Belt Rank Structure
Like many other martial arts, American Style Nunchaku uses a grading system with belts of different colors to indicate the practitioner’s level of knowledge and experience. At ASN, there are nine levels of color belts (class ranks) and nine levels of black belts (degree ranks). American Style Nunchaku as its own martial arts style, apart from the weapon itself, has no origins in Japanese kobudo, which is why we do not use Japanese names for either belt degrees or teacher titles. As the name suggests, ASN has an American origin.
Belt degrees are a pedagogical tool for defining different levels of knowledge and experience within the branch, and a method for the practitioner to create achievable goals on the way to mastery. At ASN Federation, we place special emphasis on experience. The techniques are easy to learn and quite quickly a practitioner can perform even the most advanced techniques, but there is a difference between short term studying for a test and cementing long-term automation. For the techniques to become autonomous and a natural part of the practitioner’s movements and an extension of the body, thousands of hours of training are required. Therefore, we never deviate from the Time In Rank Requirement between promotions. A practitioner’s experience is evident in her techniques.
Technological development has progressed incredibly fast in recent years and created unimaginable opportunities with distance and online training. American Style Nunchaku is extremely suitable for distance training. We are still very dedicated to the personal contact with the practitioners. With advancement in martial arts skills also comes a big responsibility. We take very seriously the fact that practitioners of ASN must meet the criteria for conduct and treatment of other people. All practitioners of ASN are considered the style’s ambassadors. The higher the rank, the greater the responsibility. Therefore, we expect practitioners to maintain close contact throughout the whole training journey, and for that reason we also have as a criteria that the promotion to black belt is performed in person. We must be able to feel that we are giving a black belt to a person who stands for our values.
The following is the only grading system recognized by the American Style Nunchaku Federation since January 2022: