The Way of the Compassionate Warrior

When you step through the doorway at NAGA, you begin a unique and fascinating journey of skill, self-knowledge and courage. These are some touchstones you can expect along your way.

White Belt

This signifies your courage as you begin the journey.

First Stripe

Attaining your first stripe represents your positive attitude, your willingness, your humility and open heart.

Second Stripe

When you earn your second stripe, you know you have a command of the detail of 108 self-defense moves. You are tenacious, tough, patient and strong.

White Sash

This represents your physical skill & speed in the art of self-defense, and is evidence of hours of  practice. By now, you have committed your lessons to muscle memory and are a role model in our community. “Grit” and “guts” are your middle name. Upon the completion of this phase of your training, you come to a crossroads and get to decide where you want to go next in your training.

Cun Tao Black Belt

This is a teaching rank and connotes leadership. Through compassion and mental steadfastness, you have the ability to work with all levels and ages of our student body. Your command of the details has grown and deepened and you have shown yourself to have the capacity to inspire others.

Gold Sash

The achievement of gold sash in our art is no small feat. In fact, it is comparable to the level of black belt in other martial arts you’ll find in Portland. This rank celebrates your courage, determination and the facing of your fears. You are integrating the Poekoelan fighting style, showing competence with stop kicks, your hand position, cutting angles and using circular movement.

Blue Sash

By this rank, you are choosing to step into a bigger adventure. You are connecting to all of our students and families on a more meaningful level. This is an observance of your achievement and practice.

Green Sash

As an advanced student, you are embracing your fierceness as you dig deep in your fighting. You practice hard and teach others and it shows in the excellence and precision of your forms, standards and stances. You are building your strength, determination, endurance & speed.

Brown Sash

This is your first really long test. This rank will help you decide if you would like to continue on toward black belt. Your strength and endurance have never been better as you prepare for your 24 hour test. Your twelve hours of continuous physical challenge will be followed 12 hours of quiet meditation in order to give you the opportunity to integrate your lessons.

Black Belt

This signifies the mastery of the first leg of the path. Your physical stamina and strength are at an all time high and you show the commitment it takes to be a warrior. This is a rite of passage like none other you have experienced before. You are connected to a power greater than yourself, and are moving into a state of knowledge and peace. This is a two-day test that differentiates our art and training from others and sets the student on the path for a new beginning as a black belt.

Second Degree Black Belt

Integration of the lessons learned, Open heart, Connection to all students, Humility, “The hero integrates wisdom by sharing wisdom with the world” Beginnings of understanding the lessons of unconditional love of others.

Third Degree Black Belt, White Dragon, Title: Bantoe

The meaning of the word “Bantoe” (pronounced bahn-too) is “Substitute” or “Helper”.  Learning through sacrifice of the self, a commitment to compassion, and a dedication of spirit are guiding principles at this rank. There is a great deal of preparation and years of training before you are ready for this three day experience.

Fourth Degree Black Belt, Silver Dragon, Title: Pendekkar

As a “Protector” or “Warrior”, you become similar to a mayor of our village. Your meditation and internal training acts as a counterbalance for your fierce fighting and technical skill. By facing your fears, you get the opportunity to look anew at both your past and future. Being a human is complicated. Having an experience like this test is a gift. You will now serve as more than just an instructor or expert because your deep internal reserves and knowledge will also be a receptacle of the culture and wisdom of our art.

Fifth Degree Black Belt, Golden Dragon, Title: Goeroe

Teacher