Gradings: Careful what you Wish For…

Good article by Wonderingfirst about belt system in Gongfu, have to say that as a karate person, I am drifting away from belt system in my club. There will be Article about it soon 🙂

The Wandering Fist

Coloured sashes to designate rank are a foreign concept to me. I do not wear, and have not worn, a belt within this kind of system. Yet the plot thickens: the story I tell is of two groups within the same organisation, one of which used a belt system, while the other did not.

Historically, Wuzuquan had no coloured belts. The system that we hear of in a lot of arts – white the lowest belt, black the highest – seems to originate in Japanese systems, to have thereafter been adopted by (Korean) Taekwondo groups and even some (Chinese) gongfu schools. In traditional gongfu, the only sash was worn under the clothing, for medical purposes: it wasn’t tied like a belt, but was wound around the abdomen to reduce the risk of hernia, like a weightlifter’s belt. The coloured belt system has both critics and champions:

  • “It’s commercialised, the…

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