Testing for Black Belt, Part 3

The best system of self defense is the one that works in a real-life situation. If it doesn’t work, why learn it?

Several of our Grace Martial Arts Brown Belts (Ikkyu) will soon test for Black Belt in the Yon Ch’uan Martial Arts System. One of our favorite parts of the test is self defense against multiple attackers.

Our students begin learning self defense in a careful system that emphasizes economy of motion, efficiency of technique, and safety for all involved. As students become more proficient in their abilities, their skills are tested with speed, accuracy and power of technique against one partner. As students are able to defeat a partner in 2 seconds or less, the challenge becomes how to defeat two partners in 3-4 seconds total, three partners in 5-6 seconds total, four partners in 7-8 total seconds, etc. The Black Belt test in Yon Ch’uan includes defending against multiple partners over a period of several minutes.

“You will be required to defend yourself non-stop for at least five minutes with 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

This accomplishes at least two things for the testing martial artists –

  1. They demonstrate their ability to move naturally and quickly through a series of self-defense techniques that demonstrate effectiveness and efficiency.
  2. They are rewarded with increased self confidence in their ability to defend effectively and efficiently against multiple attackers.

“Have no doubt that your evaluation for Black Belt will be difficult! For it is the nature of developing excellence! However, it is not the real test of the Yon Ch’uan Black Belt. The real test is the years you have devoted to firstly acquire Christ-Defense, together with relational, Biblical life-skills. Secondly, you have acquired Mental-Defense that has built Godly character, confidence and strengthened disciplined direction for your life and education. Thirdly, you have acquired Physical-Defense with a maximum efficiency of self-defense skills and advanced kinetic movement principles for optimal health, well-being and self-defense.” Yon Ch’uan Martial Arts Black Belt Study Guide

Yon Ch’uan has a fascinating history with both Chinese and Japanese martial arts as major parts of its foundation. Grand Master John Chung Li, who brought the art of Hwa Yu T’ai Chi Ch’uan to the United States from China and was Grand Master Robert Xavier’s teacher, wrote this about our martial art – most helpful to remember as we deal with multiple attackers –

“All movement is in strict line with gravity. Movement is light and lively, expressed with your own will. The heightened awareness and sensitivity to feeling movement is deeply profound. You learn to always know your opponent’s intentions without his knowing yours. Your movements are like a flowing river. Extreme softness will develop extreme strength. Your calmness within movement is as a mountain. You learn to turn your spirit to stillness, humility and emptiness. The enjoyment and awareness of movement of life is greatly heightened.” John Chung Li, Hwa Yu T’ai Chi Ch’uan


Our ministry purpose is to provide a Christ-centered, easy-to-do, therapeutic, restorative healthcare activity that will assist a person to reach his/her optimal affective, cognitive, psychomotor and spiritual potential.




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