PLEASE NOTE THESE Rules are presently under review ... actually they always are as an attempt to improve them ... BEM

By laws


of the

Quan Li K'an Style


Martial Arts



If you are able to go home after it is over ... you did it right



Date of current version:  31 July 2009


PURPOSE: The purpose of the Quan Li K'an organization is for reduction and mutual support. We realize that by working together to challenge perceptions and to add to out knowledge base we can all improve.

We realize that reality is - regardless of what we want it to be and we need to prepare for such.

We believe that training and spirit are more important that toughness or strength because strength and toughness will fail you but your spirit and training are what you control.











1)_ Definitions

For the purposes of this document and the style of Quan Li K'an, the following definitions apply:

Dan:  Black belt level.

Sensei: Instructor.  May denote a head of a school or an instructor with in a school.

Laoshi:  The head teacher of a Region or area. – MUST be at least 5th Dan

Soke:  The recognized formal founder of a style.

Tai Laoshi :  The official active head of the style.  Literally translated as "oldest or grand teacher."  May or may not be the same person as the Soke.  This term is used rather than Sensei as it designates teacher of many things beyond merely martial arts.

The Board of Governors: the Governing body of the QLK system responsible for ensuring fairness to all students in the QLK style, For making recommendations of rank standards and providing means for schools and students to help each other learn.


2) The Board of Governors of Quan Li K'an

 It is felt that The Board of governors should be comprised from as many eligible board members as possible so as to represent the various interests with in the QLK family as much as possible.  









5) Board members will be responsible for:

a) Deciding changes in katas and rules, which affect all schools in the Quan Li K'an System.

b) Arbitrating all contested decisions of rank, discipline, or complaints of unfairness brought to it by any student of QLK.

c) Deciding on questions of Expulsion of Schools or individuals

d) Deciding in Questions of Rank validity brought before the board

e) Insuring that All persons who represent themselves as being QLK instructors actually have such qualifications.


6) All decisions of the Board of Governors will be made on simple majority basis.

a) The Tai Laoshi will not vote on issues unless there is a tie in the voting of the other members.

7) Appeals of the board's decisions can only be made to the board by; the student or school originally presenting the question to the board or by the Tai Laoshi formally asking the board to re-examine the question.

a) Appeals to reopen any question will be based on convincing the board in a formal session that other significant information, not previously heard, should be considered.

8)  A Board of Governors meeting, may be called by any two permanent members of the board.

a) Boards will be convened on an "as needed" basis.

b) Board of governors meetings and/or decisions can be made over a reasonable period of time so that all board members may make their views and votes known.

1) There is no need for Board of Governors to be physically in the same location for a meeting to exist.  Thus electronic communication is allowed.

2) ALL board members are to be made aware that a formal meeting is called.

3) All members are allowed to gather information on the matter at hand, as they deem appropriate so that they may make their decisions in a factual and timely manner.


9) If the Board cannot physically meet, it is equally acceptable for a conference call or other electronic format to be set up by the Tai Laoshi so that information may be presented to all members at the same time and questions of the board can be answered.

a) The Tai Laoshi will be responsible to ensure that all voting members of the board are contacted and made aware of issues presented to the board so that they may express their vote.

10) The Board of Governors will be responsible for certifying the rank of the Soke and/or Tai Laoshi of the style and the requirements for advancement of all senior Dan levels where applicable.



Duties of the Tai Laoshi: to include but not limited to;












In QLK schools, kata is defined as a tool both for learning and as TOOLS for self-defense. Thus Katas to be learned will be designated by the individual School Sensei – NOT the board or the Tai Laoshi.

It is the responsibility of the individual school Sensei to chose kata and drills so as to best prepare students for self defence.

It is the responsibility of the Sensei to advance or not advance a student based on what is best FOR THE STUDENT.

Thus it is expected that both Kata, drills and even the focus of training will change over time both because of the individual needs of the student and the experience of the Sensei.



A) All certificates for Dan ratings, given by an instructor below the rank of 4th Dan, should be countersigned by their instructor and / or appropriate person of 4th Dan or above the rating .

