Generally speaking, traditional Chinese martial arts schools don’t use the color belting system (i.e. Differentiating the levels by wearing different color belts) like other martial arts systems do.
Originally, sash is just of one accessory of Chinese traditional dressing, it could work as a belt and/or as wallet to keep important items attached to body etc.
In Chinese Martial art, there are several major reasons that participants should wear sash. Firstly , providing support to protect lower back so to keep it straight, it is very essential especially for those styles that require intensive body movements, such as jumping kicking and/or delivering intensive force for instance.
Secondly, to keep clothes tidy and tighten during the moves, one of the general rules of fighting preparation in Chinese martial arts is called “three tightness” Which means to tighten 1. sash, 2. sleeve and 3, shoes.
Last but not least, sash can also become very useful weapon and tool as an backup rope or a wrapper etc. Some traditional Chinese martial schools do have forms specially practice how to use sash to lock, trap and tide enemies, such as "Kun Xian Suo" (Rope for truss immortal up) in northern Shaolin system for instance. In this sense, the sash should have reasonable long length and strength.
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