When students join the Warrior Quest Martial Arts Academy they enter onto a programme that allows them to rapidly master the Ninja and samurai methods of traditional and modern self protection as they advance through the ranks to achieve their black belt grade. New students wear a black gi (Uniform) and wear the Warrior Quest Badge on the left side of their jacket (See below). Out lined below is the progression you will take if you decide to join us.
The Yellow Belt Programme:
As a new person entering the academy (Dojo) you will start at white belt but begin working on the Yellow Belt Programme. Traditionally this was called the "Ten Ryaku No Maki" or the "Scroll Of Heaven". The Yellow belt Programme consists of learning various ways to receive strikes and counter attacks by using your body by using punches, kicks, elbow and knee slams, the various fists we can strike with to hit vital points (Kyusho), methods of wrist controls and take downs, arm bars and basic throws. You will also learn some defence against the blade and how to hit the ground safely and escape. There are four levels (Grades) to the Yellow belt programme starting with the 9th Kyu and ending with the 6th kyu. Once you have received the 6th kyu you will enter onto the Green Belt Programme.
The Green Belt Programme:
The Green Belt Programme which was traditionally called the "Chi Ryaku No Maki" or the "Scroll Of Earth" consists of advanced methods of striking and learning more arm bars, throws etc but also chokes, ground controls, methods of escaping various grabs and bear hugs, You will also be introduced to various weapons and defensive tools such as the hanbo (Three foot staff), and learn how to use many techniques to defend against a knife. There are five levels (Grades) to the green belt programme starting with the 5th kyu and ending with the 1st kyu. Once you have achieved the 1st kyu you will enter onto the brown belt programme.
The Brown Belt Programme:
Once you reach 1st Kyu you can wear a brown belt to show that you are now working on the black belt programme but have not yet attained that grade. At the brown belt level you will not only be working towards you black belt but will play a part in helping the teacher (Sensei) run the dojo, and help to teach students below your level.
The Black Belt Programme:
The black belt programme is split into five levels "Grades" that range from the Shodan (1st Dan) to the Godan (5th Dan). The Dan grades are differentiated from each other by a set of different coloured badges.
Shodan or 1st Degree Black Belt:
A students who has achieved the first level of black belt will still wear the yellow badge they began with as the yellow badge represents the earth level or the very basics that make up the art. They will therefore have a very good mastery of the basics as well as having learnt the techniques for the black belt grade. At this level an attacker should feel that they are fighting a mountain in that any attack made against the defender is repulsed by crisp and powerful techniques that subdue and take down the attacker.
Nidan or 2nd Degree Black Belt:
At this level the students will wear a badge with a blue outline.
This level represents the element water (Sui) and is associated with being able
to use this art whilst under pressure and using flowing rhythm (Nagare) to defeat an
attacker. At this level an attacker should feel that whilst you are tentatively close you are always
too far away and any attempt to attack is met with devastating counter attacks like
a tidal wave crashing on a beach.
Sandan or 3rd Degree Black Belt:
At this level the students will wear a badge with a red outline.
This level represents the element Fire (Hi) and is associated with being able to see
opportunities as they arrive and be able to intercept attacks as and when they first take
shape in an attackers mind. At this level an attacker should feel that they are fighting a
fire in that the more they launch attacks the more they get burnt by the defenders
counters to those attacks as the defender stays one step ahead as though they can read the
attackers very thoughts.
Yondan or 4th Degree Black Belt:
At this level the students will wear a badge with a green outline.
This level represents the element wind (Fu) and is associated with being able
to use this art to disappear in the face of adversity. At this level the attacker
should feel like they are fighting a ghost. Visible at the start of the attack only
for the target to disappear and emerge in their blind spot to take control of
them or simply to disappear.
Godan or 5th Degree Black Belt:
At this level the students will wear a badge with a purple outline.
This level represents the element void (Ku) and is associated with being able
to see through deception and use truth and false hood to defeat an attacker.
When the enemy should wait he attacks, when he should attack he waits. The
attacker feels confusion and hesitates before making mistakes which the defender
exploits to defeat the attacker and escape to safety. This in Japanese is called
Kyojitsu Tenkan Ho, or presenting a truth as a false hood and a false hood as a
truth. and is the backbone of the art of Ninjutsu Strategy.