The American Arnis Curriculum is broadly based covering weapons, grappling/ disarming, and hand to hand combat. Most martial arts might cover education in only one of these categories to qualify for a Black Belt. However, the interaction of concepts and skills that are the hallmark of an American Arnis education allow students to master all three categories of education is approximately the same time as any one of the single skill family arts.
The white belt is representative of emptiness and purity. Students at this level are considered beginners on a journey of self-discovery within the martial arts. At this level they will learn basics like stances and movements for dealing with simple frontal attacks, “self-defense” actions like releasing common grabs. They will learn foundation theories including ranges, angles of attack and begin to understand the weaknesses of the attacker’s body targets. They will be introduced to calisthenics, stretching and conditioning exercises to develop their bodies and a code of conduct that reinforces their relationships with fellow students.
Stability is the symbol of an orange belt. At this level, students will expand their skills to offense and defense against opponents to their side or rear. Evasion followed by powerful counter attacks are the primary trait of the orange belt.
Once a student has a yellow belt, he/she has advanced beyond the introductory level. Yellow belt is representative of one’s energy. At this level students begin to focus that energy allowing them to change facing placing their most powerful weapons to the fore. Their ability to adapt to common attacks includes sufficient tools for clear choices to be made between striking, capturing and escaping.
When a student has advanced yellow belt status, Students have achieved competence in standard blocks and strikes, while also knowing how to maintain effective range for a wide variety of follow ups and counters. His skills now allow him to begin free-fighting training and introduces deception as a strategic choice.
Green Belt represents adaptability to given situations. Green belt students demonstrated fluidity and adaptability. With fluidity comes greater strength and confidence.
The green belt is the belt where students become humbled and dedicated as training becomes harder and more serious. With this transition comes a great flow of emotion and sensitivity. This stage is often a wall of fire where students must push through personal development issues as their natural strengths no longer can support them in their new direction.
The blue belt is the gateway to advanced martial arts. The belt represents both experience and knowledge as new challenges build an awareness of competence.
Advanced Blue Belt
Advanced Blue Belts are required to be both practical and creative in their techniques. Their fighting skills allow them to adapt and change to take on un expected circumstances. Confidence sets in as one’s own personality is integrated with the many techniques they have already mastered.
Red belt is ferocity. Students push themselves proving their ability to equal and overcome obstacles. While the red belt is a symbol of great achievement.
Advanced Red Belt
Advanced red belt is the level of leadership. Beyond their fighting ability, they should prove their ability to share their art with others, creating a safe space for new practitioners to achieve their goals and providing a model of behavior equal to chivalric values.
A black belt is the summit of the curriculum. Many people work years to accomplish the mastery of a black belt. While the black belt is a symbol of great achievement, the belt itself is not the ultimate goal. The real reward is in the new self-awareness this belt represents. Black belts enter a rare fraternity, a level of accomplishment less than 1% truly achieve.