B) A database of all Legitimate Dan ranks will be maintained by the Tai Laoshi with



The Following are EXAMPLES of advancement requirements for the MAIN QLK school and should NOT be considered mandates to be followed by other QLK schools. (remember it is the information you get not the kata itself that is important)

It is suggested that students be aware in advance of the requirements for the next grading of their PARTICULAR QLK School. Remember it is your Sensei that determines what it is you need to know to be judged ready for the next level - not simply knowing katas:



White to Yellow:  Know Chung Ji kata and 6 one-step moves (quality of one steps consistent with age and level).

Yellow to low Orange: Bo Chun kata and 6 one-step moves (quality of one steps consistent with age and level).

Low Orange to High Orange: Dan Goon kata and 6 one-step moves (quality of one steps consistent with age and level).

High Orange to Low Green: Abo Nim and 6 one-step moves (quality of one steps consistent with level),

Low Green to High Green: Do San, 6 one-step moves (quality of one steps consistent with level); demonstrate sparring consistent with age and level.

High Green to Low Blue:

Adults:  Empi Kata - 5 one-step moves,(quality of one steps consistent with age and level); demonstrate sparring ability consistent with level.

KIDS: Won Yio, 5 one-step moves, (quality of one steps consistent with age and level); demonstrate sparring ability consistent with level.

Low Blue to High Blue: Yul Guk kata plus demonstrate sparring ability consistent with level.

Students will spar twice, once against a person of (preferably the next) higher level.


High Blue to low Red: Jhung Goon plus demonstrate sparring ability consistent with level.

Students will spar twice, once against a person of (preferably the next) higher level.


Low Red to High Red: Toi Gye plus demonstrate sparring ability consistent with level.

Students will spar twice, once against a person of (preferably the next) higher level.


High Red to Low Brown: Hwa Rang kata, demonstrate sparring ability consistent with level;

Students will spar twice, once against a person of (preferably the next) higher level.


Low Brown to High Brown: Choong Moo kata and demonstrate sparring ability consistent with level

Students will spar twice, once against a person of (preferably the next) higher level.


(High Brown to) 1st Degree Black / 1st DAN: Tai (Point) kata, demonstrate sparring ability consistent with level;


[Adult level: double board hand and double board foot technique - one technique must break both boards.

Under age 14: single board hand and single board foot technique - one technique must break board.]

for 1st Dan - JUNIOR level:

IT is felt that some students have shown that they have the desire to pursue the study of QLK but are not yet of the age that they are ready for adult level requirements. YET it is not felt that they should be stymied and not be allowed to show some progression.

Therefore such students may archive the TEMPORARY junior dan status for first and Second Dan level.

This is meant as a means that allows the student to continue studying material that continues to advance but is not yet of the adult level.

However once the student does reach age and maturity levels they NEED to learn adult level material and then RETEST - Starting with 1st Dan and working progressively to the corresponding adult Dan level.

However it is not felt that such students should be TIME penalized so the time they spend in the Junior dan Grade will count toward the time requirements of the Adult level - and the judgment of conversion to ADULT level dan grading will be based on KNOWLEDGE and Maturity.

Note: You MAY be temporarily promoted on a Junior black belt levels if the breaking requirements OR knowledge requirement are not completed OR the Sensei feels that maturity levels are such that the student is not ready for the responsibility of knowing the adult level material.

Promotions to Junior Dan grades have the same time requirements as for Adult levels

NOTE: for 2nd Dan - JUNIOR level:

However Be aware that there is NO JUNIOR LEVEL 3rd DAN ....

In order to achieve beyond 2nd DAN Junior Level, however,the student MUST complete the requirement for Adult for all levels up through 2nd Dan-- Example to test for 3rd Dan the student must (retest and) complete testing for 1st Dan and 2nd Dan at the ADULT level ... BUT can test for these levels at any time after time requirements AND MATURITY requirements have been completed.


(First to) Second DAN: Poen and Bassai Dai katas,. Review and Empi Kata.  Demonstrate sparring ability consistent with level; will spar twice, once against a person of (preferably the next) higher level and once against 2 persons preferably 1st degree black belts, plus board breaking. [2 double board hand techniques and 2 double board foot techniques - one hand and one foot technique must break both boards.]

