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Thread: Rank Testing

  1. #1

    Rank Testing

    Ahoy. Tonight I just tested for orange sash. (I passed.) At my school the rank order is No rank-->white-->yellow-->orange for beginners, green-->blue-->purple for intermediate students, and finally red-->black for advanced.

    Having just walked out of the kwoon, I can't stop wondering how our testing process might differ from other schools. Tonight I had to do the following:

    calisthenics:
    40 pushups
    hold pushup position for 1 min on palms
    hold pushup position for 1 min on fists
    40 iron buffalos
    40 monkey jacks
    40 shaolin sit ups

    (obviously these number increase as testing rank increases--yellow sash does 30 each, black sash test involves 100 each.)

    It was at this point that one guy testing for yellow and another guy testing for green took the opportunity to throw up. I was proud that I did not have to join them at the bucket, although I certainly thought I was going to have to at one point.

    Next, holding stances as low as possible for 1 minute each: horse, bow and arrow (left and right), tiger (l and r), golden rooster (l and r), cat (l and r), scissor stance (l and r) and horse again.

    Next, the basic skills:
    front instep kick, 10 lead leg, 10 trailing leg, each side
    roundhouse kick, ditto
    side kick, ditto
    crescent kick, 10 each side, trailing leg only
    all of above performed from fighting stance.
    (The higher ranks had multiple other kicks to perform.)

    10 each of corkscrew, sunfist, willowpalm, palm heel, hammerfist, ridge hand, reverse ridge hand.
    10 each of high block, outside middle block, inside middle block, palm up block, yin-yang block, low palm block.
    all of above done in horse stance. (my thighs are about to fall off.)

    then, of couse, (drumroll please) the forms. At my level there are five empty-handed forms, and one weapon (nunchucks). So, all told I was there roughly two hours. The guy testing for red will be there until midnight, I am sure.

    So, I'm tired and hurty. And I want to know if this is typical for a kung-fu school testing day. How do your rank tests work? Individual? Everybody on the same day? More than above? less? Based on your experience does my ability to perform the above place me at "advanced beginner" level by the standards of your school? Does your school even have ranks/tests?

    I appologize if this is a topic that has recently come under discussion, I tried to search the forum archives, but I didn't find much along these lines. Oh, our style is Northern Shaolin. Probably should have mentioned that.

  2. #2
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    Sorry, didn't see your post there in all the flame war BS...! It won't do you any good posting kung fu related threads here you know: please brush up your death-match-fu before you disgrace us with your presence here again!

    Right, on to the serious answer.

    Congratulations!

    But.... no sparring?! Is your school just a show style like wushu or is it supposed to be some fighting apps too? If the latter it should definitely have some degree of sparring.

    OK, next, what're

    iron buffalos
    monkey jacks
    shaolin sit ups ?

    I don't know but doesn't sound like anyone should have been throwing up...!

    Can't remember which grade my last test was in fu (wing chun)... I didn't agree at all with the teacher's grading system (it was a money making scheme, with some pointless exercises, and with no internal integrity - ie people above me would forget their forms and couldn't fight as well as I could), and only agreed to take the test so I could get to learn the dummy and biu gee. (I left when I got them.)

    Anyway, from what I remember it had:

    40 pushups (seems a popular number)

    some situps (can't remember how many - probably 40...?)

    sil lum tao

    chum kiu

    san sik (16 solo 'techs' like tan da - tan sao and punch)

    chi sao as aggressor

    chi sao as defender from the six basic attacks

    chi sao as defender and aggressor with called techs

    free chi sao as defender and aggressor

    san sao (called single or two/three combo attacks, when I didn't know what was coming but if possible had to do the called defense and follow-up with an attack of my own until down/ the teacher called stop)

    free san sao

    sparring.

    The chi sao, san sao and sparring were with the non-testees with body armour, leg-pads, a face-guard helmet and mma gloves. I could wear a gumshield and cup and mma gloves. There were approximately 20 attacks in each format, with the non-testees being rotated to keep them fresh. The sparring was full contact for 20 mins no break, and the testees could do anything providing they showed at least three takedowns/throws (this was impossible to do properly as we had no mats). The whole lot took about one and a half hours maybe...

    It was very tiring, and I had a back injury before we started so my teacher advised me against doing it that day. Got out of it with a couple of bruises, bloodied knuckles and lip, and blood from my arms from somebody's nails. The only pauses allowed during the test were to wrap up my arms in light bandages to stop the blood going everywhere.

    When I can be bothered, if you're interested, I'll go over my aiki/kendo shodan gradings...

  3. #3
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    rank testing ...

    well, i guess that's cool. I never did it in chinese martial arts classes. Belts were used, or rather sashes and the teacher would advance you when you were ready, not really any sort of definitive test, but I am pretty sure there were criteria.

    In tkd there was rank testing everywhere at every opportunity...I always thought that was a tkd / karate thing.

    When I was learning Karate, it was not a ranking thing, although lots of my pals from other karate schools were doing much more formalized rank testing, particularly the shotokan guys.

    Pretty likely that the version you have experienced is local to your school or affiliated schools only.

    congratulations though.
    Kung Fu is good for you.

  4. #4
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    Any chick that can do 40 push ups gets my respect! Most guys can't do 5.
    He most honors my style who learns under it to destroy the teacher. -- Walt Whitman

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  5. #5
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    Yeah congrats, moving up grades always helps me to focus and step up to the next level.

    My last grading was a big'un, divded up into 2parts.

    Skills:
    Involving 2 forms, chi sao, partner drills etc..

    Mental/Physical:
    Over 2 hours of Physical exertion including (lots of)
    Sets of 50 pressups
    Set of 60 situps
    Sets of 1-2 mins of Tuckjumps
    With Punching inbetween, burpees, holding your arms out, pressups on someones stomach while they are doing legs raises, Rabbit steps etc...
    Followed up with milling one of the other lucky peeps that was there!

