him, climb a tree and hide…) Must be able to fight blindfolded and win (against blind competitors of course). Must have completed a course in “Basic Samurai Sushi”. Must be able to choreograph street fights for Jackie Chan movies. Must be able to use an opponent’s skill as a reason for defeat. Must be able to keep all bleeding internal. Must be able to trim an entire forest into a bonsai garden in 25 minutes or less.

Note: Laughing at any time will disqualify the potential 11th dan. If a member of the Senior Board of Examiners makes a comment and then waits expectantly, it may be an indication that he has just made a joke. A half-smile may be tried at this time, but in no other instance. If you are not quite ready for 11th degree black belt take your 1st degree black belt test now.

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