Note: There are no board breaking limitations based on age at this level. MUST obtain Assistant Teaching Certification.


(Second to) Third DAN:  2 of the additional katas must be known – the Katas to be learned will be chosen by the Sensei based on which are felt to be the most appropriate; some suggestions  (NOT limited to these) are: Gae Beck, Naihanchi Shodan, Naihanchi Nidan, and Tai Dien Shen Ching.

FULL explanation of the meanings of these katas must be demonstrated.  One board speed break (may be hand or foot) is an optional requirement

(Third to) FOURTH DAN:  The purpose/ intent of 4th Dan is to be able to look at a kata and figure out the real meanings of the techniques in the kata by yourself.  Methods which can be assigned for the student to be able to do this include (but are not limited to);  Devising own kata [at least equal in length to Ta (point).], Be assigned a form to learn and develop meaning for by instructor.



for 5th dan it requires an understanding of (of course everything that led to the 4th dan) + at least 5 years teaching

the time requirements [the nbumber of years equals the number of the Dan yor are going to [waivable by up to 25% based on boards recommendations] PLUS


For every Dan from 5th and up you must have completed 2 of the following skills:



Be able to prove that you have the (combat) level understanding of any TWO of the sub-styles per Dan (5th = 2, 6th =4 substyles 7th = 6 substyles, etc]


Tai Chi Short Form -and demonstrate the basic combat explanations - MUST BE WORKABLE explanations

4 Hands (Sword hands, heavy hands, Sticky hands, and Push hands)






Chinese boxing - there are 2 levels of chinese boxing - static and dynamic)



Certified Training in healing techniques (Healing certification can only be given by a certified instructor). Note: Healing certification can be earned from first Dan on but MUST be earned before eligible for the fifth Dan.

familiarization with at least basic Weapon knowledge of at least 2 classes of weapons (example - Blade, stick, flexible, weighted flexible). .


Thus it is Required that promotions above the 4thd Dan level MUST be agreeable to and be signed by the Tai Laoshi and the majority of the Board of Governors.


Suggested areas of additional training which will be considered for promotion, include but are not limited to:

Knowledge of multiple katas

Knowledge of additional sub-styles! - see above



SIXTH DAN is considered a Masters Level Certificate


9th Dan Honorary ...

must have been a 8th dan for at least 9 years and shown leadership in teaching for the majority of those years and have taught higher dans above the 4th Dan level


Tenth Degree Black: (Honorary Degree)


10th Dan is given upon death as an honour.  Given as an honour for long years of work and the status of having to retire from martial arts due to health or other similar reasons there is really no reason to give a 10th Dan while the person is alive.





5) Uniforms

In general, students should be encouraged wear a plain white uniform for training purposes.

For outdoor training students may be allowed to wear a plain black gee at the discretion of their instructor.

Coloured Tops/Gees are NOT mandatory! Also, to be eligible to wear them, the person must meet the following requirements:

Blue tops

Students qualified to open their own school. (Must be a certified instructor and 18 years of age or older.) Do not have to open school, just be eligible to do so.


Black Tops

Must be 4th Dan or above, except for limited outdoor training as part of an all black plain gee as authorized by school instructor.


Red Tops

Must be 6th Dan or above.


Belts/Rank insignia


A Clean white uniform with a QLK patch in the upper left chest area is always considered as appropriate dress.  Other Patches and additional rank marking are considered optional.

ALL Rank marking is be determined by the Sensei  
Other suggested  rank designations are


Appropriate coloured and striped belt for rank up to black belt.

One yellow stripe on each end of the belt for each decided Black belt rank up through 4th Dan.

A red Stripe may be worn for Junior Dan status. (Junior Dan status...has met all requirements for the Dan level except board breaking.)

5th Dan

A plain belt (no stripes) with the person's name and Quan Li K'an inscribed on it.

NOTE: Frequently there is really no outward designator for those of 5th Dan and higher other than the inscribed belt.  Most commonly other designation is worn for formal occasions only (seminars, award presentation, etc)  However such is up to the School and the individual students preferences.


6th Dan

Inscribed belt, a single black stripe down each side of the pants, PLUS a black stripe encircling the complete collar opening of the top of the gee.


