Testing for Black Belt, Part 1

Several of our Brown Belts (Ikkyu) are currently training to test for their Yon Ch’uan Black Belt in a couple of months. We use the Yon Ch’uan Martial Arts Black Belt Study Guide during training because it contains the core curriculum for both the martial and spiritual aspects of Grace Martial Arts.

As we read in the Black Belt Study Guide –

“Belt advancement will be based on good self-defense, control, speed, balance, discipline, safety awareness and higher skill proficiency on all previously learned techniques. Scripture memory is a significant part of the student’s belt advancement.”

A primary Scripture for training to test for Black Belt is 2 Timothy 2:1-5 —

You therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. And the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also. You therefore must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. No one engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please him who enlisted him as a soldier. And also if anyone competes in athletics, he is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules.”

Notice the last five words – “competes according to the rules.” The rules are what make martial arts a powerful and compassionate system of self defense. Competing “according to the rules” is what makes martial artists great people to know. Notice that the Apostle Paul wrote his student, Timothy, that anyone who does not compete according to the rules “is not crowned.” Black Belts should be awarded to those students who have competed according to the rules. Martial artists who compete according to the rules will most likely “play” by the rules when it comes to using their skills.

Training and testing for Black Belt is hard – and it should be. As a rule of thumb there is usually five years at a minimum of hard work and routine practice that precedes testing for Black Belt.

What should a Brown Belt testing for Black Belt expect?

“Most importantly you will be expected to perform FROM your acceptance and absolutely not FOR your acceptance. Expect our art — which is to say, expect the unexpected! Know your basics flawlessly! Be familiar with basic terminology that will assist you with identification of specific required skills. More importantly, you will NOT be expected to know perfectly everything written on the STUDENT BLACK BELT SELF-DEFENSE EVALUATION GUIDE. That in actuality would be nearly impossible! You should however have a very firm, powerful grasp of all the basic skills, along with a firm grasp of a wide variety of advanced skill strengths that are unique to your physical personality and makeup. You will be physically and emotionally challenged to achieve your maximum potential. You will be required to defend yourself non-stop for at least five minutes with a wide varieties of self-defense skills with six to eight students simultaneously attacking you. Sounds impossible! You will be astonished with the skill abilities that Yon Ch’uan Martial Arts provides you with when you are sincerely tested! Expect to be asked to teach. Expect to defend yourself both physically and verbally as well. Expect to make mistakes. Expect to be disappointed by some of your performance and very proud of yourself as well.” Yon Ch’uan Martial Arts Black Belt Study Guide

We’ll share more about testing for Black Belt in our next article. We appreciate your interest in Christian martial arts and look forward to hearing from you. Please leave your comments for us to read and we’ll respond as soon as possible.

Mark McGee

7th Dan Instructor

Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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