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Street Smart Self Defense

Frequently Asked Questions



While other schools are awarding black belts in 1-3 years, it takes approximately 1-3 years in ISMA to reach the yellow/green belt level. It's not the number of rank levels or tenure (classes attended) that makes the differences between martial arts schools; but the curriculum and amount of knowledge/skills the student must retain and proficiently demonstrate that sets ISMA apart from most other schools. There is no universal set of requirements for black belt among martial art schools - each school or system sets its own standards.

ISMA believe's the art of learning self defense is an evolving journey and not just an activity. In defense, the continuous proficiency of skills is what is important. On the street, you won't be wearing your martial arts rank.

ISMA rank structure, representing ISMA's style of utilizing both hard and soft movements under one system, is comprised of belts and sashes. Upon reaching a Black Belt, students may elect to continue with advanced level training through the 4 sashes, ultimately earning both a Black Belt and Black Sash placing the student at Master level.

ISMA's philosophy is not to accelerate a student through rank progression before they are physically and mentally prepared to test. We don't believe in "giving" a student a rank they have not earned, creating a false sense of security, setting up a student to fail, or promoting anyone under the age of 17 to black belt. We DO believe in our students' abilities and we believe that they have the potential to surpass many students of similar rank in other schools. ISMA curriculum may be as intense as earning a Master's Degree, but not impossible to achieve.


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