7th Dan

Inscribed belt plus a double black stripes down the side of the pants.

8th Dan

Inscribed belt bordered in silver, double black stripes down the side of the pants, PLUS double black stripes encircling the complete collar opening of the top of the gee.

9th Dan

Inscribed belt bordered in Gold, a single black stripe down the side of the pants, PLUS double black stripes encircling the complete collar opening of the top of the gee

10th Dan

Same uniform as Ninth Degree plus Grand Master Belt. (Grand Master belt is red and black vertical striping.)



6) Weapons master status

Weapons master status will be designated below 9th Dan by a single silver stripe encircling the opening of the collar portion of the Gee. Weapons master status is defined as being certified as proficient in weapons of at least five different classes. wearing of this certification stripe is not mandatory but optional as is all certification stripes.


Healing certification

Healing certification will be designated by a single green strike(s) encircling the gee on the left arm for levels 1 and 2 a maroon strip in the middle of two Green stripes will signify third level healing certification. Healing certification can only be attained after the level of first Dan although students are encouraged to learn such techniques as soon as their instructor feels they are ready for such. Healing certification can be gotten only from another person who is certified to that level. Thus a first level healing instructor can award the first level to another qualified student. Wearing of the healing certification stripe is not mandatory but optional as is all certification stripes.



7) Instructor Certification

The purpose of requiring Instructor training is to ensure that students have qualified instructors but is also because it is noted that Teaching is required in order to get a full understanding of the material taught in the QLK system.

Because it is felt that even teaching is a skill that is learned there are two levels of teaching certification: Assistant instructor and Full teaching certificates


Assistant instructor certification is REQUIRED before a student may test for Second Dan. Assistant instructor certification is different from a teaching certificate.

Minimum Requirements for Assistant instructor Certification:

It is recommended that all schools should be taught by students with at least ASSISTANT Instructor Certification. Ideally this would always be the case but there are several noted cases where the only available student to teach is a first Dan grade.



FULL Teaching certificates are equivalent to the 4th Dan level. This is so that an adequate knowledge base and level of expertise is obtained before students should open their own UNSUPERVISED school. 

Persons holding the rank of Fourth Dan and above do not need a co-signature on a Dan certificate however they may only promote up to one level BELOW their current rating.

Assistant instructor / Instructor Certification is designated by a single black stripe encircling the BOTTOM of the gee. Stripe may come up the bottom 9 inches of the opening and the creases of the Gee.



It is NOT the purpose of the QLK organization to dictate to individual QLK schools how they should teach or what they should teach nor what they should charge.

There is NEVER to be a fee paid by individual schools to be part of the QLK system.

Thus rules of the system are felt to be guidelines and it is the INDIVIDUAL School sensei that is responsible for their own school.

It is the purpose of the QLK organization to support and help every school and every Sensei to improve the quality of their teaching but NOT dictate to the respective Sensei what they should consider appropriate.

Behaviour of QLK Schools, Instructors and Students.

Behaviour by any school that is felt to be against the standards of decency or outside acceptable behaviour by the BOARD OF GOVENORS can result in such schools being put on suspension or expelled from the QLK system
IF a school is expelled then all current Dan rating WILL be maintained in the database unless there is evidence of fraud.

Certificates felt to be awarded under questionable circumstances will be noted as such in the database.

Certificates can Not be rescinded unless there is clear indication of fraud and to the fact that the student was not qualified to deserve that rating.



NO further Certificates will be awarded to schools that have been expelled.

Certificates will NOT be awarded to schools that are under suspension. However if the Board of Governors lifts suspension that school can apply to have all the certificates earned during the time of suspension issued.

The date of issue of the certificate will be the date of the lifting of suspension.



Affiliate Schools

These are schools that share (at least most of) our principles, but identify themselves as being other than QLK.  They do not get their Rank Certification through the QLK system. IF they study kata they may not be the same as QLK style katas. However, affiliate membership has many of the privileges of QLK schools such as reduced seminar and CME material prices, ability to cross-train in QLK schools and access to the Monthly Newsletter.
Affiliate membership can be for a School, based on the instructor (thus all members of that school) or on a personal level.





We the board of governors approve these rules governing the Quan Li K'an martial arts system.


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