The Qwan Ki Do tradition :

  • Definition
  • Ceremony and Bow
  • Ten principles
  • The names
  • The Crest
  • Philosophy
  • The uniform
  • Grading System
Qwan Ki Do is not easily defined:

A Martial Art is not merely practiced, it is lived...

For some it is physical activity, self- discipline, or a competitive sport. For others, it is a means of better self-knowledge, understanding and mastery: truly a way of living.

The Qwan Ki Do is all of that together and none of that separately.

Qwan Ki Do is a discipline which requires total dedication to practice, to mental and physical development. It is one of the greatest methods of Vietnamese Martial Arts. In conclusion, the Qwan Ki Do is :

A Martial Art method

A martial art personality

A Martial Art authority for the world, the World Union Of Qwan Ki Do.

These three points are inseparable, but the first two are intimately linked.

About the ceremony

Ceremony is not specific to martial arts. Since earliest times, people have felt the need to determine a set of rules permitting codification of the customs of a ceremony. All large-scale public events attended by important people are subject to ceremonial protocol..
In the training room, the Qwan ki Do SINH studies in order to develop qualities of courage, nobility of soul and physical qualities. Upon entering the club, he/she makes a choice. With the crossing of the VO DUONG threshold, comes a breaking with dependence, conditioning and all the accompanying artifice.
Learning Qwan ki Do implies that the student is willing to respect the rules of the club (dress, bows, silence) in short to respect the etiquette. To accept the etiquette is to affirm one’s desire to learn, one’s desire to discipline oneself. “The Rule of the Game” should be freely accepted; moreover, the etiquette is essential and fulfils many objectives. The etiquette determines the student's behavior, the relations between students and the relations between instructors and students.

The student's behavior
During class, the student will abide by the following rules :

Obey the 10 fundamental principals of Qwan ki Do.
Respect the cleanliness of the utilized space.
Respect the official ban on smoking on the premises and in the training room.
Keep clean his/her Vo Phuc (the black uniform of Qwan ki Do) that shall be neither bad-smelling, nor stained, nor torn nor faded
Enter the training room with clean hands and feet. The nails and toenails shall be short..
Remove any object that could cause injury: rings, watches, bracelets, chains, necklaces, earrings,…
Arrive on time, and if late, wait on the side for a signal from the instructor to enter
Bow upon entering and leaving the training room and before and after class.
Observe total silence during training (turn off portable devices, except in exceptional cases reported to the instructor).
Mutual respect and courtesy requires bowing to the instructor, when asked to perform any exercise. Also bow after asking for a favour.
Advise the instructor before class of any physical pain or injury.
Keep long hair tidy with a 5cm headband.
Maintain correct posture, standing or sitting (with the legs crossed or on the heels).
When tying the belt in the training room, use “knee on ground” position.
During the class do not leave the training room for any reason (even for a drink of water) without authorization from the instructor. Do not consume sweets (candy, gum…), food or fruit. Absolutely do not drink alcoholic beverages.

Relations between students

Between students, respect and courtesy must be observed.  The technical hierarchy takes priority over any distinction of a physical or social nature.  The beginner must learn from his elders and treat them accordingly.

Very important is the place of the student during the line up for bowing.  The higher levels go to the front line on the right, facing the teacher.

In all circumstances, the student must express recognition toward his partner:

Bow before and after a form or combat

Work at the same pace as him/her, especially if he/she is less experienced
Help when necessary

Relations between instructors and students

Etiquette teaches each person how to find his/her place in relation to the students and the instructor.

In the training room, the one with whom you spoke familiarly before class becomes the instructor who will guide your progression.

He/she must not appear superior, inaccessible, judgmental and repressive; nor can he/she encourage an atmosphere of familiarity.  He/she shall observe the instant application of advice, and silence during explanations.  He/she shall bow before and after any intervention on his part as well as display signs of recognition to he/she who is sacrificing his leisure time to teach the martial art Qwan ki Do.

The beginner will keep in mind that the instructor is above all a student who is continuing his training, and who is conscious of his/her own shortcomings and who corrects them by regular practice.

