The Kids & Teens’ program is divided into eight levels (八段
Ba Duan) signified by the sash/belt (帶
Dai) ranking of colors from white-beginner's to black-advanced. Each belt is
further identified by one to three stripes. Before achieving the belt of the
next color ranking, the student must first be tested for each "tip" or stripe (級
Ji). After the third stripe is awarded, he or she is then qualified for the next
Originally, the idea of wearing the belt
came from Shuai Jiao (摔跤
Chinese Wrestling). The purpose of the belt worn
was to support the back and stomach muscles and to hold the Qi (氣
energy) in the Dan Tian (丹田
center of waist). Today the same purpose of wearing
belts is used by construction workers or any people physically involved with
Traditionally, new wrestling students would wear
white clothes (including belt), which they washed through the years, but not the
belt. Eventually, the belts would turn black. The common saying,
“Watch out for the wrestler with the black belt!” represented the
awareness of the years of experience the owner of the belt had.
Our school uses the color ranking of this system,
which purpose is to give the students recognition for their hard work, to
classify, motivate and challenge to the next sash/belt level, but also, at the
same time, maintaining the true purpose of the sash – to support/strengthen and
protect the waist – as the first priority.
The style taught in the kids and teens' program is Shaolin
Shaolin Long Fist). The main characteristics of the Shaolin Long
Fist are expansiveness and gracefulness in posture and agility and speed
in movement. Long Fist perform to the extreme of their
length. They move fast, jump high and far, and combine hardness and softness,
fast and slow motions, and stillness. The movements of long fist are quick,
powerful and rhythmic. Their generation of energy is forceful, and the origin and
outlet of the energy are clear.
Shaolin Changquan is more suitable to
youngsters who can enhance strength, speed, agility, elasticity and endurance
through exercise and practice. It helps develop the physique and teach the
techniques and skills in offense and defense.
Curriculums are divided according to students' age:
Little Dragons 4 - 6 years old
Young Tigers 7 - 12 years old
Teens - Young Adults
13 years old & up
Black Sash Advanced Training
After a student has been awarded a
Black Sash/Belt (帶
Dai), he/she will then begin advanced and more intensive training, which expands
his or her knowledge and skills in more complex and difficult styles.
This training is divided into fifteen
advanced levels. Before achieving the next level, the student must first be
tested, and passing the test is signified by the stripe placed on the sash.
The training covers styles such as: Piguaquan
and Chuojiao 戳腳.
The student will also learn hard and soft Qigong
Tie Shen (鐵身
Iron body) or Tie Bu Shan (鐵布衫
Iron Shirt), Dian Xue (點穴 Cavity Press),
Martial Arts Tumbling/ Acrobatics (翻滾跳躍Fan Gun
Tiao Yiao or 雜技 Zha Ji)
and numerous weapons (器械
Qi Xie), as well as more concentration on
practical usage and applying techniques in San Shou (散手 Free Sparring).
The advanced training may also cover
other optional individual training and styles, which are not included in the
advanced fifteen curriculum levels program. He/she may learn Gaoji Changquan (高級長拳 Advanced Long
Fist), Emei System (峨嵋 Emei Mountains Boxing),
Ground Tumbling Boxing), Xiangxingquan (象形拳
Imitating-fighting Styles) – which consists of a great number of styles,
such as Eagle Claw (鷹爪
Yingzhao), Praying Mantis (螳螂拳 Tanglangquan),
White Ape (白猿
Baiyuen), Snake Style (蛇形拳
Drunken Boxing (醉酒拳
Zuijiuquan), and White Crane (白鶴 Baihe), as well as the internal arts of
陳 and Yang
styles of Tai Chi Chuan, Xingyiquan (形意拳
Hsing I Chuan),
Pa Kua Chang).
When this training is
completed, and the fifteenth level is awarded, then the student will again be
wearing a plain black sash, just like before starting this advance training, - this symbolizing never-ending learning. At the same time he/she will
be qualified as a Master Level Instructor.