KAJUKENBO belt tests are "infamous". I have had the honor of witnessing some of the best from every branch in our system.
Each one has its own local "flavor", but if it's really
KAJUKENBO, there are, and should always be unmistakable traditions.
The opening ceremonies, warm-up, forms, techniques (all of them for that particular rank, not "abbreviated"), many times followed by SIJO's famous "bull ring" or multiple attackers in a freestyle fighting situation. Then after conferring with all Black Belts present as to whether each student passed or not there is usually a group consensus as to where they will stand in line. Of course that final decision is up to the schools Chief Instructor.
Many of the brutal, grueling tests that are 99% of the time misunderstood by friends and family watching their first test are designed to test the perseverance of the individual as opposed to simply making them "puke" or humiliate them. (Very important to "prep" first time KAJUKENBO test watchers!)
The "whipping" tradition, as I remember it, was introduced by SIJO in the late '70's and in his own words was intended to "Wake up the Spirit" of that student/instructor.
The "whipping" ceremony was never intended to be a part of "under belt" promotions. Black Belts and above "ONLY".
Somehow I knew that in time this special, unique honor would be adapted for all belts. WRONG! This a continuing problem with our system. Traditions and methods are ignored and "changed" without approval or regard for their purpose.
These traditions reserved for black belts were created and put into place for a reason. When these unique concepts are breached, the true meaning and reasons for them is lost forever.
For example, "Students (under Black Belt) wear RED T-shirts, Black Belts wear BLACK". Sounds trivial to many, oh well! This tradition has been in place for ever to identify "who's, who".
This subject is only a part of one of my "pet peeves" with KAJUKENBO.
SIJO said, "Be CREATIVE!". To be creative does NOT mean to "CHANGE". Every KAJUKENBO tradition that "unauthorized" individuals (and there are more than you can imagine) chips away at the very heart and foundation of our system.
A word of advice, if your not sure, or do not really know the "true" tradition of KAJUKENBO (or any part of it), simply ask someone that really does.
Along with the ceremony is of course the infamous "Kiai Drills" or as I see it described here being "pinned". Although the term "pinned" is a way of describing the tradition, never once in my training with the Late Grandmaster Aleju Reyes and to this very day with our SIJO, they, nor I have never used that term.
And then finally, there has to be a BBQ/Party to celebrate the students hard work and since of Ohana (the getting together and promotion of family togetherness)
Time has seen the evolution of our traditions and growth, but there are certain things that should never be fooled with!