Respect for the etiquette by the student requires that the student pays constant attention, thereby developing vigilance, and physical and mental alertness.  The etiquette varies from one method to the next but its principles remain the same.

How to sit – stand up
Bai: The Qwan Ki Do Bow
The ceremonial act of the bow is firmly rooted in Asian Civilization. In Viêtnam for example, there were about ten different bows depending on the circumstances or the person being honoured. In Qwan ki Do, as in most martial arts, we find the same distinctions with the various bows employed.
Nghiêm Bai or the standing bow:

The " Nghiêm Bai" has been retained for Qwan ki Do and its employment has a profound meaning.

The translation for Qwan ki Do is the way of all energies.  The " Nghiêm Bai" bow is a representation of this meaning.

The basis of energy training through breathing is called ” Thô Cô, Nhâp Tân ”. The concept of “Emptiness and Fullness: Thô, Nhâp”, is symbolized by the open left hand (empty, the negative aspect AM), and by the right hand which is closed (full, the positive aspect Duong).

The duality between these two poles: the Empty (negative, AM) and the Full (positive, Duong), gives rise to the principle of Kinh Dich or law of transformation

When the two hands are joined, the Qwan ki Do student brings forth the essence of a more than 50 centuries old science.  Simultaneously, the student thus acknowledges the age-old existence of martial arts by making a closed fist (full) which symbolizes strength, power and restlessness. The open hand (empty) is a representational gesture of peace, the cessation of aggression, a symbol of forgiveness…

The ceremony of the Bow “Bai”, though simple in its execution is not an insignificant gesture devoid of meaning; on the contrary when the student executes this Bow "Bai" they should be aware of the fact that they are thus showing to themself and to others that the sole objective of the art of fighting is not to knock down one’s adversary…But the law of transformation always demands the simultaneous existence of two opposing and complementary forces in all domains.  In other words the awakening of the personality or the path from emptiness to fullness also contains the principle of fullness in emptiness.

To conclude, the Bow “Bai”  in Qwan ki Dois for the student a signal as well as a guide in which he finds satisfaction on the path of victory which the Founder of this Method often calls "The Way of Serenity”.
How do we bow

With the right hand closed into a fist, the left hand open, both hands together, and the arms horizontal, tilt the body slightly forward while facing another person or an area, and bend the head down with eyes looking towards that person or area facing you.

When must we bow: Bai

Bai-Môn – when entering and/or leaving the training area:

Bai Mon is done to pay homage to the training area and, at the same time, to all of the Great Masters who have passed on their knowledge in the privileged area called the Vo Duong (training area).
Dông Bai – facing a partner:

Dong Bai is done when you are about to train with a partner and when you have completed a series with a partner.

Bai Su – facing an instructor or his assistant:

Bai Su is done before the class begins (as a sign of gratitude and respect), as well as when you wish to ask for instruction.  In this case, tradition demands that the student must remain in the position “Chuân Bi” to show attention when receiving the necessary instructions.

Bai Tô – before a Thao Quyen:

Do not use this bow if the Founder of the Method is present.  This bow is homage to the past Masters who have advanced the Martial Art and also honours the Founder of this Method.

Before beginning a “Thao Quyên”, you join your hands and slightly incline yourself forwards.  As with the “Thao Quyên”, the bow differentiates and symbolizes the specific type of school.

Lê Tô or the kneeling bow

Plus cérémonieux, le salut à genoux “Lê Tô“ ne s’effectue que dans des circonstances très particulières.

How do we bow?

The student is standing in the “Chuân Bi” position, feet joined.  At the signal “Xuông”, put the right knee on the floor keeping the body vertical, placing both hands on the left knee.

At the second signal “Xuông”, place your left knee on the floor and kneel completely. Sit on your heels and keep your torso vertical.

At the signal “Nghiêm Lê“ , join the two hands together in front of you on the ground.

At the signal ““, incline the body forward, touching the forehead to the hands.

At the signal “Lên”, lift the body.  At the second sign “Lên”, lift your right foot and place it on the floor in front of you.  Lift yourself up by bringing your right foot forward beside your left foot.

