Training Structure

Liberarae is a belted martial arts program. To earn belts, students master the objectives listed in the Belt Standard, a set of the skill requirements to attain each belt.  Students progress through the belts at their own pace. Students, Instructors, and the Head of School review the students’ skills together to determine the students’ qualifications for belts. Ceremonies for advancing a belt are held once every four months, with not all students progressing at any particular ceremony.

The belts progress in the following order: White, Yellow, Orange, Green, Blue, Purple, Brown, Black. Brown and Black belts each have multiple sub-categories (stripes) within the belt.

The Belt Standard is divided into seven core categories of knowledge.  At each belt level, students must achieve objectives in each category.  The categories are:

Weapons Principles and Proficiencies

  • includes all of our weapons styles as well as an understanding of concepts such as center of balance and percussion, domination of center-line, and simulation of wounds


  • includes topics such as situational awareness, self awareness, ki, and heightened sensory processing


  • includes areas of individual responsibility, self discipline, control, personal ownership of knowledge, and clarity of purpose


  • includes aspects of sense of timing, control of range, aggression, risk assessment, ability to respond and adapt to changing conditions, and basic tactical concepts

Interpersonal Skills

  • includes skills related to leadership, command of small groups of fighters, communication, and respect

Physical Proficiencies

  • includes balance, grounding, projection of force, precision, fitness, and first aid

Self Defense

  • includes skills involving handling and avoiding conflict,  personal safety,  protection of loved ones and personal property