Frequently asked grading questions
1. How do I get my next belt?
• Have pride
Wear a smart ironed gi (suit) and be clean and tidy. Pride in yourself and in your club puts you in the correct frame of mind for learning.
• Have respect
Turn up regularly and be on time. This allows the classes to start promptly and continue without disruption, ensuring you and all your fellow students get the most from every training session.
• Be determined
Decide you want to succeed. A positive attitude will really help especially when you come across an aspect of your training you find difficult. With the right focus you will get there.
• Train hard and listen to your Sensei
Show him you are serious about what you are doing. He wants you to succeed and will encourage your efforts.
• Practise, practise, practise…
... there is no substitute!
2. How often should I train?
In the early stages of training, training once a week is not a problem – students working towards red or yellow belt should be able to achieve this providing they attend regularly.
For students training for orange belt it is still possible to achieve proficiency training once a week, however training twice a week is strongly recommended. This is because at this level the syllabus increases in complexity, and it takes a long time to reach the required standard if you only train once a week.
From orange belt, due to the complexity and demands of the syllabus, all students are required to train at least twice a week.
As a club as make sure there are as many training opportunities available as possible and are very flexible about which sessions a student attends.
3. Are there lots of grading opportunities?
There are approximately four grading opportunities a year for all students up to 1st kyu brown belt, provided the student has reached the required standard for the exam.
4. How are students selected for the grading?
A few weeks before the grading, all students who wish to be considered for selection will be given the opportunity to demonstrate their readiness to their Sensei. This is know as a pre-grading and it takes place in class. It is very informal and nothing to worry about. At the end of the session, students who the Sensei considers ready for the grading will be given a registration form.
To be registered for the grading students must:-
1. Have reached the required standard
2. Hold a current karate licence
3. Have no outstanding fees
4. Complete and return the registration form, with the grading fee and karate licence by the date given in the letter
5. What happens on the day?
1. Be early. We advise all students allow at least 15 minutes ‘warm up’ time before the exam.
2. Wear a white, ironed, Saizen Kai gi complete with club badge and current belt. Students taking 5th kyu (green belt) or higher will also need their hand pads
3. Late arrivals will not be admitted once the grading has begun
6. How does the grading work?
You will be graded with other students of the same level, so don’t feel nervous, you won’t be on your own. It is the instructors’ job to guide you through your grading, and your job to be the best you can be. The examiners know you may be nervous and will always make an allowance for this.
The examiner will ask you to perform all the work relevant to the grade you are taking. There are no tricks or nasty surprises. Everything will be familiar to you.
Notes of your performance will be taken throughout the grading. This is to help the examiner, and when the grading is over, the notes will be used to give you brief assessment of your performance. All successful candidates will be given their pass grade, a certificate, and new belt at the end of the grading.
7. Do all students pass?
No, not always. Very occasionally an examiner may feel that a student is not quite ready to move up to the next grade and the new grade will not be awarded.
This can be very disappointing for a student, as everyone who enters the exam will have worked very hard and wants to succeed. But if you do not pass, it is NOT a failure. It is a learning opportunity. The examiner has realised that you can be even better than you have been on that day and wants you to have the opportunity to come back and be the best you can be!
8. Can friends and family watch?
No. it is important that all students are fully focused on the task in hand. So for this reason spectators are not allowed into the grading hall. We do tell them when we expect the grading to end, so that they will be outside waiting for you, ready to share in your success!