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What Is Grading In Martial Arts?




Grading is a physical examination that martial artists need to take to attain their next belts. 


Kup (coloured) belt gradings are usually three/four times a year for students to upgrade and are down to the discretion of your Instructor. Being allowed to grade depends on how often you train, how much you practise and how quickly you learn. The whole process is not a rush and you are far better taking your time through the coloured belts and learning as much as possible. If you consider that you can practise martial arts for the rest of your life taking your key between gradings in crucial.


On average if you train 2/3 times a week it is usual that you will be allowed to grade every three months; however you have to remember the higher grade you get the harder it gets, so timing between grades may be longer.  


Students start at white belt and have to attain another 8 belts until they reach black. On rare occasions a student can double promote this means that they skip their next belt and automatically gain the one above. This is quite rare and for students to double promote they must achieve excellence throughout their entire grade.


What to expect

  • Basics up and down the hall. This will include stances, blocking, striking, punching and kicking.

  • Poomsae. You can be asked to do any poomsae up to your level, so it is vital that you always practise previous patterns as well.

  • One-Step Sparring. Pick your 5 best techniques and perfect them for your grade.

  • Self Defence. Again pick 5 techniques and keep repeating over and over again.

  • Free Sparring.


Higher Grades:

  • Moving meditation.

  • Two onto One Sparring.

  • Breaking Techniques.



Rules Of Grading





It is important that both students and parents obey the strict rules of martial arts grades:


1. All students wishing to grade must be insured and a member of the club.

2. Students must never ask to grade. It is their Instructor’s decision alone.

3. Students must be smartly dressed in a clean, ironed uniform with the club’s badge. Ensure your belt is tied correctly and that sleeves and trousers on your dobok are not rolled up.

4. Belts should be handed into your instructor at the end of the examination and it must be clean.

5. No jewellery should be worn on the grade. Any rings that won’t come off should be covered over.

6. No chewing gum is allowed.

7. All nail varnish should be removed and hands and feet should be clean.


Grading Etiquette:

Applying a good attitude to your grading does not just apply to when you are on the floor. Students should also show excellent grading etiquette and a good attitude in general. Students should always remember to:

  • Never turn your back on the top table. Always walk off backwards when leaving the floor.

  • Always remove your glasses when working with a partner.

  • Bow to any higher grades on the day.

  • If for any reason you cannot stay for the full grading session you must inform your instructor on your application form. If you or your parents are called away during the grade you must inform your instructor who in turn will inform the top table.

  • Parents and younger children should also sit quietly during the grading.

  • No food or drink is allowed on the grading floor.

  • Whilst sitting watching the grade students must not talk or leave the floor without permission.

  • Watch and listen carefully to the Black Belt taking the grade.

  • When your name is called you must stand up, say “present”, bow, and quickly make your way to the designated spot.

  • After the warm up students are instructed to sit at the back of the hall until their name is called. Please remember out of respect for the other students grading you should sit quietly and wait for your name to be called.



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