Kung Fu is now widespread throughout the world and interested people can choose from a wide range of schools and training courses. In order to clarify the most important questions in advance, we present here tips on training and the graduation system, i.e. the colors of the belts or sashes and what progress they mean.

In 30 seconds the most important:

  • In Kung Fu, a suit is worn as well as a colored sash (which indicates the level of training).
  • In the exams for the next higher sash, techniques, theory and weaponry, as well as combat elements are evaluated.
  • Other accessories used in Kung Fu are melee weapons, such as rattan sticks or nunchucks.

Equipment for Kung Fu Training

During training you usually wear a comfortable suit. It should completely cover your arms and legs. Usually the suit is black or white, but there are also red or orange suits. The suit is closed without a belt in Kung Fu – unlike other martial arts. Therefore, it usually has clasps. In addition, it is decorated with complex embroidery. The uniform is completed with light, flexible shoes made of cotton or canvas. They protect your feet during competition and training. Shaolin monks also wear white socks, which they wrap with leg bands.

Depending on the training goal and orientation, weapons can also be used in Kung Fu. The Chinese sword is probably the most popular. It has two sharp edges and is hard, yet flexible. This ensures that it cannot break during a fight. The sword serves as both a thrusting and a slashing weapon. Another typical weapon for Kung Fu is the trident. It consists of three interconnected wooden links and is particularly suitable for quick turns. However, the risk of injury is very high and the truncheon is considered a weapon with a high risk factor, which is why it is not allowed in Germany. In addition, the long stick is used in Kung Fu. This is a wooden stick that used to serve Japanese peasants as an inconspicuous weapon to defend themselves while traveling. Just like the truncheon, the long stick is especially effective in fast movements, because strong centrifugal forces develop.

Kung Fu Belt Colors

In traditional Kung Fu styles and schools, there is no uniform graduation system. Nevertheless, more and more Kung Fu schools are introducing graduation systems for students along the following lines:


Kickboxen Gürtel
© Le Do – Fotolia.com

Student gradesBelt color
1. Student GradeWhite sash
2. Student gradeYellow sash
3. Student gradeOrange Sash
4. Student GradeGreen Sash
5. Student GradePurple Sash
6. Student GradeBlue Sash
7. Student GradeBrown Sash
8. Student GradeRed Sash
9. Pupil GradeBlack sash

In addition, there are often still the master degrees, which are built up in five steps. Depending on the graduation, they are bound to other requirements:

Master DegreesTime rule
1. Master degreemust be passed at the latest 12 months after the examination for the black sash
2. Master degreeCan be achieved after another 24 months
3. Master degreeCan be achieved after another 36 months
4. Master degreeCan be achieved after another 48 months
5. Master degreeCan be achieved after another 60 months

Any further graduation will only be awarded if the aspiration to pass on the art is sufficiently great. There may be other internal requirements for achieving the student and master degrees depending on the style and school.

Kung Fu Training & Techniques

For the practice of Kung Fu, a stable stance and step sequences are very important. Often several sequences are taught, which can be practiced both as attack and defense.

  • For example, the pose called “the crane” is very popular. It is also performed in karate and is the basis for kicks and jumps.
  • In addition to the basic postures, it is important to internalize the philosophical concepts. Meditation is therefore a focus in Kung Fu, as well as the slow and constant increases in practice. They should not be uncontrolled or abrupt.
  • Humility is also an important basic attitude for the fighter during training. Ideally, kung fu practice should begin in childhood and continue humbly and uninterruptedly throughout one’s life.
  • Furthermore, in traditional Kung Fu, lifestyle and daily habits play a very important role. Students should eat a vegetarian diet and refrain from excess and alcohol, just as in yoga. In addition, all traditions and procedures learned during training must remain unchanged and respected by all students.

In the following video you can watch a “Kung Fu Bootcamp” and get an insight into the daily training routine of junior monks:

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Update: 2023-01-20 / Affiliate Links / Bilder von der Amazon Product Advertising API