Friday, April 6, 2007

good luck and have fun at the testing!


  1. What exactly do you all test for? Ranks? Belts? new material?

  2. for nothing

    just test

    oh but if you pass all of the first 3 forms then you get to train in level 2 classes

  3. No belts, no ranking system (other than Levels 1 and 2, which is not really ranking, I guess.)

    Once a student has finished the first form (chujiquantao) and up, s/he must test, which occurs every six months. You are evaluated on your execution of the basics as well as the forms. If you have satisfactorily demonstrated your knowledge of the form for which you are testing, you will receive a certificate indicating such. As Sucheela said, after you have passed the first 3 forms, you are eligible to attend Level 2 classes.

    The test is a way to keep us honest and perhaps motivated, although, as Shifu sez, every day should be treated as a test! Do your best every day!

  4. So you test for nothing except for the advancement to level 2. Is there a fee for every test or just the level 2 test? Or is there any fee at all? I dont see why there would be a fee if you test for nothing and the only purpose is to evaluate your progress.

    Doesnt your Sifu evaluate and correct your movements during class itself? If he does this then again, whats the point of testing?

  5. I am fairly certain whatever fees, tests, etc. that are associated with our school are not unusual from any other school.

    I quite like the system because it's not about who's wearing what color belt or whatever. It's really about how motivated/competitive you can be individually.

    I think the testing structure is enough to give people something to work towards. It is true that we are in many ways tested every day, and every time we go to train, but making it a formality every six months is useful in many ways. You ask what is the point of testing? That is a post in itself. Maybe some people would do better without any tests, grades, etc. But then there are places for them as well.

    Maybe some people feel it is for nothing, and I don't think Sucheela meant that literally. I feel it can be for everything. It is what you make of it, just like your life.

  6. I think you just dodged everyone of my questions. Nicely done!

  7. I'm a lawyer. Carefully crafting language is what I do for a living. :-)

    You want concrete answers? Yes, there is a fee for testing everytime. Yes, Shifu evaluates and corrects us in class regularly (and if you've been following this blog, he corrects me an awful lot!).

    As for the point of testing, there is no concrete answer for that now, is there?

  8. Just does not make much sense to me to pay for something that seems to have no purpose. Every reason you gave for testing seems to also exist in regular class so it's like your paying for it twice.

    But hey if your happy I am happy.

  9. Sound like green paper(money) go first, testing go second. How much is the testing fees, if may I ask? $20 or $40?? what does the money go towards and how does the school use the money for?


  10. Can I pay with a pack of special water.... umm Coronas?

  11. Hi all freindly blogger,
    This website come across my attentions. Um...$20, $40 or $50 testing fees that's kind a money for low income family. How much is the school fees? Did your school report the testing fees to the IRS tax report, and also can the fees(tessting & school) go for tax deduction?

    new york street cat.

  12. I thought Shaolin Temple is a place without money. As I know a real buddhist temple only accept money from donation. why you have to pay this & that. Can you make a donation for the testing fees? Just an idea.

    I totally agreed what "new york street cat" said-"$20, $40 or $50 testing fees that's kind a money for low income family". a lot of poor family in New York city, $40 to $50 is a week groceries bills for 3 to 4 kids. People just don;t think that way.

  13. If you eat in chinatown everyday you can make $50 last a week...

  14. WOW, Sucheela! What a response!


    hahaha! more chi!

    <3 Qbertplaya

  15. Dear Anonymouses (and that seems like quite an apt term, since none of you are willing to identify yourselves-- preferring to post anony-mouse-ly),

    why are you concerned with details of testing at the USA Shaolin Temple?

    Does your every dollar go towards something that will transcend judgment?

    Is it necessary that you question something of which you are not a part? To what end?

    If people are paying their hard-earned money for something that "seemingly does not have a purpose", well, doesn't the sheer fact that they are willing to pay, indicate that it serves a purpose, to them?

    Perhaps it is not a purpose which you, yourselves, would find gratifying or worthwhile, but I respectfully request that until or unless you can understand how each of the students at the USA Shaolin Temple benefit from training there, you cease trying to find reasons why we need to justify our willingness to pay money for that benefit.

    In an ideal world, I would not have to pay money for the kind of personal growth I have experienced through my training. But as we all know, anything worth having is worth working hard for.

    It seems like working towards becoming who we are each meant to be, through kung fu, or whatever "training" we choose, and becoming stronger, sharper, and better and better people in the process, is a worthwhile goal.

    You leave us wondering, Anonymouses, Who Are You? Perhaps, instead of endless inquiries and marginally cloaked judgments of others, you ought to turn those inquiries and judgments inward, and ask yourselves that very question.

    Respectfully submitted,
    Heng Mo

  16. Well, why do you get so defensive when we ask general questions?

  17. Anonymous,

    I don't think anyone is getting defensive, really. I think everyone is trying to say that we feel that testing is beneficial. That the tests don't convey some sort of formal level or ranking doesn't matter, at least not to us; And as we're the ones training at USAST, well, it really is our opinions that matter here.

    There are lots of people who disagree with lots of things that Shi Yan Ming does. It should come as no surprise that those of us who choose to train with him tend to agree with and respect the decisions that he makes.

    I doubt any of us are familiar with the business details of the Temple - Its tax obligations and so on. We (or at least I) assume that testing and training fees go toward rent, utilities, and so on. I trust that Sifu is using the fees wisely, just like I trust him to teach and train me wisely.

    As a final word, I'd just like to say that if you're interested in a debate about the Temple, the training, fees, or other such things the price of admission is your name. Debating Anonymous is like tilting at windmills; It can be dramatic and fascinating, but ultimately is rather meaningless.

  18. Dear Anonymous,

    Besides training Shaolin Kungfu, I have also trained in Wudan Kungfu. The school I had trained in before Shaolin also had fees associated with testing. I've spoken to many people that train in more than one form of martial arts and mentioned that it is not unusual or unheard of to pay a testing fee. Anyhow, nothing's free! :)

    I've viewed testing as an indication of your progress. In some schools, it is based on a belt system. Each school has a different method:Belt/non-belt, level system, etc. I personally like the Level 1/2 system since we learn the 'foundations'in level 1 and as we get stronger we're ready to do the cool flying kicks in level 2. Amituofo!~