The black sash is worn from the beginner level to Orange, with coloured embroidered badges presented at the passing of each level. From Green level 1 students are given a green sash which allows them to assist instructing. At ‘Disciple’ level, the colour of the sashes changes, from blue to purple and brown. Upon entering the Master level a Red sash is presented.
Young Mantis: Beginner, White, Yellow, Orange
Adult: Beginner, White, Yellow, Orange, Green1, Green2, Blue 1, Blue 2, Purple 1, Purple 2, Brown 1, Brown 2, Red 1, Red 2, Red 3, Red 4, Red 5, Red 6, Gold 7, Gold 8, Gold 9
Each grade in our Circular Tong Long system teaches a specific type of energy and how to generate that energy through proper body mechanics. From beginner to Master Level there are 12 grades, each named after the energetic principles for that grade. Here you will find descriptions for each grade Forms required. Some grades have weaponry which is also briefly mentioned. Not only is the form to be played correctly for the level but also practitioners need to display their understanding of individual techniques and fighting application of those techniques in a controlled grading fight scenario called a ‘jong’. All forms, techniques and jongs can only be learned through an accredited CKFA branch location.
BEGINNER – The First 15 Moves of Sarm Bo Gin
This grade teaches the basics of ma work and hand movements to the Beginner student. The energy begins to be understood as a compression / crushing power in the hands and forearms. This is then released through the bil sou and bil gee movements. At this level the student performs the moves on the spot, so they can concentrate their development to the energy in the upper body and on their breath.
WHITE – Sarm Bo Gin
This grade is a continuation of the Beginner grade but takes the student through to the end of the form. In this grade the student adds to the compression/crushing power, training the energy into the ribs, elbows, wrists, and hands. Now the release of this energy is combined with stepping and gripping the ma to force the energy to the bil sou. Although this is the first form in our system, it is considered the most difficult to play correctly. To see a student’s understanding of our Tong Long, no matter what grade they are, it is quickly shown when they replay their Sarm Bo Gin form.
Sarm Bo Gin translates to Three Times Stepping with Arrow Fists. This is expressed in the release of energy through the bil sou with the darn ma.
For more information about our grading system you should join one our schools wher all will be revealed one step at a time.
YELLOW – Sarm Bo Yil Kiel
This form translates to Three Times Stepping with Shaking/Rocking Bridge. In this form the students learn to generate energy through their bridge of strength ( legs to body to arms ) using a longer stance. The kiel is the bridge between your hand and your body. As the student steps into the longer stance, energy is generated while maintaining a straight back and striking out. This coordination of rocking the ma forward with the sai and shaking the kiel is what develops the energy of this grade.
ORANGE – Sarm Kung Bic Kiel
This form translates to Three Times Forcing Through Energy. Now students concentrate more on gripping the ma and using their hips and waist to generate much more force. The kiel is maintained after each strike to generate the next strike. It is this constancy of kiel between strikes and a connected ma that brings about an understanding of the Kung Bic Kiel Ging.
Weapon – Long Stick Form
This is the first grade to include weapons. The weapons of Southern Tong Long emphasise the energy of the grade in which they are placed. See our Weapons page for more info.
GREEN I – Sarm Bo Pai Tarn
This form translates to Three Times Stepping with Slicing and Flicking Energy. Here the gripping of the ma and the turning of the waist are moved up a gear. This allows for more energy to be emitted through the hands. As the feet grip, the waist is turned more violently, like a gunshot, to release the energy through the arms.
Weapon – Stick vs. Stick Form
GREEN II – Tong Long Bo Sim Sou
The translation is Praying Mantis Catches the Cicada. This form teaches the student to develop snatching/catching energy. Here the movements are made using a shorter distance. There is no drawing back to drive the hit forward. More power than before is generated from this shorter distance. Therefore, the mind begins to play a greater part in the energy output. It is essential that the ma is totally fixed to the ground during the energy output.
Disciple Level Grades
BLUE I – Tong Long Won Sou
Once you reach this level in your training you are accepted into the “closed door” training with your Sifu. He will take a direct interest in you, your Kung Fu, and your development as human being. The grade itself is based on being able to generate continual energy. This is the grade that really takes your training into the internal practise of the martial art. You learn to hit in a continuous manner, maintaining your kiel, and generating the power via internal means.
BLUE II – Tong Long Um Ging Sou
Um Ging refers to something that is hard to see. This is the type of energy to be trained at this grade. Other descriptions include ghost energy or misty energy. It is like being in a darkened room where you can’t quite make out the furniture but you know it is there, especially when you kick your toe on it. This is the same for the energy of this grade. You can’t quite make out the energy until it smashes into you. You are hiding your energy.
This grade certainly does teach you “to be soft until its necessary to be hard?, so that the opponent isn’t aware of you coming”. The purpose of this is that you give them the impression you are not a threat, or that they have you under control. This is due to the “softness” of the kiel/bridge. Once they contact the kiel they think you are finished. But the softness allows you to chum and release the ging. This requires many repetitions and much mental connection to the technique.
PURPLE I – Darn Sey Moon Gang Ging
Guarding the four doors, or four directions. The energy output of this level is much faster than the previous 2 grades. You learn to generate energy in 180 degree combinations, i.e. up and down, left and right, forward and back. This allows for maximum generation within the limited “fighting box” of this grade. It also allows your body to learn ging output in a different fashion to everything you have practised before. This comes through a multiple combination of hits in rapid succession which require a hit and release method each time. This is difficult when you move at speed. So you also need a more solid ma than ever before too.
And there is a focus on the development of “brains” in your hands. From here on in you continuously try and educate your hands to become more independent from each other, and more dextrous.
PURPLE II – Tong Long Bic Sarn Gung
This form translates to Praying Mantis Forces Through the Mountain. It requires a much heavier power than the previous form. How does this benefit the application of the techniques? It makes the techniques a lot heavier, using a lot more garp and dip gwart gung. You will also learn to use the opponents energy, sucking them in, then you bulldozing back through them. With this level you have to really grip the floor much harder, explode from the hips and bring the energy out using your mind.
The grade requires a higher level of mental commitment. You link your ma more to the technique, and you use your body more, never reach out or rely on a snatching power. This is what will increase your power again. You will use your sai more, and mess with your opponents sai.
BROWN I – Second Stage Sarm Bo Gin
Tong Long De Yi Doon
This is a return visit to our very first form – Sarm Bo Gin. It is interesting to have this grade repeated at such a high level, but now with the maturity of the ma, sai, kiel, ging, dip gwart gung, garp, and sun, the Sarm Bo Gin is much more advanced. The physical form itself is not exactly the same as White Belt Sarm Bo Gin. There are differences in the techniques as well as the energy.
BROWN II – Tong Long Gang Tarn Ging
This form increases the Tong Long treasure of unlimited shock power that was begun in Darn Sey Moon Gang Ging. Also required in this grade is the review of all techniques and energies learned from White Belt to Brown Belt. You will discover many ways to use them, and realise that there is no one way to apply the techniques of Tong Long Kung Fu. This “return to the classics” is to make the student fully prepared to enter into the Master Level, and to be confident to open their own school and pass on the art with permission and authority of the CKFA.