Promotion Requirements

Testing Sponsors

Everyone who tests will pair up with an upper rank (brown belt or above) who will be their sponsor.  Teams will work together outside of class beginning at least two months out.  Both sponsor and sponsee must agree that the sponsee is ready to test when the time comes.

White belts don’t need to worry about this.  You will test together as a class.

Testing Requirements

White Belt

  • Proficiency in 8 Basic Techniques front single, double, and cross-hand on both sides. (Outside, Inside, Z-Lock, Armpit Lock, Chicken Wing, Opposition Sweep, Helicopter, Wave.)
  • Rolling falls on one side.
  • Four direction falling should be consistent, with proper head, arm, and leg position.
  • It is expected that you do both techniques and falling well enough that you don’t hurt yourself or your partner.
  • Basic terminology and knowledge about Hapkido.

Weekend Workout: Work on doing your techniques on both sides.

Orange Belt

  • Should no longer hesitate when told to do a white belt technique, should know the “steps” without thinking and be able to do them properly.
  • Know at least 5 new techniques well and be able to do them properly.
  • Rolling falls on both sides (not somersaults).
  • Techniques against single, double, and cross-hand grabs
  • Four basic Judo throws.
  • Low wheel kick.

Weekend Workout: This is the best opportunity to learn judo throws and kicking.

Green Belt

  • Eight basic techniques should look like one move with no intermediate steps or hesitations.
  • Basic techniques from the side attacks and lapel grabs.
  • Four basic judo throws, both left and right, using good technique.
  • Back sacrifice.
  • Rolling falls over people on hands and knees.
  • A basic understanding of breaking (disturbing) balance and how it applies to the techniques, as well as an understanding of the principles behind each technique.
  • Control: Start to use technique and principle instead of muscle.
  • High-wheel, low-wheel kick combination.

Weekend Workout: Work on air falls and kicking.

Blue Belt

  • Know and understand the white belt techniques well enough to teach them (not just how, but why).
  • Marked improvement in rolling falls and air falls.  (Your goal is to jump over a person bent at the waist.)
  • Lapel attacks, pushing attacks, and double grip on one wrist.
  • Be comfortable leading warm-ups.
  • Control: Must demonstrate control. Use principles, not muscle and speed. Show this control with people larger and smaller than yourself, without injury.
  • Falling: Be an adaptive faller, able to fall for techniques even if you don’t know what’s coming, or the move is unfamiliar to you.
  • Air crossing, jumping front snap kick.

Weekend Workout: Work on one-step sparring – responding to random attacks (grabs, side, pushing) without knowing what’s coming.

Note: Brown belt is an important milestone in our club and accordingly standards are high.  From then on, you will be expected to always perform techniques safely on partners of all sizes and levels, teach what you know proficiently, and begin counselling lower ranks for testing.

 Brown Belt

  • Clear improvement across all techniques
  • Embody the three principles of Hapkido, how they work, and how they apply to each technique.
  • TA a PE class, club practices, or weekend workouts.
  • One step sparring (work on punching and blocking on weekends).
  • Begin training all types of attacks: wrist, side (one and two attackers), pushing, lapel, back, ground and wall.
  • Double front snap kick.

Weekend Workout: Train with fellow upper ranks in different types of attacks.  This will likely be your best, most reliable opportunity to do so. Strongly consider reading about martial arts, or visiting Des Moines Hapkido, Iowa Hapkido, or Black Eagle Martial Arts.

Red Belt

  • The ability to teach any technique you know.
  • Understand and use of breaking balance, dropping weight, and connected movement originating from the waist/hips.
  • Defense against kicking and punching.
  • Rolling and air falls over multiple people (two or more).
  • Statement of Philosophy should be turned into Master Hamann and a copy distributed to the other black belts at least a week in advance.  Write about connecting your Hapkido and life experiences.

Weekend Workout: By now you should have a good understanding how to guide your own training and the training of lower rank students.

Note: Advancing to black belt is your most important milestone so far and is an honor earned by hard work and the support of your fellow students.  When testing for your black belt, we should be able to see an ease about you and impeccable control and adaptation.

Black Belt

  • Lead by example at all times.
  • Be encouraging when teaching.
  • Seek out good teaching skills and practices
  • Show respect to everyone all the time.
  • Model the principles of Hapkido outside the dojang as well as during class.
  • Evaluate students objectively and fairly, taking into consideration their physical limitations.
  • Defenses from the ground and against a wall.
  • Explore weapons, two attackers, and defending against multiple attackers.

Note: Your time between Recommend and Decide is a time to learn and practice what being a black belt is all about.  Spend this period honing what you learned from your previous testing so you can show improvement.  Proactively seek out ways to be a better leader and teacher and begin fulfilling your new responsibilities.   Take responsibility for the health of your club and support your fellow students.

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