What are Evolutions?

Ya know, so many people have so many questions about Evolutions, I thought I’d cover a couple quick questions about them.

-What is an Evolution?
It is an assessment of what a student has been taught over the last couple months of information. I specially don’t use the word “test” because it does not bring the same stress of a test, and it is more fun than any regular class. In short it is like a 2 hour mega class for my adult students and a 45 minute test for my youth students.

-Why do we go through Evolutions?
Bruce Lee was against belt systems… no doubt about it. However, Bruce was fighting against the superficial belt ranking systems of non-functional arts and styles at the time. Whether you get a yellow belt or brown belt in stuff that does not work… it is still “stuff that does not work”. This does not mean Bruce did not believe in a ranking system… quite the opposite. Bruce Lee had ranking systems for his students in Jun Fan, Gung Fu, and others (source: Dan Inosantos video interviews in his series “Definitive Inosanto Collection, 1999″).

Just as Lee and Inosanto, I too wanted to make sure we take the positives of a ranking system, but exclude the negatives. What are some of the positives? Here is a short list:
*Show student progression
*Give measurement of student growth
*Class and student organization system
*Personal growth/goal tool
*Curriculum organization

Some of the negatives (especially in this day and age…), plus EDS’s stance:
*Trap to renewal: Our membership renewals have nothing to do with promotion
*Mega money maker: Our youth fees for evolutions are free because youth classes cost higher per class as compared to adults, and youth evolutions happen within regular class times. Adult fees are a fraction of most school belt tests, and patches and next color t-shirts run the student no extra cost. In addition each written test is hand graded, and physical test gives written individual feedback or strengths and weaknesses.
*Everyone must test, or you are out of class: Our evolutions are optional. They are for your growth and progression.
*Incomplete: At EDS each student must pass 4 separate cycles (3 month testing periods) in order to pass onto the next level. It is rare that a student is incomplete when they rise to the next level.

I’ll see if I can answer some more questions about Evolutions in a couple days, so check back.

Lee, Love and Life,

Sifu Matt

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