The belt system
Contrary to many other Wing Chun-schools, SWK uses a belt system for level reference. Traditional Wing Chun does not hold this reference. When SWK started we did not use this system. This led to a number of practical issues:
Difficulty to have a quick understanding of the various levels of the training group.
Requests from the students for a system in which you can measure progress.
An additional advantage when using this system is that the teacher is able to divide the lessons in various parts. Ultimately the objective is process itself: making progress and have fun!
Moreover, training for a specific purpose works better for motivation, but also yields better results.
All together we decided in cooperation with Wang Kiu to introduce a belt system.
Within SWK we use 5 degrees: Orange, Green, Blue, Brown and Black. We do not count the white degree as this is the starting point of the training. The choice of 5 levels symbolically refers back to the 5 principles of the Wing Chun and the 5 leaves of the plum blossom.
All parts are covered in these levels of the Wing Chun: the techniques, forms, but also understanding and skills in the applications themselves. When the black belt level is achieved, there is no further gradation. This does not mean that one has to learn. When the external drive is gone, the focus will increase to internal development. This focus will be different for each individual.
Each level is achieved through an exam. The exams at SWK are once every 6 months: just before the Christmas holidays and just before the summer holidays. Because understanding just as important as ability, the exam consists of two parts: theory and practice. The theory exam is a written exam in which names and terminology are key, but also insight in the level.
We are regularly asked whether the achieved SWK level is also recognized elsewhere. This is not (necessarily) the case. There are two reasons: first, this grading system is developed by ourselves and therefore unique. Secondly, we have decided since our establishment to pursue an independent course and not to focus on other organizations. Read more in “About Us.”
However, this independence does not detract from the value of the achieved level: anyone who has obtained a level with us is a reference for the quality we pursue at SWK. Achieving a level requires discipline, training and dedication. Anything less would not obtain respect to our teacher, our own and our students.