When must we bow: Lê Tô

When facing the picture of Grand Master Châu Quan Ky :

At big events (such as closing ceremonies at National or International seminars), the students execute the kneeling bow to pay homage to the past Masters, and to Grand Master CHÂU Quan KY. 

When facing the founder of the methode or the instructors :

The mutual bow, kneeling and facing the Founder of the Method or an instructor signifies a very deep meaning.  By this traditional gesture, the Founder or instructor accepts this form of gratitude, and in returning the bow admits the rank(s) of the students into the class.

The bow with traditional weapons

The bow differs depending on what type of weapon is used and on the martial art of origin.  Bows can be executed either standing, sitting on the heels or with one knee on the floor.

Usually traditional weapons are held to the left, but they can also be held to the front as is done with the sword.

The picture displayed shows the Qwan ki Do bow practiced with the long Stick "Bông Phap ".  This can also be done when holding other traditional weapons at the opening of a sparring session.

The 10 fundamental principles of Qwan ki Do :

1) To attain the highest technical level of Qwan ki Do by cultivating the notions of Effort, Perseverance, Self-confidence, and Respect for others, in the ancestral spirit of our Martial Art.

2) To form body and spirit for oneself and to serve others.

3) To practice the moral virtues which are the very basis of Qwan ki Do. They are Rectitude of mind, Honesty, Gratitude, Simplicity, Modesty, and Tolerance.

4) To develop Qwan ki Do according to the noble, thousand-year-old traditions passed down from Master to Master. To never betray this spirit by individual small-mindedness which tends to breed malicious gossip, dissidence and schism..

5) To cultivate respect towards the instructors, the directors, and to promote brotherhood between members.

6) To consider the practice of Martial Arts combat or sparring as a means of personal progress and not as an end in itself.

7) To use Martial Arts only in legitimate defense.

8) To rigorously follow all regulations established by the World Union of Qwan ki Do.

9) To attend training regularly, maintain good personal hygiene and respect the conditions of admission to the Qwan ki Do club.

10) To respect all other Martial Arts.

N.B.: To accept sanctions or resign from Qwan ki Do if any of the “Ten Fundamental Principles” of Qwan ki Do are infringed.

Names in Qwan Ki Do :

Qwan Ki Do Jin ou Quán Khí Ðạo Sinh: Qwan ki do student

Võ Sinh: Martial art student

Bạch Ðai: White belt

Huyền Ðai: Black belt

Huyền Ðai Nhất Ðẳng , Nhị Ðẳng …: Black belt 1st Dang, 2nd Dang

Võ Sĩ: Confirmed student starting 1st Dang

Võ Thí Sinh: Competitor in martial arts

Trọng Tài: Referee minimum 1st Dang

Trọng Tài Quốc Tế: International referee

Khảo Thí Viên: Thao Quyen judge, minimum 2nd Dang

Nữ: Female

Nam: Man

Hướng Sư (Hướng Dẫn Viên): Beginner instructor, minimum black belt

Huấn Sư (Huấn Luyện Viên): Instructor 1st Dang or 2nd dang

Võ Sư (Giảng Võ Viên): Instructor 3rd Dang or 4th Dang

Tạo Sư (Đào Tạo Viên): Instructor 5th Dang

Minh Sư (Minh Chứng Viên): Qualified Expert 6th Dang

Giám Sư (Giám Ðịnh Viên): International Expert 7th Dang

Sư Trưởng: Representative of the Master Founding Office named directly by the Master Founder of the method.

Thày Chưởng Môn: The Founder Master of the method.

Dai Su: Grand Master or Venerable.

Thày or Thày Vo: "Master of Martial Arts". This term describes the practicing instructor who has reached the level of master in martial arts. To bear such a title, he must be trained by a Master of the methods and to be officially designated as a successor in the methods. Therefore he is granted the title of Thày or Thày Vo. It should be noted that martial arts in Viêt-nam encompasses both physical and technical activity, the knowledge of philosophy proper to Vietnamese culture (Vo Ly) and scholarship in traditional medicine (Vo Y). Also, the link to the school implies recognition of the line of " Thày or Masters" acknowledged by the country's authorities. For example, "Dai Su or Grand Master" CHAU Quan Ky is descended from the martial arts family CHAU (see history of Master CHAU Quan Ky).

