Gradings are held approximately every three months, when students can be tested for promotion. Once 4th kup is achieved the student must then wait for a minimum of six months before their next grading. The period between 1st kup and a Black Belt grading will depend on several factors, but will always be a minimum of six months. You must be aged 12 or over before you will be considered for promotion to black belt.
It is important to understand that you must be invited to grade by your Instructor – it is not an automatic right. All students develop differently, and some require a longer training period before they are ready to grade. It is vital to ensure that the correct standard has been achieved before you can grade, in order to preserve the integrity of TaekwonDo.
Gradings are formal and you should conduct yourself appropriately. The Examiner will be a senior Instructor or Master and therefore should be treated with utmost respect. However, you should also enjoy the occasion! Everyone gets nervous, but you should trust your Taekwondo ability and do your best. You would not have been asked to grade if you had not already reached the required standard. You will not be asked to do anything you have not already done in class. As long as you do your best, you should be successful.
In order to grade you must first pass a ‘pre-grading’ which will usually be held at regular training before the grading. You must also have achieved the minimum training attendance requirements. You will not be allowed to grade if your Instructor does not feel that you are ready; therefore to pass the pre-grading should boost your confidence. Once you have passed the pre-grading, you will need to pay the grading fee.
You should prepare thoroughly for your grading by practicing away from the Dojang whenever possible and by learning your theory. This is most important.
- You will be told in advance the venue and timings. You should arrive early in a pristine dobok and your belt. Your belt must be tied properly.
- 7th Kup (Yellow/Green Stripe Belt) and above will need sparring equipment which MUST be complete (helmet, gum shield, gloves, forearm guards (children only), groin protector, shin pads and boots) provided and approved by DMAA. You will not be allowed to grade without proper equipment. All students should be able to put on their sparring equipment without assistance.
- You will warm up in a room adjacent to the grading hall. Refreshments are available but we suggest you bring water.
- You will be asked to line up outside the grading hall. Your name will be called out and you should answer “Here Sir/Ma’am” and run to your mark. You should then bow and stand with your arms behind your back.
- The grading Examiner controls proceedings. A senior Instructor will usually stand to the side of the Examiner and call out instructions. For juniors, the Instructor will usually demonstrate. If you do not hear or understand the instructions, raise your hand.
- You may be asked to recite the Taekwondo Oath before starting.
- You may be asked to perform any technique, pattern or exercise relevant to your grade. This, of course, includes anything from previous gradings. It is most likely you will be asked to perform all patterns relevant to your grade.
- The Examiner will continue until he/she is satisfied.
- If you make a mistake, just carry on. If you completely forget your pattern, return to Narani Chunbi Sogi on your mark and wait to be asked to try again (if appropriate).
- Whilst your theory test is carried out on-line, you may still be asked questions by the Examiner and Instructors. You may be asked ANY theory question relevant to your grade, which includes all theory from previous gradings. PLEASE learn your theory!
Important note for parents/guests:
- Taking photographs or video is NOT PERMITTED (for safeguarding reasons)
- Please remain quiet in your seat; please do not distract those who are grading or the Examiner
- Young children must remain quiet and well behaved at all times, and must not be allowed to run around.
- Failure to observe these rules may result in you being asked to leave the grading hall.