Our gradings take place every 4 months for coloured belts (Kyu) and every 6 months for black belt (Dan) and Kubodu gradings. We know these can be somewhat intimidating, especially your first. So we thought we would give you a quick run down as to what to expect.
When you arrive you will see that the Dojo has been split into two sections with a curtained off area. Please ensure your shoes, jackets, etc are in the changing rooms as the seating area will get very busy. Make your way to the open area of the mats where our Sensei will be waiting to help you revise and get warmed up before your grading, it is important you do as instructed in this time, as space is limited. As the day progresses you will see people being called through to the curtained area, this is not done in belt order, so don’t worry if you don’t go through at the same time as others of the same belt. During this time you will be run through your syllabus at grading speed, and any final tweaks are made.
Coloured Belt (Kyu) Gradings
These are our busiest gradings, so things need to move along quickly and efficiently. Once called through you will be introduced to your examiner and you should greet them by bowing. You will be accompanied by someone to do your grading with (your uke), they may also be grading and you may also be their uke. At this point, your grading will begin and you may be asked to warm up before starting.
You will be taken through your syllabus work at a reasonably fast pace, once you have been through your syllabus, you may be asked to repeat elements of your syllabus again if the examiner believes you could do better.
Finally, you will be asked to complete some revision from your previous belts, this can be anything, from any belt you have completed, so make sure you complete some revision, and the higher your grade the more you have to revise!
Black Belt (Dan) Gradings
First of all well done! Next, expect a long grading, you have a lot to cover. You will most certainly be expected to warm up, and for most dan gradings you will be asked to demonstrate the “basics”, these a various attacking strikes to the body.
You will then move into the core syllabus work (some examiners may ask you to complete any weapons work first), you will be taken through your syllabus at a very fast pace, and you will be asked to repeat elements! At the end, you will have fairly long revision section to complete.
1st Dan and Junior Black Belt gradings also contain a theory test that needs to be completed, once this is completed you will have a small break before being asked back around for the sparring section of your grading.
These are the gradings offered to our Junior Black Belts, each grading they will learn a different weapon. Your grading will be made up of a warm-up, after which up you will move on to your weapons and syllabus work, and finally, at the end, you will be asked to complete revision from all your previous belts.
At the end of the gradings, the curtain will be taken away and you will be asked to sit in neat rows as shown below. You will be told where to sit by our Sensei. Please sit quietly whilst you wait for the presentation to begin.
In turn you will be called to the front and presented with your certificate and new belt, you will bow to the examiner, turn and bow to the class, turn back and one of our Sensei will be taking photos, as will your family and friends, please take a moment for this before returning to your row.
You can see from the diagram that there is a flow, come out of your row to the left approach the front and keep working clockwise until you are back at your place.
At the end, the examiners and sensei will be about for photos if you want.