Standard Step Program Structure:
The Tang Wei system is a Step program moving from the Basics level to 5th Step as the highest ranking. While we would love to train everyone to 5th Step, this is not feasible or desirable for everyone and is certainly not required if all you are looking for is to be effective in dealing with the probable criminal threats of our time.
Investing the time to complete the basics course should prepare you for most of what you are likely to encounter, taking training to 1st step should prepare you for nearly all of the realistic threats of our time.
Those who go past this are those who have direct interest in the combative arts not just for self-defense but for personal mastery aspects and become more what we call “lifers” who tend to want to study martial arts throughout their life.
The name: “Basics” course is a bit of a misnomer as we really do not teach overly simplified “basic” material. We get you into relevant material from the start.
This course is the foundation course and will cover the maneuvering, power concepts, targeting, mindset, ground fighting, grappling and other fundamentals which are built upon in later courses.
The core theme of the course is sound preparation for the most probable modern day street scenarios. These scenarios include dealing with empty handed striking assaults, grappling and ground assaults, as well as knife, stick and firearm assaults.
The course concludes with a 20 Problem scenario test against the assaults listed above. Upon successful completion the student is promoted to Intermediate level and participates in the intermediate program.
This course goes further into the scenarios discussed in the basics course but focuses heavily on multiple assailant scenarios. Mindset, Strategy, Maneuvering, power output and targeting, as well as quickly escaping grappling holds and getting back up off the ground are highly emphasized as these are essential for surviving multiple assailants.
The course concludes with another 20 Scenario combat test facing 2-3 adversaries committing empty handed or weapon assaults similar to the basics test. The student is then invited to participate in the “1st Step Test” which is a 10 problem scenario test which must be completed to earn their 1st Step Ranking (which is our equivalent to a Black Belt in a belt ordered system).
2nd and 3rd Step Compound Program: For Students who have earned their 1st Step
2nd Step Program
Emphasized theme of full spectrum weapon usage and defense proficiency. While weapons skills are introduced in the Basics and intermediate courses and often material from this course related to weapons are taught in special topic classes which students have been introduced to prior to this course, during the 2nd step course weapons will be extensively taught.
Weapons are general categorized into 5 “Weapon groups” which introduces a specific type of weapon movement that is then used with nearly anything you can put into your hand as a sub applicable weapon of the main 5 groups. Weapon Groups are: 1-Sword, 2-Spear, 3-Stick, 4-Knife, 5-Pistol and Rifle.
Testing for 2nd Step consists of 20 Problem Tests requiring the usage of and empty handed defense against each of the above listed weapon groups
3rd Step Program:
Emphasized theme of bringing all previous skills together in unpredictable combat scenario drills which mix weapons, multiple opponents and other deceptive strategies against the practitioner.
During this course teaching skills and internal development of mindset and awareness become heavier focuses. More subtle, mastery level power concepts and targeting is taught and emphasized.
The 2nd and 3rd Step programs are a compound program and promotion to 3rd step requires both proficiency and knowledge/skills testing. Proficiency testing is done somewhat informally during sparring drill sessions once it becomes clear to the instructor that the student’s proficiency is where it needs to be. The knowledge and skills portion of testing is done similarly on a periodic basis as students are quizzed on concepts or are asked to demonstrate what they have learned.
4th Step Program: For 3rd Step Practitioners and above only
3rd Steps are considered Mastery Level Practitioners and Senior Level Instructors, as such the 3rd step program represents a mastery level program. 3rd Step’s work with upper level 4th and 5th Step instructors to complete advanced material and to take skill level up to the higher, more difficult to reach levels. Heavy emphasis on internal training and teaching skills.
5th Step Program: For 4th Step Practitioners and above only.
Structured the same as the 3rd step program. Focus is on raising skill levels to the most difficult to reach levels. Heavy emphasis on teaching skills. Will require submission of a 5th step thesis and 1 or more 5th step projects which either incorporate new material that TWFM lacked previously or improves upon existing material.
Past 5th Step Program: “Beyond 5th Step”
Actively promoting and furthering the core tradition of the system. To search out, study, and integrate the best material available from the “5 Extremes” (North, South, East, West, and Center/Within) and ultimately to continue to develop TWFM’s combative and warrior ship skill sets.