Classes and Progression
Class begins with approximately forty-five minutes of general exercise aimed at developing the strength, endurance and other skills essential to the practice of Kung Fu. While this usually takes the form of calisthenics, emphasis is also given to flexibility, balance, concentration, breathing and coordination. The remaining hour and fifteen minutes is spent learning new techniques or refining old ones. Forms, meditation, practical applications and fighting are also covered.
Each class is then broken up into groups, depending on the students’ level of training. For instance, a class may be divided beginner, intermediate and advanced groups. Each of these is lead by a qualified instructor and each class is supervised by a senior instructor or Master. Occasionally the entire class will work as one group, deepening on the lesson plan for that day.
Within 2 to 3 years, a student may be eligible to take the test for her or his first degree. The test takes approximately 7-8 hours to complete and is given once a year in two parts: written and physical. Satisfactory completion of this test earns the student the title of Assistant Instructor. They may then pursue advanced training and help teach new students. A student may be eligible to test for her or his second degree 3 to 5 years after being awarded the first degree rank.
The Association uses the traditional Chinese badge system of ranking. Degrees 1-5 are “White Button” ranks, Master (sixth degree) is a “Black Button” rank. There are then 4 “Black Button” ranks before achieving the title Grandmaster (a “Red Button” rank). On average, it takes approximately 20+ years of consistent study to achieve the level of Master.