Ranks and Testing

At Steiner Academy of Martial Arts achieving rank is secondary to quality training and character development. There is not a specific time-table for achieving rank and every student is different. For questions about testing and promotions click here.

Belt Ranks

The Belt Ranking System at Steiner Academy of Martial Arts:

(highest to lowest)

  • Black 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and etc.
  • Brown 3rd, 2nd, and 1st
  • Green
  • Green-Blue
  • Blue
  • Blue-Purple
  • Purple
  • Purple-Orange
  • Orange
  • Orange-Yellow
  • Yellow
  • White

Frequently Asked Questions


Within the ancient traditions of Shaolin there were no ranks between white belt (beginner students) and black belt (advanced students and teachers). Initially the student would train under the master for years, and when he decided the student had reached his expectations in training and development, he was granted the rank of Black Belt. At Steiner Academy of Martial Arts we have ten ranks with degrees and middle belts which are earned between white belt and Black Belt. We have these varying ranks to help motivate students towards their goals in development of the mind and body as well as to provide feedback while training.


At Steiner Academy of Martial Arts (SAMA) achieving rank is secondary to quality training and character development. Rank testing and advancement varies depending on the individual progress of each student. Most beginning students advance every 3-4 months however there is no set time-table on achieving any rank at SAMA.

Testing is completed in a group setting with other SAMA students and generally we notify the student or parent(s) when to expect it. Testing does not always result in a promotion, however it’s a vital part of the training and development process. We teach students to train to be their best and train for continuous improvement; if they do this they will achieve the rank they earned and deserve.


Advancing in rank through training and testing allows the students to demonstrate what they have learned and take ownership for their accomplishments. In addition, an important part of our training is learning mental and physical focus. Although testing can be stressful, demanding and exhausting for many students, we guarantee all training and testing is done in a safe environment with responsible instructors. Our process helps students learn to face and cope with stress, anxiety, and fear with calm strength, patient persistence and courage.


Determining whether or not a student is ready for advancement is completed by the instructor. If you feel you are ready to test for rank advancement and have not been invited to do so by your instructor, talk to him about it. Open communication throughout a student’s development allows the instructor to let the student know if there are specific things they need to work on.

If a student is invited to test, it is very likely they are ready to advance, however it is not pre-determined. If they do not pass, the instructors will work together to help the students achieve their goals. As a student and a parent of a student, it is important to focus on areas of opportunity in at-home practice so the student can be ready the next time.


There is a moderate testing fee associated with testing for advancement in rank. This cost is associated with promotion materials like the student’s belt and Master’s Guide. A student’s advancement is not dependent on this cost because at SAMA our focus is the student’s training and development. For details on cost please contact Sensei Steiner.


How does a student know if they’re ready for advancement? At SAMA we ask that students and parents refrain from asking for a promotion simply for the purpose of advancement. The essential key to a student’s growth is performance improvement. Not all students begin at the same level or capacity for learning. Based on their unique abilities, each student will have opportunities in different areas. In the beginning we take serious consideration for the innate abilities of each student and expect to see effort and improvement at a reasonable pace, however promotions should not be viewed as a race with other students, but as a personal challenge.