Grade Promotion Generally
Like most things, more effort and time you put into training, the better the results will be. Students should aim to train at least twice a week. Try to get into a routine, and regular training will see improvements within a few months. A student is expected to achieve more complex techniques with each grading. Each grading requires a student to learn a different form (Pin an for Ji grades, Luohan for Duan grades). Power kicking is tested, and with each grade, a student is expected to execute a different kick on a break board. As the grades progress, more complicated forms of sparring, self-defence, slow kicking and stance endurance are also tested.
All students will progress within the Academy at their own pace, and grade when their instructor believes they are ready. Progression in the art reflects your own technical abilities and mental focus. No two students will therefore necessarily progress at the same rate. Do not be disheartened if you progress slower than someone else, all students experience peaks and troughs at different stages. In any case, the harder a goal is to achieve, the greater the sense of satisfaction. Ultimately, training is for your own personal self-development.
There are monthly Thau forms classes held at Grays HQ, and green belts and above from all clubs are encouraged to attend. These classes will introduce the new Yi Chuan forms, to replace the Pin An forms. The new forms are more practical and advanced and represent an important development in our art.
There are also monthly Tooi Ta sparring classes at Grays HQ which are open to all grades from all clubs. These classes will concentrate on practical combinations, footwork and reflex practice.
Senior monthly classes are also held at Grays HQ, which are open to blue belts and above. They provide a good opportunity to practice the advanced forms, the Advanced Kicking forms, and to learn more complex techniques and combinations.
The higher grade obtained, the more terminology is required. You can find this in your membership book.
CLICK HERE to learn about the Rules and Discipline all students should adopt when training in the Wu Kwan.
Ji Grade Promotion Beginners Level
An ambidextrous usage of all techniques is required for all grades. Beginners will need to know the Ready Stance Chun Mei Ma Bu, the Horse Stance Ping Ma Bu, the Forward Stance Chien Ma Bu and the Back Stance Hou Ma Bu. Beginners may be required to perform basic hand strikes and blocks, including low section forearm block, high section forearm block, outside to insude forearm block, inside to outside forearm block, high and middle punches, and knife hand forearm strike and block.
There will be an impact test with respect of a different kick for each grading.
10th-9th Ji: Front thrust kick Chien Chuai Ti
9th Ji-8th Ji: Side thrust kick Cher Chuai Ti
8th Ji-7th Ji: Round House kick Chuan Ti
10th-9th Ji: Basic Form 1 Chee Pen Ee Thau
9th Ji-8th Ji: Basic Form 2 Chee Pen Er Thau
8th Ji-7th Ji: Basic Form 3 Chee Pen San Thau
Beginners will be expected to know rules of etiquette and discipline, the answer to questions regarding the seven principles, and should be able to execute a correct shout Harn, how to retain eye focus and execute simple combinations. Beginners will also be required to demonstrate a basic level of ability in free sparring in terms of spirit and self control.
Ji Grade Promotion Intermediate Level One
At this stage stances should be reasonably defined, and allow for better balance, speed and correct use of hip power. Intermediate Level 1 students may be required to demonstrate more complex hand techniques such as heel blocks, heel strikes, vertical punches, knife fist strike, back fist strike, elbow strikes and spear hand strikes. Intermediate Level 1 students will also be expected to know the kicks outlined below, as well as the outside to inside crescent kick Wai Kou Ti, front and round house knee kicks.
7th Ji-6th Ji: Outside to inside drop kick Wai Chuai Ti
6th Ji- 5th Ji: Inside to outside drop kick Nei Chuai Ti
5th Ji-4th Ji: Jump Front thrust kick Thiau Chien Chuai Ti
7th Ji- 6th Ji: Yi Chuen Ee Thau
6th Ji- 5th Ji: Yi Chuen Er Thau
5th Ji-4th Ji: Yi Chuen San Thau
Intermediate Level 1 students will have a basic understanding of eye focus, use of stances, speed, power, balance and mental concentration. They should know the Chinese Terminology for their techniques. They should also demonstrate a reasonable level of ability and control in their free sparring.
Ji Grade Promotion Intermediate Level 2
At this stage, candidates should be flexible enough to use stances correctly, including the Advanced Forward Stance Pa Chan Ma. They should also be able to use stances in conjunction with evasion involving the Eight Cardinal Points of movement, distance, line and timing. They should have a basic knowledge of self defence.
Intermediate Level 2 students may be required to perform complex blocking and concurrent hand techniques including low section forearm reverse block, wing hand block and the mirror hand. They should be able to execute short range techniques such as reverse knife hand groin strike, downward elbow strike, rear elbow strike, short range back fist and knife fist strikes. In addition to the kicks outlined below, Intermediate Level 2 students should be able to perform stomp kick, spinning back kick, inside ot outside crescent kick and sweep kicks.
4th Ji- 3rd Ji: Back Thrust Kick Hou Chuai Ti
3rd Ji-2nd Ji: Jump Side Thrust Kick Thiau Cher Chuai Ti
2nd Ji-2st Ji: Jump Round House Kick Thiau Chuan Ti
4th Ji- 3rd Ji: Yi Chuen Ser Thau
3rd Ji- 2nd Ji: Yi Chuen Wu Thau
2nd Ji- 1st Ji: Revision of all previous forms including Kicking Form One Ee Cheang Ti Thau
Intermediate Level 2 students are expected to have a basic knowledge of training safety and understand the rules of the Wu Kwan. They should take some responsibility for the Wu Kwan, ensuring it is clean and safe before use. They should be able to assist the instructor in teaching beginners. They should understand basic physiology of practice and understand the principles of movement and evasion.
Duan Grade Promotion
The Duan Grade Syllabus is extremely wide ranging. A hard copy should be obtained from your instructor which will detail the technical requirements.
All Duan grades are also reminded of the need to work together in order to develop as a family. For that reason, there must be a complete and total standardisation of practice and philosophy within the Academy. This will be achieved by regular contact time spent in the Wu Kwan with the Founder and his senior instructors.
Once black belt is achieved, this signifies an understanding of the basic building blocks of Tang Sou Dao, and it is time for proper application and understanding. A black belt should understand that their training is just beginning. Duan grades should also have achieved a level of authority and maturity as a result of long-term training and discipline. They should ensure the junior belts and beginners feel at ease in class, and provide assistance where necessary.
Compulsory Attendance of Red Belt and Duan Grade Workshop
In order to undertake a Duan grading, all senior belts must attend a certain number of Red Belt and Duan grade workshops of which there are three this year.
Red- 1st Duan: Minimum 1
1st Duan- 1st Duan Senior: Minimum 1
1st Duan Senior- 2nd Duan: Minimum 2
2nd Duan-3rd Duan: Minimum 4
3rd Duan-4th Duan: Minimum 5
4th Duan- 5th Duan: Minimum 6
Compulsory Senior Classes
In addition, there are monthly senior classes held at Grays HQ open to blue belts and above.
Red belts and above must attend an annual minimum of 4 for those residing less than 50 miles radius of HQ and an annual minimum of 2 for those residing more than 50 miles radius from HQ. A Duan grading will take several hours. All Duan grade syllabuses are available to Red belts and above on request to your instructor.