April PPCKD Martial Arts and Self Defence Grading.
What are gradings and why do we do them?
Martial Arts Gradings are a simple showcase of progression. They are an opportunity for every student to demonstrate that they have reached the required standards of that belt rank and are ready to progress to the next level.
Depending on which martial art you go to whether it be Karate, Tae Kwon Do or Kickboxing you will be required to perform some form of grading to highlight your skills.
I personally believe that these gradings should be as pressure free as possible and enable the candidate to relax and perform at their best. To make sure that this is possible I will pre examine all students before they are even invited to grade. If I have seen the adult or child demonstrate in a normal class the required skills to pass the grading they will be subsequently invited to grade.
The student will then merely have to perform as they have already done in class to pass the test. This isn't the same for all schools or martial arts which can often involve an actual competitive element to the test. Whilst this has a more real life element to it, I prefer not to put my students through the humiliation of failure at such an early age. They are usually upset enough when they don't pass the pre assessment, which can often involve an up turn in performance and a last minute invite to a grading.
To the grading itself, we ask the student to perform each key element of the grading. I have included a video of each element in my blog below.
Patterns. Each of the traditional martial arts will have some form of routine, we call them patterns, Karate call them Kata and Tae Kwon Do call them Forms. These are a routine of moves which have to be performed in a specific order to a required standard. The standard required is normally measured on a sliding scale. We don't expect a white belt to pass their white belt test to the same skill level as we would expect to see from a black belt, we also wouldn't expect a 5 year old child to perform to the same level as an adult.
The patterns themselves are a great all round work out. When performed to the appropriate standard they will increase the cardio vascular system, improve mobility, focus the mind whilst improving your skills and ability to defend yourself. From day one you can learn the basics of a white belt pattern and be able to defend yourself from an attack. Therefore I will always choose to do my patterns as a good all round work out so don't hesitate to gets your kids doing theirs if you have run short of kids activities.
Choi Kwang Do Hand Techniques. Each belt rank has at least one new hand technique which will need to be performed. These are either a block or some form of strike. Each movement is designed to work with the body in a sequential way. This helps generate maximum speed and power with every technique. Due to the “rolling” nature of each move it will help the mobility from the shoulder. Each technique should be performed to demonstrate the basic understanding of the move including, general movement, target, focus and speed.
Choi Kwang Do Leg Techniques: Much like the hand techniques each belt rank will have its own leg technique to learn and perform. These are measured based on the flexibility of the individual and should be performed to the maximum ability of the individual. We fully understand that no two people are the same and therefore measure each person on their own ability and not that of the person beside them.
Choi Kwang Do Speed Drills: These are part of the syllabus for those over 10 years old from when they reach yellow belt. These are a short series of moves performed at speed. This is to demonstrate a development from when the moves were initially learnt and to show that they can now be performed with accuracy and speed. Again this isn't a race, each move should be performed with accuracy and good technique, performing all sequential movement and not just poking out the hand at pace.
At this stage the graders get a short rest.
We now move on to the more interactive section of the grading. First up defence drills. The focus of any of the defence drills is to improve the ability of the person defending. Each defender must demonstrate adequate understanding of how to move and how to block for the requirements of each drill. At white belt this is simply moving back in the correct stance in the correct way in time with the person attacking. Ranging all the way up to two people attacking you at full speed. Don't worry you don't have to do this until you have been practising for a few years, but it is a fun drill!
Finally pad drills. By this time each student will have been training for at least 40 minutes or more and we ask them to dig deep and put everything into a final charge on the pads. They are required to demonstrate a good mix of their techniques, from white belt up to their current belt rank. We look for speed, power and a whole lot of noise. The noise should come from the students but I encourage the audience to get involved at this stage as is really boosts the students as well.
Grading over…A quick belt presentation to give everyone their new belts. Don't forget photos are allowed throughout so just get up and wander round and take as many pictures as you can. I only ask that you don't block the view of the examiners.
If you have any questions about this or any of the other kids activities or adult fitness classes that we run please don't hesitate in contacting me.
If you like how this sounds and fancy giving any one of our kids classes or adults classes a go, don't hesitate in contacting me 07590 559 421 or 0800 612 2742 or just fill in the form on the contact page.
Enjoy the video’s
PPCKD Martial Arts and Fitness
Horley, Oakwood Sports Centre