Thursday, 3 April 2014

The 3 Stages Of Choi Kwang-Do

You will probably know that the Choi Kwang-Do curriculum is spilt into 3 stages or levels.

1. White to Gold Senior: Beginner Level

White Belt. This is where everyone starts their training.

The 3 basic blocks, Outward, Inward and Low are taught as well as Inward Punches and Front Kicks. Basic stances, movement, dodging are also covered along with terminology.

It’s here where the learning curve is at it’s steepest; not only are you learning the basic techniques of Choi Kwang-Do, you are also learning and absorbing the class protocol, procedures and overall philosophy of the martial art.

It's worthwhile noting that much of what is learnt at the beginner stage, eg. sequential motion, body weight transfer, follow through and recoil, forms the foundation for your future training in Choi Kwang-Do.

2. Orange to Blue Senior: Intermediate Level

It’s here whereby you should be reasonably familiar with the basics from the Beginner Level as this represents your second year of training, assuming you were grading every 2 months. A significant development is the Orange Belt Defence Drill: Level 6 hands down, single attack, block and counter. As a result the Defence Drills stays the same until Purple Belt.

You’ll also now be familiar with format of the curriculum: patterns – single and four direction, the speed drills, and learning a new hand and foot technique per belt.

3. Purple to Brown Senior: Advanced Level 

As with the previous stages, there are new nechniques to learn and a new Defence Drill at Purple Belt (Stopping Kicks) but now in your 3rd year of training you will have acquired a certain level of technical competence. You will have a stronger, more positive mindset to approach new challenges such as the spinning kicks at Brown and Brown Senior or your pending Black Belt grading. You may even look back and wonder why you struggled with some of the earlier techniques you have now mastered!

At the Advanced Stage I strongly recommend that students practise all patterns (4 directions) and speed drills when training rather than just your belt level. This is essential for Black Belt preparation.

In this stage peforming a set of coloured belt patterns should be ‘easy’; meaning that your recall of the sequences should be effortless allowing you to concentrate on your execution of the techniques and combination of techniques – how you flow from one to another. This is made easier given the fact that by Orange Belt Senior you will have learnt all of the techniques that occur in all of the patterns from White to Brown Senior:

  • Front, Side, Swing and Reverse Swing Kicks
  • Inward, Round, Upward Diagonal and Upward Punches
  • Sidefist, Backfist and Knifehand Strikes

A set of Coloured Belt patterns should take less than 10 minutes to perform. Do also remember that Instructors’ expectations of you during the 3 stages will increase progressively, as should your expectations of your own personal standards and abilities. You may notice this if you review your grading feedback forms over a period of time.

Jason Wright is a 5th Degree Black Belt and Master Instructor in the martial art Choi Kwang-Do. For further information on Choi Kwang-Do classes in Ealing, West London visit

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