 

The emblem of Qwan ki Do is the Dragon, emblem of the Vietnamese people and of the spirit of chivalry.

Regardless of their nationality, all practitioners of Qwan ki Do wear the same emblem at heart level on the left side of their uniform (Vo Phuc). On this emblem:

White belt

The exterior circle represents: the universe, infinity, the " Vô Cuc".

The dragon forms the second circle and represents: the circle of life, the"Thai Cuc".

The dragon "Lac Long": represents: the spirit of chivalry.

The two small circles of Am and Duong represents: harmony between the spirit and the body.

The emblem of Qwan ki Do is composed of five colours, taking into account that green and blue are considered to be the same colour in traditional Vietnamese painting.

White: Purity (a synthesis of all the colours) ;

Black: Determination, earnestness;

Yellow: Lucidity, clairvoyance, generosity;

Red: Courage, combativeness;

Green or Blue: Goodness, Willpower, and Hope

Each colour also corresponds to a direction, a number, an element, a season, and a taste.

   
Colour
Direction
Number
Element
Season
Taste
 
White
West
9
Metal
Fall
Spicy flavour
   
Black
North
6
Water
Winter
Salty flavour
   
Yellow
Center
5
Earth
The 4 seasons
Sweet flavour
   
Red
South
7
Fire
Summer
Bitter flavour
     
Green or Blue
East
8
Wood
Spring
Sour flavour

 

N.B.: (To preserve its authenticity, the Qwan ki Do emblem and crest were registered according to law.)

The Principles of Polarities: Âm & Duong: Cuong Nhu Tuong Thôi

“Eternal harmony lies between Physical Strength and Vital Energy or between Strength and Suppleness”

The principle is one of the applications of the ancient science of the transformation of Âm (Yin) and Duong (Yang):

Âm governs internal energy, agility, skill, taking a blow, retreat, suppleness.

Duong governs strength, attack, aggression…

Except in rare circumstances where a practitioner would employ great technical knowledge, the practitioner must not oppose an “Âm ” response with an “Âm ” attack, or the reverse.

A thorough study of this statement by the practitioner informs him that he must accept all aspects of combat or of an assault including the "other side of the coin". If he fights to really hit or harm his opponent, he must accept that he could be the recipient of the same. If he fights in order to acquire better self-knowledge, victory or defeat will both become positive aspects of his research.

This harmony in all things, in all its aspects, presupposes readiness for combat or attack, and helps in judging whether a practitioner is sincere, or whether combat is to be violent.

“Who sows the wind, harvests the storm”!

Martial art assists each practitioner in becoming a sincere friend to all, and not a stronger foe among foes!

If Qwan ki Do ensures excellent physical conditioning and improved physical and mental capabilities for the sincere practitioner. It also makes him progressively socially aware and helps him achieve Qwan ki Do's goal: Serenity.

Intelligence and Emotion

To open one's heart to all noble emotions, to direct one's intelligence to all lofty thoughts – this is to give oneself over to happiness.

The happiest people on earth are those who open their souls completely to happiness. It is like opening one’s eyes to see the light more clearly. One must awaken the human being's inborn love of Nature, a love so often neglected because of life's daily routine.

Intellectual pleasures cannot be bought. What is most expensive is not always what is most beautiful. Spirituality is the most magnificent gift of all. No one can steal or destroy it.

Poverty can deprive us of material pleasures, make us ill at ease and cause us to become ungrateful or critical. But poverty cannot destroy intellectual, esthetic, moral and emotional pleasures, or the many other things anchored in the conscience and the heart. These cannot be removed without destroying our very existence.

Poverty can certainly constrain our materialistic ways; it can leave us victimized by the cold ingratitude and contempt of society. But one can never take away an individual's will to live, learn and love. These desires are so solidly anchored within ourselves that we cannot remove them without destroying the vital essence of our existence.

