The Tree of Life
Nhu adult ranks are based on a tree. We have four belts in
the adult curriculum (White, Green, Brown, Black)
and each belt has two stripes that lead up to it:
- White represents the seed.
- Green stripes are the shoots of green
coming out of the ground. The green belt is the sapling.
- Brown stripes are bark growing on the strengthening
tree, and the brown belt is a strong, young tree.
- Black stripes
are the shade that the tree begins to produce;
the black belt is the mature tree.
- Red stripes on a black belt represent
the tree. To advance in rank and to continue
growing as martial artists, Cuong Nhu black belts must
The children’s curriculum is broken into smaller stages so students can stay
motivated with more short-term goals. Kids pursue a parallel
curriculum that has been modified with consideration for growing
bodies and developing judgment. After blue belt, kids graduate
into the adult curriculum.
Eligibility to Advance
Eligibility to test and advance in rank
is determined most importantly by one's proficiency in the
Cuong Nhu curriculum but also on attitude, effort and attendance.
On average, adults take six to eight years to reach black belt
take longer to become a black belt than many
other styles, because we require a great deal in skill, knowledge
Everyone comes to Cuong
Nhu with a different combination of natural abilities, training
and attitudes. No one should be discouraged
by or arrogant about how fast or slow they move from one
rank to another.
See our Testing page to learn more about advancing through the ranks.