Band System in San Diego | Apex: San Diego | School of Movement

Sign Up for the Next Band Challenge Test


Why Do We Have the Band System?

First and foremost, we want to create a safe learning environment in our gym. The Band Challenge System protects students from potentially endangering themselves and others. Through the Band Challenges students show us they have the skills, mindset and experience needed to safely train on certain obstacles and to attend certain classes.

The Band Challenges also guide and accelerate student progression. Each Challenge embodies everything we know about creating incredible, sustainable athletes. Students who progress through the Challenges are building off our vast teaching experience to ensure they develop a lasting, useful and well-rounded skill set.


The Band Challenge System begins with our White Band. At this level you begin to learn Parkour fundamentals. Then, once you graduate from Tree Band and Level 3, you can begin to take specialized classes in three Parkour areas: Speed, Skills and Acrobatics & Freerunning (a.ka., Acro).

The specializations are independent of each other. For example, to take Acro Level 5, you need to pass Acro Level 4 and the Wind Band Challenge. To advance, you do not need to pass the Ice Band Challenge within Skills and the Smoke Band Challenge within Speed .

The pinnacle of your training at APEX School of Movement, San Diego is the Zenith Band. As the zenith of the sun is where the sun reaches its highest point in its path through the sky, the Zenith Band represents the apex of your training within the Band Challenge System at APEX San Diego.

Like the sun on its journey, however, this does not mean the end to your journey in Parkour. It is merely another milestone as you continue to train and grow in the discipline.


Each Band Challenge has attendance and Band Stripe prerequisites. Students who meet these prerequisites can sign up for a Gym-scheduled or private Band Challenge test. Gym-scheduled Challenge tests are FREE to members and $30 for non-members Private Band Challenge tests are arranged at your convenience for $30 per member and $50 per non-member. Check with the Front Desk to see upcoming Band Challenge testing dates or to set up a private Band Challenge test.

Each Band Challenge test consists of 12 skill assessments that will be evaluated by a certified coach. The student will be told the skill and will then have to demonstrate the skill without explanation or demonstration. To pass a Challenge test and earn a band, students must complete 9 or more skills with safe and controlled technique.

Challenge test results are not revealed until up to two days after the Challenge test. Passing students will receive their new Band and any associated perks. Regardless of a pass or failure, students will get specific feedback about their Challenge test. Our Front Desk staff will deconstruct individual performance, so students know which skills need work, which skills they did well on, and why.

For each completed Challenge test, students receive on Band free of charge. Replacement Bands cost $5 if lost or broken from misuse.


Before students can take a new Band Challenge test, they must earn a strip on their current Band. Stripe tests consist of three milestone skills that check fundamental strength, power and mobility. Stripes ensure that student skill are matched by fitness and technique.

Stripe tests are free for members and $5 for non-members. Students can take them any time a coach is available , but only once per day. Like the Challenge test, the coach will not demonstrate the Stripe test skills. Students will be expected to know the skills from descriptions and class demonstrations. However, coaches will give feedback to students on each skill. Students who pass will receive their Stripe Band from the Front Desk.


To keep students safe when they are not in a formal class environment with a coach, students have limits on what areas of the gym they may train. These rules directly correspond with their band level. As students progress through the Band Challenges, they will unlock new privileges during Open Gym and gain access to more classes.