"The ultimate aim of the art of karate lies not in victory or defeat,
but in the perfection of the characters of its participants." – Gichin Funakoshi
The goal of karate-do is to polish one's mind and body. The most effective way for us to do so is by pushing through hardship. Only then do we truly realize how much stronger we are than we previously thought. At Special Trainings, we gather a few times a year to push ourselves through extreme hardship together in what may be called the heart of our practice.
Karateka of all ranks and ages from all across each region come together for several days of very intense, physically and mentally demanding practice. We eat, sleep, and practice together, intentionally secluded from distractions to train with the utmost focus and determination. This environment is a wonderful place to meet and practice with many new fellow karateka from across the region.
Special Trainings are a chance to really "face ourselves" strictly, as there is no escape. Anyone who begins a Special Training is not allowed to leave until it is complete without the permission of the chief instructor or face permanent banishment from SKA dojos. This challenge is the best opportunity for all serious karateka to learn and grow a great deal by forcing themselves to their furthest limits mentally and physically.
Only immediately after completing a Summer Special Training are karateka usually allowed to test for dan, or black belt rank. Dan candidates must demonstrate the will to exert themselves fully all through Special Training and yet still have the ability to keep pushing more to have a good dan test.