Gradings are of course a fundamental part of the martial arts journey. They are an opportunity for a student to test their current knowledge and skills, to see if the instructor feels it would be appropriate to award them the next grade belt, and to start learning the next stage of the syllabus. Gradings are held monthly, usually at the end of each calendar month. Students will be asked to demonstrate all of the elements of their current syllabus to an examiner.
It is normal for students to want to chase the next belt, particularly as a beginner. And there is nothing wrong with setting goals and trying to achieve them. In fact, this is an effective way of growing, in martial arts, and in life.
The student must remember however, that the objective is to improve, not just to wear a different colour belt. The belt is a symbol of the current skill and knowledge level. Without the appropriate skill and knowledge, the belt is meaningless.
The focus therefore should always be on improvement rather than the amount of time or number of lessons a student has trained in. We have minimum times between grades, and tip testing for juniors, which serve as rough indicators to the student and the instructor of where the student is between grades. This helps with motivation for the student, and it allows the instructor to keep track of which students have attended more lessons at any particular grade in class. The overriding factor when deciding if a student is ready to grade however should always be, does the student know their current syllabus to a confident level, and are they showing the appropriate level of technique and understanding for their grade?
If a student maintains this mindset throughout their martial arts journey, success is inevitable!
Saturday 30th October
Saturday 27th November
(times to be confirmed)
Location: Hildenborough Dojang