Black Belt Testing Results
New 5th Degree Black Belt Instructor
Black belt is a prestigious rank, one recognized around the world. In the American Eagle Style, there are ten black belt ranks called degrees or Dan. Only the head of the school may hold the rank of 10th Dan, and this person determines its direction and certifies its instructors. For the American Martial Arts Institute, this is Grandmaster Crandall. Prior to earning 1st Degree black belt 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. On average, it can take a student 5 to 8 years to earn the rank for 1st Dan (although it can be longer), with the minimum length between each rank being 6 months. Once an individual has earned 1st Dan, the length time between ranks can vary from 2-4 years being very normal. Again, it can be longer.
On Saturday, June 26 from 8:30 am to 11:30 am, one individual tested before a panel of 5 Master Instructors, 3 sixth dans, and 2 fifth dans, led by Grandmaster Crandall. In order to test for the rank of 5th Dan, the individual must be an active, certified instructor in the American Eagle Style. This individual had to complete a 40 questions, essay based written exam the tested their knowledge of the style, the school, and teaching concepts. The demonstrated advanced black belt katas including Hookiyu, Hansoo, Sil Lim, Simplicity, and Heian 4. These katas are of Japanese, Chinese, Korean, and American origin, forcing the student to be familiar with the unique body language of each of these formats interchangeable, while keeping the katas separate and pure.
The candidate also performed advanced techniques such as leopards paw, boulder block and others, seated self defense, defense against a pistol, knife, and rifle, defense against multiple attackers, general self defense skills, ippon kumites, seiza waza, standing waza, hanza escape techniques, and much more.
It is important to note that in order to qualify to test for 5th Dan, the candidate must already be a skilled 4th Dan, meaning they know an additional 31 katas including forms such as Bassai Dai, Taebaek, Long Hand, Chip Su, Geumgang, and others.
The candidate had to also demonstrate 3 extension tools (sometimes called weapons) that had not been demonstrated at one of their previous testings. This means that the candidate was already familiar with at least 3 other weapons prior to testing for 5th Dan.
The candidate is also familiar with our school's publications including: American Eagle Style Textbook, American Eagle Style Self Defense Volume 1 DVD, Be Safe Mentally and Physically with the Crandall System, Leadership Piece by Piece, Superkick Workbook, Moving Beyond Disabilities, Women's Self Defense in a Changing World, and others.
Mr. Spiridigloizzi has been training for over 20 years.
Congratulations to Mark Spiridigloizzi who passed his testing
and was promoted to 5th DAN by Grandmaster Crandall