The grading system was introduced in order to evaluate those students that want recognition of their training accomplishments or wish to go on to represent the UMAA and teach our system to a very high standard.

Yellow to Brown Sash is our beginner rank. Once a student has reached Brown Sash they must show a greater commitment to training and perfection of skill in order to progress to the intermediate levels. Purple Sash to Black Sash level the student has mastered the basics and is now perfecting the intermediate skills in our system. Once a student has graded to the black sash level, they should have covered the hand forms to the point that they can perform them without error.

Black Sash  is the beginning of the intermediate skill accomplishment. Many practitioners still have bad habits to overcome. Tension, over commitment, force instead of subtle power are still obstacles for most students. It is not the end of learning, but the start of refining the system and gaining true mastery of it.

Black Sash Red Strip, the student is now a trainee instructor that can teach the first forms in the system to a high standard, explaining the movements and applications to a high level. 

Black Sash White/Red strip indicates that the weapons have been covered in detail and the entire system is understood to a high standard, the trainee instructor is now a fully certified instructor under the UMAA.

Grading exams are always taken one to one on a personal level so you are prepared for the next level, advised on what you need to learn to progress to the next level and gain the important “feel” for the next level of technical skill. This is a different approach to most grading exams you may see where you  are one of many in a hall being assessed from a distance. At the UMAA we want all our high grade students and future instructors to be the very best and anyone learning from a certified instructor in our system can be confident that they are learning from an instructor that has attained true martial arts skill and ability.

We run a policy of awarding the appropriate sash to students based on their level of skill when reached and sustained over a period of months, if we see that the student has attained the required knowledge they will be awarded that sash when the Sifu feels it has been earned. Some people prefer to train specifically for the grading and take it as an examination as they enjoy the added pressure this puts them under. You may opt to take the exam and will train to prepare for that only, until the exam is taken. Our new policy is to be stringent with testing raise the standards in Martial Arts Training and to ensure our students represent themselves and our association with true talent, and our future instructors are among the very best in the world and will go on to teach great Kung Fu where ever they go in the world.