In order to properly rank in SaberCraft, members have to qualify to move up the various ranks through a system of tests whereby their abilities are challenged. Below are basic testing requirements as to how testing is conducted. Keep in mind that the goal of testing is to create accomplished practitioners and, above all, instructors. It is not to prove who is the “baddest saberist on the block”. This is not about proving who is the best but rather proving who is the most committed in spreading the love of the art that we practice.
The first basic requirement is time. There are certain time limits that one must successfully complete prior to moving up in rank. This prevents really gifted students from joining the organization and attain a high rank in a matter of months without developing the kinship needed to properly foster a community. Our focus in SaberCraft is not about building world-champion saber choreographers but rather helping people develop themselves internally and assembling community builders. Hours can be completed in classes and workshops. Fundamentals classes tend to be 1 hour while Advanced Classes are 2 hours. Workshops are 3 hours. The time limits listed below are based are reset when the student progresses to the new level. They are not accumulated based on the previous hours.
- Fundamentals to Advanced: 6-8 hours
- Advanced to Rank 1: Initiate: 25 hours (4+ months)
- Rank 1: Initiate to Rank 2: Acolyte: 50 hours (9 months)
- Rank 2 Acolyte to Rank 3: Fellow: 75 hours (1 year)
- Rank 3: Fellow to Rank 4: Master: 100 hours (17 months)
Before a student can test, the minimum required time needs to be completed. A recorded log of all classes is kept by SaberCraft and a student can request for testing as soon as they meet the minimum time.
As you go up in rank, the testing criteria and requirements grow more difficult. Most students will attain Rank 1 – Initiate whereby they can test the skills that they learned throughout Fundamentals and the Advanced Classes. To be able to complete the task is one thing, but to be able to successfully complete a number of tasks together, that’s where the challenge lies. For example, if you want to prove that you can do “Downward Dog”, that’s just 1 posture. In the case of Rank 1, you may go down a checklist of requirements and check them off one by one, but when you enter into Rank 2 or above, certain areas of the exam are done in sequences.
Sequences are a group of movements put together and completed in a sequential order. So going back to the last example, doing “Downward Dog” may not pose a challenge but if you have to do all 18 Yoga postures in a single sequence with proper timing, that gets to be a bit more difficult. So for the higher ranks, students are expected to complete entire sequences from start to finish. Testing is not considered completed until the entire sequence set is completed. If you fail during a part of a sequence, you are given 2 additional attempts per month. After 3 failed attempts, you must wait 30 days before re-testing.