Black Belt Testing Results
Ten students have tested and earned new black belt ranks!
Black belt is a prestigious rank, one recognized around the world. In the American Eagle Style, there are ten degrees (Dan) of black belt. Only one person may hold the rank of 10th Dan, the head of the school who determines its direction and certifies its instructors. For the American Martial Arts Institute, this is Grandmaster Crandall. In addition, there are 8 gyups (belt ranks) that must first be earned. All students begin as white belts and test for each rank, maturing in the style through its traditional process.
While Covid 19 continues to be a factor in daily life, and decision have had to be made on how to respond to its challenges, our school has continued to remain active and grow. The health and safety of our students, instructors, and the community are paramount. Therefore, this testing was held following common sense sanitation procedures, temperature checks, and masks for everyone. Hand sanitizing was completed after touching any objects or equipment. When equipment was used, it was promptly cleaned by our staff.
Black belt candidates should have read in their entirety and be familiar with the American Eagle Style Textbook, the American Martial Arts Institute American Eagle Style Superkick Workbook, Be Safe Physically and Mentally with the Crandall System, and Leadership Piece by Piece. In addition, they must write a 500-650 page paper, which must be accepted by Grandmaster Crandall and all six Master Instructors. These are all pre-qualifications before the student's instructor can even consider them to test. They must also have a minimum of 6 months as a first rank brown belt, but this is a minimum and it can often take much longer.
On Friday, March 5, 2021, three candidates tested for junior black belt, and on Saturday, March 6, seven candidates tested for adult rank black belt ranks (3 tested from junior rank status into first degree adult black belt status, two tested for adult rank 1st degree black belt status, one tested for 2nd Degree, and one tested for 4th degree black belt).
Junior Rank Black Belts are under the age of 18 and expected to complete the same requirements as the adults with the exception of the kata Old Koryo, weapons forms, board breaking, and sparring adults. First Degree Black Belt candidates have already been a student for a minimum of 5 1/2 years prior to testing, with many having trained for 6, 7, or 8 years. The exam began with a written exam about the style, the school and more. All levels of black belt include written exams.
The first degree candidates are required to know 13 traditional katas, including Chulgi 1, Eye of the Eagle, Old Koryo, the Palgwes, and others. Other areas included punches, kicks, stances, 36 basic forms, advanced techniques, floor exercises, takedowns, seiza waza, standing waza, self-defense, defenses against guns and knives, sparring individual and multiple opponents, and other areas. They also had to break a board and demonstrate a weapon's kata.
The second dan candidate had already been a 2nd Dan for over 2 years and had to additionally demonstrate the katas: Chip Su, Heian 1, Geum Gang, New Koryo, and Chulgi 2. They also demonstrated two weapons katas not previously demonstrated at one of their prior testings.
The fourth degree candidate had already been a 3rd Dan for over 3 years and had to additionally demonstrate: Long Hang, Pyongwon, Aoyanagi (both male and female formats), Continuity 2, and Heian 3. They also demonstrated three weapons forms.
The second and fourth degree candidates also performed advanced techniques, seated self defense, rifle techniques, advanced self defense, and more.
The American Martial Arts Institute is a traditional school. In part, this means that the style's knowledge, techniques, etiquette, philosophy, and processes are maintained consistently from generation-to-generation. The rank of first degree is graded out of a score of 100 possible points, with a minimum of 80 points needed to pass.
This is only a small part of what goes into earning a black belt in the American Eagle Style.
Grandmaster Crandall is pleased to announce that the following American Eagle Style students have passed their black belt examination:
NOTE: pictures of the candidates were taken from approximately 20 feet away with zoom lens to allow the candidates to remove their mask for the photograph. Immediately following the picture, they masks were put back on.
Junior Rank Black Belts (1st Degree)
Adult Rank Black Belts - 1st Degree / 1st Dan
Joseph DeTraglia III