Logic teaches us that poverty and thrift give us the advantage to enjoy intellectual and emotional pleasures. The individual that remains detached from materialism can more easily achieve those pure and noble pleasures because his spirit is free of self-interest and egotism.

Consequently these intellectual pleasures, of which no one can deprive us, show us how easy it is to extract from the most mundane and difficult situations an element of beauty. For example, the artist's brush, the sculptor's chisel, these humble tools can give birth to marvelous works of art, even if the subject is insignificant as well!

Life provides a treasure of happiness to the one who knows how to extract it, because everything in life has a basis in joy. The same is true in business, everything that seems to be, or is insignificant, can give rise to serious commercial reward.

The astronomer reaches the most distant stars with the help of his telescope; the biologist studies infinitesimal life forms with the help of his microscope; so too, the human being who possesses intelligence and emotion can attain a supreme knowledge of the earth and of the essence of happiness. He continually discovers realms of happiness hidden in a dark and deep universe, pulsating, full of mystery.

There is always something new to discover, not only in the mad rush of scientific invention, but also in the slower and more difficult path to create human happiness.

Happiness and serenity are limitless, much like the immensity of the oceans.

Master PHAM Xuân Tong

The Naming of Qwan ki Do

In keeping with the traditions of his native land and various motives, which allowed him to chose Qwan ki Do as a name, Master Pham Xuân Tong did the following things:

Gave exceptional homage to his Grand Master Chau Quan Ky, by adding his name phonetically as part of the title of his method.

Preserved the name of the very old method (the Quan Khi, 1009 AD) transmitted in pure form by his family.

Ensured ease in transcribing, pronunciation and communication.

Furthermore, Qwan ki Do emphasizes the two basic elements found in all martial arts:

The Khi or better known as Ki (energy)

The Dao or better known as Do (path)

The addition of the word Quan (the whole) to these two words gives us the Vietnamese term:

Quan Khi Dao

The way of body's energy

Transcribed phonetically as "Qwan ki Do" in order to facilitate Western usage.
Qwan ki Do Traditional Thought

In Qwan ki Do, "thought or spirit" are not vague words empty of meaning, to be interpreted as a teacher sees fit.

It is difficult to condense, in a few lines an entire well-established thought structure. In short we are dealing with a concept of the universe based on the microcosm and the macrocosm (Kinh Dich), the principles and relationships of the five elements (Ngu Hanh), the family of man, the theory of energy and the harmony of all things…

However, Qwan ki Do aims at shaping a balanced individual on the physical plane (health, personal safety) and on the spiritual (preservation of moral values) level - not merely creating an individual stronger than his foes.

To practice Qwan ki Do is to enter into a method where friendship is more important than any racial, political or religious concern.

To be a Qwan ki Do practitioner is to assume responsibility for oneself and others, to be conscious of human destiny and to seek balance in all things.

Harmony is the soul of Qwan ki Do.

Perseverance, willpower and modesty are basic values of the practitioner.

Self-knowledge is a valued possession, which leads to serenity.

The name Qwan ki Do was chosen to reflect this deep meaning and recognition of the entire structure of traditional thought, which the Founder of this method has carefully, and in detail, put together after many years of reflection.

Qwan or Quan - is the sum of life.

Ki or Khi - is therefore the energy, life force.

Do or Dao - is the path of wisdom or the source of mental life.

Qwan or Quan: The Sum of Life

Scientific progress allows us to perceive either the vastness of the universe or some forms of life so small that we can only gather information on them with the help a microscope.

The sum of all visible life, “Quan”, exists and is irrefutably proven by belief and life sciences. “Quan” is a concept of “gigantic proportions” which determines our very existence. Traditional science opens the window on the existence of “Quan”, through the idea of “Vu Tru Quan” (the universe), and of “Nhan Sinh Quan” (the being) or Qwan ki Do - Quan Khi Dao (the way of body's energy).

Vu Tru Quan” (Concept of the Universe):

As an element of life, the human being is only one of the links in the vast universe, the “macrocosm”, whereas, he is a small universe unto himself, a “microcosm”, put together by many atoms and activated by a genetic code.

