I put this in the karate section because that's what I do, but the question is open to all styles as far as I'm concerned. Did anyone here fail a test for Black Belt? Or watch a fellow student fail theirs? If so, how do/did you feel about it? Perhaps I'm coming at this with the blinders of my style, but anyone who tests for black should pass; otherwise they weren't ready to test in the first place. As the first kyu students get closer and closer to black, they are being constantly "tested" in class to see their progress. Although something catastrophic could happen (eg. complete mental blank when they go up), the actual test for black isn't really to see if their technique is good enough; we know that already. From oral testing, we have an idea of where their minds are. The real purpose of our black belt test is to give the candidates a platform to show what they can do, and to test them in other ways (eg. testing the spirit by working them to the point of exhaustion and seeing their attitude when asked to do something more). In a very real way, it's designed to make the candidates believe they've earned it (even though 95% of what goes into earning it happens weeks, months, and years prior to the test). On this basis, if we say someone's ready to test for their black belt, and they fail, then as the people setting the test, aren't we at least partly to blame for the failure? Does your dojo take a similar approach? If not, what are the differences?