Green Belt
Dec 9, 2009
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After responding to a thread in a different section I start thinking about this.

Grading is more of a western thing and not originally done in WC but I was wodering which of yous train with a grading scheme and which dont.

I started training over a year ago and they stopped grading a few months just before that due to a change in venue. This never got started back up until now where we will be starting gradings again in a month or two.

My thoughts are this; there are pro's and con's. If you dont grade you are happy enough to stay on the basics until you have mastered them and move on. However this also means that people can get lazy as they have nothing to work towards.

On the other side of the coin people can start to rush if they are grading and miss some vital areas as well as people starting a clique and thinking one is more superior to the other.

So whats your thought on Grading (Im interested in anyones throughts not just Wing Chun).

But to my fellow Wing Chun brothers and sisters do you grade, what grade are you and where is this in your hierarchy and whats your thoughts?



Master Black Belt
Mar 14, 2010
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No grading as in some karate places. I watch the details of motions and actions of each student, explain why and what should be done and have an alert sense of their progress- and communicate the judgements and give advice on methods of improvement of their performance in and understanding of the art. Thus- it's a process of evaluation.

joy chaudhuri
Tempe Wing chun


Yellow Belt
Jun 8, 2010
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Derby, UK
We don't grade at my school. As you say there can sometimes be egos and superiority complexes between the members (although the guys at my school are pretty cool)
Not having grades means that as a newbie I still feel like I can offer valid input, I'm not scared to tell my training partner that his center is a little off or his intent is away from my core where as when I studied Judo a couple of years ago I always kept quiet.


MT Mentor
Oct 20, 2007
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Phoenix, AZ
In our organization, there is a standardized teaching program with regular grading. I trained directly with my old Sifu and wasn't taught this way, so I can see advantages and disadvantages. The biggest advantage is that a grading system assures that each student gets exposed to the same material and no student misses out on essential parts of the system. Secondly, if a student relocates and has to attend another school in the same organization, he will be able to pick up right where he left off. And finally, the grading system helps a student set goals which encourage class attendance and consistent progress.

On the other hand, there is a lot to be said for the traditional "sifu-todai" relationship. At least if you are training "the old way" under a master in a small, tight-knit group. The sifu knows his handful of disciples well, and knows what they are ready to learn. The students trust their sifu to help them progress individually, and since they are committed to learning for the long haul, there is no need for impatience. My current Eskrima group functions this way. I started with another group back in the 80's and got to know the headman of my current group at that time. I have been training directly under him for the last three years. As for rank? Well after completing two years with him, he told me that I could consider myself a student. Less than two years... you are just "trying it out".


Blue Belt
Feb 24, 2009
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At the chin woo school where I teach they have a belt system for the northern kung fu but it's more to show "time served" as to a level of skill.
The wing chun family I belong to is small and there are no gradings or levels.
I'm opening my own school early next year and I think I'll have levels and grades for the northern stuff but it'll be based on completing a part of the curriculum to a set standard. The northern curriculum I have set out is pretty large so I think the grades will help me keep track of the students progress.
I'm not going to teach wing chun to start with as I feel I need a few more years hard training and testing it against other arts before I can decide on a good curriculum. When I do start teaching Wing Chun though, it'll be a small group, traditional style with no grades.

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