Black Belt Duan Rank System

The Yellow River Praying Mantis Kung Fu (Tanglang Quan) Association provides a peer-based teacher certification and a Black Belt ranking system with nine Duan (degree) levels for Members of the association who are qualified scholar/practitioners of the Northern Praying Mantis Kung Fu arts. Only Yellow River Praying Mantis Kung Fu Association Members who are Praying Mantis Kung Fu instructors and/or high-level practitioners will be considered for Black Belt 2nd Degree and higher certification in accordance with the qualifications shown below.

There is no fee for Duan rank certification. *

1st Degree - Chu Duan (初段)
The Black Belt 1st Degree (Chu Duan) is a formal recognition that the individual is a high-level and accomplished Praying Mantis Kung Fu practitioner who is capable of teaching others and of upholding the Association's
values*.  Chu Duan certifies the holder’s status as Laoshi (certified instructor). Yellow River Praying Mantis Kung Fu Association Chu Duan level Black Belts and the Association's Shizu may unilaterally promote others up to, but not above, the rank of Black Belt Chu Duan (1st degree).

2nd Degree - Er Duan (二段)
The Black Belt 2nd Degree (Er Duan) is awarded to Yellow River Praying Mantis Kung Fu Association Members who have upheld the Association's values and who have demonstrated sustained practice with significantly advancing levels of knowledge and skill in Praying Mantis Kung Fu. Teaching experience, achievements in competition, advocacy for the art of Praying Mantis Kung Fu through writing, speaking, hosting tournaments, and leading seminars is taken into consideration. The 2nd degree is typically awarded some years after the candidate has earned the rank of 1st degree.  Er Duan rank can only be awarded by a quorum of YRTQA Examiners.

3rd Degree - San Duan (三段)
The Black Belt 3rd Degree (San Duan) is awarded to Yellow River Praying Mantis Kung Fu Association Members who have upheld the Association values and who have demonstrated sustained practice with significantly advancing levels of knowledge and skill in Praying Mantis Kung Fu. Teaching experience, achievements in competition, advocacy for the art of Praying Mantis Kung Fu through writing, speaking, hosting tournaments, and leading seminars is taken into consideration. The 3rd degree is typically awarded some years after the candidate has earned the rank of 2nd degree.  San Duan rank can only be awarded by a quorum of Association Examiners.

4th Degree - Si Duan (四段)
The Black Belt 4th Degree (Si Duan) is awarded to Yellow River Praying Mantis Kung Fu Association Members who have upheld the Association's values and who have demonstrated sustained practice with significantly advancing levels of knowledge and skill in Praying Mantis Kung Fu. Teaching experience, achievements in competition, advocacy for the art of Praying Mantis Kung Fu through writing, speaking, hosting tournaments, and leading seminars is taken into consideration. The 4th degree is typically awarded some years after the candidate has earned the rank of 3rd degree.  Si Duan rank can only be awarded by a quorum of Association Examiners.

5th Degree - Wu Duan (五段)

The Black Belt 5th Degree (Wu Duan) is awarded Yellow River Praying Mantis Kung Fu Association Members who have upheld the Association's values and who have demonstrated sustained practice with significantly advancing levels of knowledge and skill in Praying Mantis Kung Fu. Teaching experience, achievements in competition, advocacy for the art of Praying Mantis Kung Fu through writing, speaking, hosting tournaments, and leading seminars is taken into consideration. The 5th degree is typically awarded some years after the candidate has earned the rank of 4th degree.  Wu Duan rank can only be awarded by a quorum of Association Examiners.

6th Degree - Liu Duan (六段)
The Black Belt 6th Degree (Liu Duan) is awarded to Yellow River Praying Mantis Kung Fu Association Members who have upheld the Association values and who have demonstrated sustained practice with significantly advancing levels of knowledge and skill in Praying Mantis Kung Fu. Teaching experience, achievements in competition, advocacy for the art of Praying Mantis Kung Fu through writing, speaking, hosting tournaments, and leading seminars is taken into consideration. The 6th degree is typically awarded some years after the candidate has earned the rank of 5th degree.  Liu Duan rank can only be awarded by a quorum of Association Examiners.

7th Degree - Qi Duan (七段)
The Black Belt 7th Degree (Qi Duan) is awarded to Yellow River Praying Mantis Kung Fu Association Members who have upheld the Association's values and who have demonstrated sustained practice with significantly advancing levels of knowledge and skill in Praying Mantis Kung Fu. Teaching experience, achievements in competition, advocacy for the art of Praying Mantis Kung Fu through writing, speaking, hosting tournaments, and leading seminars is taken into consideration. The 7th degree is typically awarded some years after the candidate has earned the rank of 6th degree.  Qi Duan rank can only be awarded by a quorum of Association Examiners.

8th Degree - Ba Duan (八段)
The Black Belt 8th Degree (Ba Duan) is awarded to Yellow River Praying Mantis Kung Fu Association Members who have upheld the YRTQA values and who have demonstrated sustained practice with significantly advancing levels of knowledge and skill in Tanglang Quan. Teaching experience, achievements in competition, advocacy for the art of Tanglang Quan through writing, speaking, hosting tournaments, and leading seminars is taken into consideration. The 8th degree is typically awarded some years after the candidate has earned the rank of 7th degree.  Ba Duan rank can only be awarded by a quorum of YRTQA Examiners.

9th Degree - Jiu Duan (九段)
The Black Belt 9th Degree (Jiu Duan) is awarded to Yellow River Praying Mantis Kung Fu Association Members who have upheld the Association's values and who have demonstrated sustained practice with significantly advancing levels of knowledge and skill in Praying Mantis Kung Fu. Teaching experience, achievements in competition, advocacy for the art of Praying Mantis Kung Fu through writing, speaking, hosting tournaments, and leading seminars is taken into consideration. The 9th degree is typically awarded some years after the candidate has earned the rank of 8th degree.  Jiu Duan rank can only be awarded by a quorum of Association Examiners.

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* The Yellow River Praying Mantis Kung Fu Association is not a Kung Fu school and it does not represent any particular master, style or heritage. The Association is an association that embraces and supports all varieties of Northern Praying Mantis Kung Fu. The Association sponsors seminars and other activities and events that promote the various Northern styles of Praying Mantis Kung Fu.  Membership in the Association is open to all Praying Mantis Kung Fu teachers, practitioners and enthusiasts regardless of style or heritage.  

The Yellow River Praying Mantis Kung Fu Association ranking system is overseen by an Examining Board composed of highly skilled Shifus from different Northern Praying Mantis traditions and by a Board of Advisors with decades of experience from several different martial arts traditions.  Yellow River Praying Mantis Kung Fu Association's ranking is a modern, peer-based Duan ranking system not a discipleship.  The Association's ranking system is similar to that now used in mainland China and in many different Chinese martial art styles around the globe.  

Yellow River Praying Mantis Kung fu Association

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