    Thankfully we only have to do this once!

  6. #6
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    Never tested much in kungfu/wushu... When I did modern wushu I got up to blue sash (never tested for anything else... the ranking system was something my teacher was just trying out). I think there was some calisthenics, stance holding, self defence stuff, etc. I don't remember any specifics it was so long ago. Black belt test would have involved sparring a Muay Thai fighter, but no one ever got that far (teacher wasn't making any money here so he moved and the school folded).

    My hapkido test (for yellow belt) was almost exactly like the test described in NeuroGrrrl's original post but less calisthenics (increasing with rank like her school though) and with different hand techniques of course (same kicks though). Basic blocks were the same, normal reverse punching, palm strike, a knife hand/chop (or something like that), and rather than forms there were a few two person joint lock/throwing techniques. And basic break falling of course.

    Most recent teacher... no formal testing, no formal curriculum.

  7. #7
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    Congratulations NG. Sounds like a good test. I'm also concerned about the no sparring. What's up with that?
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  8. #8
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    Congrats.

    Sounds like the test, and the school, has a good focus on basic physical conditioning. I'm guessing buffalo's and the others are just the teacher's names for squats and other basic stuff.

    5 forms at your levels seems appropriate...maybe one too many,imo, depending on how long you are given to learn and get proficient at them and how long they are.

    I agree about the no sparring.

    What style are you doing?

    What are 'nunchucks'?





    seriously, do you mean that you are learning a flexible weapon before staff?
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  9. #9
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    ditto the questions regarding sparring. At my school, rank progression includes sparring beginning at the white sash level (first sash level).
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by MasterKiller
    Any chick that can do 40 push ups gets my respect! Most guys can't do 5.
    lol, 5....


    i had to do 80 on my green test.

    arent you glad your not "most guys"

    edit:

    ill join in. Whats up with the no sparring?

    is this reserved for higher rank tests or do you not spar on test? also do you spar in class ever?
    Last edited by PangQuan; 01-24-2006 at 11:07 AM.
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  11. #11
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    Here the TWC grading structure:
    http://www.wingchunkwoon.com/grading.asp
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  12. #12
    congrats on passing the test. Iron buffalos? Monkey jacks? Memphis? I know your teacher...
    i'm nobody...i'm nobody. i'm a tramp, a bum, a hobo... a boxcar and a jug of wine... but i'm a straight razor if you get to close to me.

    -Charles Manson

    I will punch, kick, choke, throw or joint manipulate any nationality equally without predjudice.

    - Shonie Carter

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Mat
    OK, next, what're

    iron buffalos
    monkey jacks
    shaolin sit ups ?

    I don't know but doesn't sound like anyone should have been throwing up...!

    iron buffalo = hindu pushup

    monkey jacks = basically a squat jump. When you jump pull your knees all the way to the chest and your arms are circling in a reverse jumping jack motion - from the head down, as opposed to from the sides to above the head

    shaolin sit up = a modified crunch. it's like a simultaneous leg raise and crunch.

    as for hurling, it varies from person to person. I've never hurled on one of those tests, but I never hurled doing what I do now, either.
    i'm nobody...i'm nobody. i'm a tramp, a bum, a hobo... a boxcar and a jug of wine... but i'm a straight razor if you get to close to me.

    -Charles Manson

    I will punch, kick, choke, throw or joint manipulate any nationality equally without predjudice.

    - Shonie Carter

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by PangQuan
    ill join in. Whats up with the no sparring?

    is this reserved for higher rank tests or do you not spar on test? also do you spar in class ever?
    at her level, probably not. Also, the test vary... the next group that tests for orange sash will not have the same test that she had. that is done so that nobody knows what to expect. for my green sash test, I had to spar everyone that was present that day, THEN i had to grapple them all, then I had to spar and grapple with the sifu. I never saw anyone else do a test like that.

    When I trained there, we sparred pretty often, but it was declining. I'm not sure what they are doing now... I know two guys are supposed to be training for some ring fights though, so at least someone there is sparring.
    i'm nobody...i'm nobody. i'm a tramp, a bum, a hobo... a boxcar and a jug of wine... but i'm a straight razor if you get to close to me.

    -Charles Manson

    I will punch, kick, choke, throw or joint manipulate any nationality equally without predjudice.

    - Shonie Carter

  15. #15

    the no sparring

    Okay, to answer the above (and thank you, all, for sharing your experiences):

    1. monkey jacks -- squat on floor, jump into air, bring knees to chest while aloft, land, squat again. Possibly what were referred to as "tuck jumps" above.

    2. iron buffalo plows the field -- stand with feet wide apart, hands on floor in front of you, as far as you can reach. Now lower your torso towards the ground, but don't touch. push up. repeat.

    that explanation was terrible, I know.

    3. shaolin sit ups -- situps as designed by satan. lie on your back. now lift your torso and legs up into the air. you are now balancing on your glutes. slap the floor and push both hands to the left while crunching, repeat on right. when you've done 40 reps, return to "lie on your back" part. vomiting optional.

    4. the no sparring -- this was a function of time. All the intermediate and above students had to do continuous fighting for various durations. The only reason the beginners didn't spar is because there were so many of us testing. When I took my yellow sash test, there were only two of us, so we did continuous fighting (with a red sash) for 3 minutes, 2 or 3 sets. I can't remember exactly because I got hit in the head a lot that day.

    5. nunchucks, numchucks, nunchakus, numchakus, nunchakakhan, numchakalackadingdong. I have no idea, but Michaelangelo of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles used them. I have this particular pair:

    http://www.martialartsmart.net/5031k.html

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