Grading Syllabus Overview:

Our grading syllabus progressively builds upon enhancing ability, techniques and sparring skills learnt from the previous grading.   – Children aged 5-10 years have a separate bespoke syllabus.

Each examination (grading) is undertaken by one of our appointed examiners,  who will also provide a couple of written pointers and feedback. (Via your instructor or your private member login area on the website).
Our syllabus takes the student from white belt beginner (8th grader) through to the highest assessed level 6th Degree Black Belt.    (8th grader, 7th grader, 6th grader, 5th grader, 4th grader, 3rd grader , 2nd grader, 1st grader, 1st Dan Black Belt, up to 6th Degree Black Belt.)
Children’s syllabus (5-10 years): Is broken down into smaller easier steps, especially between white and blue belt with additional yellow and green belts and multiple tags for mini tests (Sifu tests) which are age appropriate.

Senior Grade Examinations
Candidates taking Black Belts (1st Degree and higher) will be evaluated by the Chief Examiners and other Dan grades utilising a peer review approach.

Grading Requirements:
(Note: We’ve used a variety of languages in the headings, if you are familiar with different martial art terminology or spelling variations of the ‘forms’ as many are not unique to one style, although typically each school might shift their emphasis e.g. explosive power versus graceful fluidity.)

Form / Pattern
( taolu / kata / poomsae )
Fixed Sparring (Fx.Sp)
/Sparring Forms
Explanatory Notes:
8th Grade

White Belt
Luo-Harn Ch'aoBasic Stances Pre-test (front, back and riding/horse stances)
3 step fixed sparring
N /AStudents with incomplete stances will repeat the “Basic Stances Pre-test" at next grading.

(Pre-tests avoid white belts developing bad habits - good footwork is key to good sparring, stances are a proven tool for developing flexibility in ankles, hips, leg muscles etc)
7th Grade

White Belt
Ch'ang Ch'uen 1
(cf Chángquán
or Chang Quan)
Basic Kicks Pre Test (front, side and turning/roundhouse 3x3 turn 3x3)
3 step leg technique
N /AStudents with incomplete kicks may be asked to repeat the Basic Kicks Pre-test at their next grading
6th Grade

Blue Belt
Ch'ang Ch'uen 2
2 step fixed sparring
1 roundFree sparring is with partner similar, size and grade - Referee is looking for control and good technique - not K.O. competition
5th Grade

Blue Belt
Ch'ang Ch'uen 31 step fixed sparring (Fx.Sp.)1 roundFx.Sp. Introduces concepts of: moving in, out, sideways, using legs, and joint locking (Chin na 擒拿) defensive techniques. (Throwing is covered later)
4th Grade

Orange Belt
Ch'ang Ch'uen 4Self Defence
8 different techniques

(N.B. Learn 9 techniques so you have an alternative option*)
1 round*Examiner may request an alternative technique if one is incomplete.
NOTE: Black belts must know at least 16 techniques (+ variations) and be able to apply techniques with an "uncooperative partner"
3rd Grade

Orange Belt
Ch'ang Ch'uen 5Leg Techniques
4 leg attacks and counters
+ 4 basic jumping kicks and counters
1 round(Fx.Sp. At this stage students will possess reasonable levels of flexibility)
2nd Grade

Brown Belt
Ch'ang Ch'uen 6Throwing / Takedown
/ Ground Escape Techniques

5 throws against punch, (including inside + outside hip throw).
Takesdowns against Front, side and Turning kicks and combination of ground escapes or rear choke hold
Minimum 1 round2nd grade students are welcome to observe and take part in the 1st grade *Prep sessions.

Note: Ex WSK Black Belt instructors will find the ground escapes a basic new skill.
1st Grade

Brown Belt

- going for

Black Belt
(1st Degree/Dan)
Tsu p'ing Ch'uen


1 random
Ch’ang Ch’uen
(chosen on grading day)
Punching Tiles
Chopping Bricks or Blocks
Sidekick Wood
(Destruction Techniques replace Fixed Sparring)

*See Note below on grading Preparation (Prep) sessions
Minimum 5 roundsGroup Sparring (same weight division)
1 round versus Black Belt from previous grading (maintains consistent high standard between Gradings)
1 versus 2 Sparring - men and women

Students who have chosen to compete in sanctioned competitions - will be credited with this during assessment.

First grade students  and their instructor are asked to attend the annual revision and grading preparation prior to the Black Belt Grading.  These positive feedback sessions are designed to help candidates prepare for the grading:-

  • Practical performance of grading requirements
  • Training tips
  • Sparring skills feedback
  • Destruction preparation training, technique variations and ‘KATO’ Pre-test
  • Brief theory based session to help underpin their knowledge and preparation
    N.B. KATO Pre-test: Signed off by two 6th Degree Black Belts is a requirement for using KATO in your Black Belt grading, otherwise you will be required to find volunteers to hold the wood for you.
    (KATO holds the wood rigid – makes side kick destruction test much easier but we need to check your accuracy first)

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