This code determines material life, and is unique and exceptional whether it is vegetable, animal, or mineral.

The originator of this code is an extraordinary intelligence, which directs, coordinates and controls all. Philosophically or religiously, it can be called “Thuong De” (Creator), “Thien Chua” (God, Allah, Brahma), “Da Song” (Vital element) or “Y Tuong Tuyet Doi” (Absolute ideal). The visible “Huu Hinh” and invisible “Vo Hinh” worlds determined this principle together.

Nhan Sinh Quan” (The Concept of Being):

We are aware that life and death are an integral part of our existence. Such is the law of eternal rebirth: "Be born to die and die to be reborn." Life is not only the search for conformity that certainly improves its quality. But is also the quest for happiness or rather the escape from unhappiness. This search for conformity propels us toward progress. It is the permanent evolution of the human being, or it could be said that it is the annihilation of ignorance and the gateway to knowledge.

The term “Tam Tao” signifies three fundamental elements: education, instruction and training. These are important as they follow the individual on the path of life and knowledge. “Tam Tao” is whole and inseparable, like the links of a chain, which one must always watch and reinforce. Education is an effective means of learning to live, as instruction opens the mind and training is the acquisition of experience.

The acquisition of knowledge is the first step toward the search for happiness. It opens the mind to the mental and spiritual world and shines light on a spirit which had been in the shadow of ignorance.

This wholeness Quan (Qwan) represented in the first word of the Quan Khi Dao (Qwan ki Do) contains therefore the entire structure of traditional thought, fiendishly difficult to describe in a few words.

Ki or Khi: Energy, Life

Once we realize that we are a tiny universe unto ourselves linked to a gigantic cosmic world, we begin to understand the extraordinary structure of our existence. One does not know by what divine will, a “small fissure” in the “Void” (Vo Vi) began the polarization of everything, including the beginning of “life”.

Our own self, our tiny universe, is formed by links of cells and the cells by atoms, then the atoms by infinitely smaller particles.

"Energy." What we call "Electron" is not only a simple particle; it is an energy zone with a very condensed center. This form or energy is spiral-shaped, wider on the outside and concentrated in its center. This structure is like a simplified solar system with a nucleus at its center and particles, which gravitate around it. This central core is covered with energy layers constituted of energy spirals whose energy zone stops where another begins. Energy occupies all space it is everywhere.

In terms of energy, generated by this miniature universe similar to the vastness of the cosmos, one can observe the spiral of the Milky Way. This also has a dense nucleus and a less dense outside and whose diameter is only visible at a distance of 700,000 light years. However, the invisible portion, concentrated by its magnetic field, shelters a considerable number of stars and planets. This spiral movement is bathed in cosmic energy and follows a precise pattern and a universal intelligence if you will. It has two points of attraction: “Huong Tam” (the centripetal force) at its center (energy concentration) is a phenomenon of “Duong” polarization and ”Ly Tam” (the centrifugal force) which expands its energy is a phenomenon of “Am” polarization.

From both this gigantic universe, and the infinitely minute one, emerged this energy; first polarization, then "life" appeared. This life existed well before plant life. Life, for us, is something that resembles us, which is close to us and which we feel. Mineral life is very elementary. The composition of its cells is different from ours and from those of plants. Its lifespan is therefore slower, longer, in such a way that it seems to be lifeless! This explains why the concept of time in mineral life is different from all others. However, it keeps its material and spiritual aspect just like all other types of life. The “Dia Khi” (mineral energy) and the “Khong Khi” (cosmic energy) follow the rules of polarization on our planet, and give rise to a concept of life, whether mineral, vegetable or animal.

We extract energy from mineral life to manufacture materials, just like plants transform the elements of earth, water and air to form their organic cells, the source of life for animals and human beings. Through some strange and mystical will, humans are equipped with a genetic code more complex than other earthly life forms, and that is why we dominate other species. This well-known, mysterious, but very real code determines the form and variation of the species. Because we have this knowledge, we must respect all forms of life, whether material or spiritual.

