So, you have decided to take lessons in the martial arts, and you want to know what to expect...

One word summarizes the martial arts - PRACTICE! If you don't practice, you will not become better. "Champions train - Losers complain". And remember that every black belt you see has been practicing for years. If you are consistent, a black belt takes 4 to 5 years MINIMUM. And even when you have the black belt, you don't stop because there is always more to learn.

Originally there were no belts other than white and black. In practice, the white belt was given to a student when they started and as it was never washed, it became grimy and black over time. You will notice that black belts that are old become worn and frayed and start returning to a non-colored state. The cycle of learning never ends.

To help a student measure their progress towards the black belt, the curriculum was segmented, and other colored belts were introduced. In our dojo, the order of belts is White, Yellow, Orange, Blue, Green, 3rd Brown, 2nd Brown, 1st Brown and Black. With each belt, there are some new basic concepts that are introduced. This page introduces the basics that are essential to any martial art and to American Kenpo in particular.

Stances

Attention
Horse
Neutral Bow
Forward and Reverse Bow
45° and 90° Cat
Twist

Blocks

Upward
Inward
Extended Outward
Downward
Outward
Chamber
Smothering Palm Heel

Strikes

Punch
Back Knuckle
Hammer Fist
Sword Hand, Ridge Hand
Palm Heel
Elbow

Kicks

Front Snapping
Side Snapping
Back Snapping

Scriptures

Psalm 144: 1, 2

Legend

Children's Basic Belt Requirements

Children's Advanced Belt Requirements

Adult Requirements