1st Step in the Tang Wei Martial Method, formally known as Wu Ji Quan Fa, is the equivalent of a black belt in a belt ranked system. 2nd through 5th step rankings are equivalent to higher degrees of black belt in a belt ranked system.
While we take pride in giving rank to those that earn it, rank is less emphasized than practical skill and personal development. Earning the conferral of rank is receiving a recognition of the work you have put in and the skills developed that you have effectively demonstrated.
Those that have received it know that rank is neither stated nor implied to be a guarantee of anything else. Styles don’t win fights, people do, you don’t fight a style but rather a person as they are NOW.
It is emphasized that there is no “I am safe because…(I am a first step, second step, Special Forces Soldier, Police Officer, etc)”. Rather there is always a reminder to maintain humility and respect for others, both because they are people and because of what ANY person has the capacity to do to ANY person on any given day.
There is no invulnerability, there is only invincibility through adaptation. The mindset regardless of rank is taught to be “I am in danger unless (I adapt effectively)”.