When choosing the term Qwan ki Do, we wanted to emphasize the primordial element of life, the “KI” or “KHI” (energy). We use the concentration of body’s energy, when following training instructions, to give us a way to exploit extraordinary force.

Do or Dao: The Way of Wisdom

"The heavenly Dao prefers no one, it gives to all good men, indiscriminately. The ultimate goodness is like water, benefiting all things without effort. Water seeks the lowest levels, unlike man. That is why water resembles the Dao." Lao-Tzu.

The practice of Qwan ki Do does not simply consist of learning a martial arts technique. It is the learning of the art of life and not only to become a strong person, but to become of all a well-balanced being in body and in spirit. Most human beings live in anxiety and violence. Man's insecurity, caused very often by poor adaptation to his environment, manifests itself in competitiveness, aggression and violence. There is agitation instead of efficiency; the body functions but no longer lives. This agitation is reflected in all his daily activities, in each of his motions. Qwan ki Do must be filled with gentleness and not violence. It is good to refer often to "the power of water" and to light elements that curve around, surmount or penetrate obstacles because of their fluidity and flexibility. Water occupies the lowest places which men abhor.

"There is nothing in the world more inconsistent and weak than water, however, it corrodes that which is hard, nothing can resist it."

The Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu continuously denounces the weakness of what we generally consider strength. According to him, flexibility always triumphs over hardness. Calm always wins over violence; that which is malleable overcomes rigidity. "Newborn, the being is supple and frail, dead, he is rigid and hard." At their birth, plants and trees are flexible; dead, they are rigid and hard. Solidity and rigidity are associated with death. Suppleness and fluidity are associated with life.

"That which is strong and tall is in an inferior position and that which is supple and frail is in a superior position." Lao Tzu"Perfection for the one who commands, is to be peaceful; for the one who fights, is to be without anger; for the one who wishes to conquer, is not to fight; and for the one who serves men, is to place oneself below them. One must conquer without fighting and convince without speaking." Lao Tzu.

We can find the equivalent in the western world in the famous La Fontaine Fable "The Oak and the Reed". Specially useful these days, is concentrating on acquiring suppleness and relaxing muscles and nerves. Modern life rarely contributes to moral and esthetic activities. It is not by attending a class that one learns to discriminate between good and evil, ugliness and beauty. Ethics and art cannot be taught like mathematics. To understand and to feel are two profoundly different things. The meaning of ethics and art can only be grasped when one is present. With careful preparation the Qwan ki Do creates a better spiritual and physical being.

Qwan ki Do, demonstrates the internal wealth of the human being, allowing him to live a happier life, through its excellent training. In this way, it makes the world realize that the secret to acquiring wealth is not wealth itself, but the path that directs us toward it The fundamental requirement is to discover this path, and to perceive where the latent energy resides which will lead to success. The secrets of Qwan ki Do open one's eyes, and with eyes open, one can see the path to be followed. If human beings reserved some time in their life for self-discovery, man would reach a level of perfection without equal because his strength of mind would conquer all that is small-minded in him and happiness would shine in all its splendor. Qwan ki Do is of tremendous value as a method which permits one to discover one's own strength of spirit.

The QWAN KI DO uniform (Vo Phuc Quan Khi Dao) was designed by Master PHAM Xuân Tong, and reflects the traditional Vietnamese costume (Ao Thày Dô).
It consists of:

A black tunic and pants (Vo Phuc)
Different belts depending on the grade level (Dai)
The official Qwan ki Do crest (Phu Hiêu Quan Khi Dao) sewn onto the left side of the Vo Phuc at heart level. A crest identifying the federal organization or club can be sewn to the left sleeve of the Vo Phuc.

The uniform is black, symbolizing the colour of the earth "material life", water, and the colour of the abyss, which represents our "spiritual life".

The uniform reflects the whole principle of polarities: Am and Duong or Yin and Yang.

