To earn rank, you usually only have to:
- Come to the required number classes.
- Follow the rules and try to do everything you are taught.
- Take a test and satisfactorily perform minimum requirements for the rank.
- Then, you start the process over again for the next belt.
Some organizations or schools have very tough requirements for rank and they strictly enforce the requirements, so rank is difficult to acquire. Other organizations and schools have limited requirements for rank and they are lax in enforcing the requirements, so acquiring rank is practically automatic.
Some present day instructors and organizations have a "student follows the rank" philosophy. They believe that if you give a student a rank, the student will then try to live up to the rank. They believe that, even if the student does not possesses the qualities required of a rank at the present time, if the student is given the rank, the student will then want to acquire the required qualities. Thus, they promote practically all students who test. Traditional instructors and organizations follow the "rank follows the student" philosophy. They believe that when a student possesses the qualities required of a rank, the student should be promoted to that rank. They only promote students who possess the qualities required of a rank, not students who merely desire the rank. Thus, students may test many times before they are awarded rank.