Time and milestones…

28 07 2009

taimantis-logo-tradi-mI had a big event this past weekend. Not really so much big in the terms of large but a milestone type big. I have been teaching Kung Fu on my own since 1983 when I set out to open my own school and left my Shifu in Torrence, CA. A lot of miles, time and faces have past by me since then. I have not had a student stick with it, long enough to reach the symbolic Black Belt rank. My younger classmates have all graduated several Sifu’s.

This past Sat. I gave out my first black Belt rank, to a woman originally from Panama. I am using somewhat the system from Kyudo which is that being a black belt does  not make you an instructor right away. I decided to go with a two level Black Belt system. Level one ( shodan) is a Back Belt Coach. This person can teach, but can not certify another black belts. Once they reach 2nd degree ( ni-dan) they can certify. This is my version of things only.

Level two Black Belts requires, two written essays and outside study of another style for 1-2 yrs. or one of the taught styles ( Shaolin, Mantis, Tai Chi, Kali) from another teacher. At that point after passing a 2 min sparing session the person is a full Shifu from my school and the Tai Mantis Assoc. ( Not the Federation but the Tai Mantis Assoc.). That may sound complex or drawn out, however I want to feel confident in the balance of skills and knowledge of the my next generation. The rank will mean something , not just another certificate for showing up.

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