Thuong Dang

 High Level

Trung Dang
Medium Level

Ha Dang

 Low Level

About
At one time the belt colour system of levels did not exist. A great number of traditional Viêt Nam martial arts only recognized three levels:
1) So Dang ou Nhap Mon (Initiation)
2) Trung Dang ou Trung Mon (Middle Level)
3) Thuong Dang ou Dai Mon (High Level)
Other schools used the concept of different colored uniforms (VO PHUC) or the number of pockets found on the uniform, or different colored scarves worn around the neck or again, ties around the belt to determine the level of knowledge and experience of the student.
In Qwan ki Do or Quan KHI DAO, the traditional grading system follows the traditional system of Dai hoa luu hành handed down by generations of Grand Masters. It was slightly altered to fit in with Western culture.
1- Nhap Mon or Initiation
White belt
This category consists of five levels…During the initiation period, the beginner wears a large white sash with levels named "Câp": red stripes for children and blue stripes for teenagers and adults. The time elapsed between grades is usually 9 to 10 months (approximately the length of a sporting season).
Beginner : corresponds to Vô Cuc (symbolizes emptiness, infinity, the beginning of life)
Cap Mot : 1st Blue Stripe, corresponds to Thai Cuc (symbolizes the law of transformation and basic knowledge of the first elements)
Cap Hai : 2nd Blue Stripe or Luong Nghi, symbolizes the emergence and the conflict between the two poles Am and Duong, and technically represents harmony between the sides of the body and then between the upper and lower parts of the body
Cap Ba : 3rd Blue Stripe or Tu Tuong, (symbolizes the four cardinal directions and the four limbs of the body).
Cap Bon : 4th Blue Stripe or Ngu Hành, (symbolizes the five elements, the distinct difference between the body as a whole and the amazing agility of the four limbs).
After four years of regular practice and the acquisition of all four “Câp” (Stripes), the student, after evaluation, will be allowed to be tested for the national Black Belt level (or Blue with a red border in France) the TRUNG MON, middle level, requiring a minimum age of 16).
2- Trung Mon or Middle Level
White belt
One year after passing the exam to reach middle level, the student is allowed to take the first exam of TRUNG MON. Nhât Dang, Nhi Dang…or Môt Dang, Hai Dang…are terms used to represent the degrees of the HUYEN DAI category (Black Belt with a red border):

Kien

1st Degree or Nhât Dang or Môt Dang

Doai

2nd Degree or Nhi Dang or Hai Dang

Ly

3rd Degree or Tam Dang or Ba Dang

Chan

4th Degree or Tu Dang or Bôn Dang

Ton

5th Degree or Ngu Dang or Nam Dang

The time spent between each Degree or each Nhât Dang, Nhi Dang…(Môt Dang, Hai Dang…) is prescribed in the technical regulation of the International Qwan ki Do Federation. All candidates who are granted an exam, starting with the 1st Dang, must first be approved by The World Commission of Grades and Dang.
3- Dai Mon or High Level
White belt
Hong Bach Dai: White and Red belt with a Yellow border.

Kham

6th Degree or Luc Dang or Sau Dang

Can

7th Degree or Thât Dang or Bay Dang

Khon

8th Degree or Bat Dang or Tam Dang
4- Siêu Dang
White belt
Siêu Dang (White belt with a Red band in the middle and a Yellow border). This grade is awarded to the Veteran Expert who has dedicated his entire life to the service of his method and to martial art.

Dich

9th Degree or Cuu Dang or Chin Dang

Dao

10th Degree or Thâp Dang or Muoi Dang
5- Chuong Mon Dai
White belt
The Chuong Mon Dai belt level handed down from generation to generation, was given in his will by Master Chau Quan Ky to Master Pham Xuan Tong. This belt, above all grades of Qwan ki Do guarantees the ethics and the authenticity of this method. According to the principle of Dai Hoa Luu Hành, it is placed in the “Que Khôn” position and symbolizes the theory of "eternal rebirth". It is consists of four bands representing the four colours of traditional virtues. These are:
1) The blue band at the belt edge - The blue colour represents goodness and willpower.
2) The yellow band in second position - The yellow colour represents lucidity and clairvoyance.
3) Red, the main belt color - The red colour represents courage and combativeness.
4) The white band in the center of the Belt - The white colour symbolizes Purity and represents the synthesis of all colours.