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Nidan Melbourne
KF Sempai
KF Sempai

Joined: 21 Aug 2013
Posts: 2275
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Styles: Goju-Ryu, BJJ, Balintawak Arnis

PostPosted: Sat May 02, 2020 1:20 am    Post subject: Gradings and their formatting Reply with quote

With the whole coronavirus pandemic going around, it me thinking about how gradings are done and how their formatted.


At my club, along with my old one; we held two different types of grading: Kyu Gradings and Dan Gradings. With these being separate for Adults and Juniors.

Our Kyu Gradings (Adults + Juniors) are 2 hours long, and Dan Gradings going for a minimum of 4 hours.

Our Kyu Gradings; you will undertake each of the sections that they were tested on in-grade, with more senior students having more to do in comparison to the newer students. Often these gradings take longer than what was intended, which I am negotiating with my CI to make it a 3 hour grading to give it more time. All promotions are done the following classes when the student attends next.

Dan Gradings are open to students of 3rd Kyu and above; and is at least 4 hours in duration. The longest i've been part of as either an instructor or participant has been 6.5-7 Hours. Students wishing to be promoted to any dan grade has to meet their requirements. Students not attempting for a dan grading will have more breaks than other students.

Out of curiosity, how does your club or organisation do all gradings and how are they formatted?
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sensei8
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 23 Feb 2008
Posts: 15405
Location: Houston, TX
Styles: Shindokan Saitou-ryu [Shuri-te/Okinawa-te based]

PostPosted: Sat May 02, 2020 2:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, our grading has changed dramatically across the board, on a network concern, ever since our Hombu/SKKA closed down permanently not so long ago. So, instead of speaking about use-to-be's, I'll speak towards what I've always done in my dojo.

For me, what has caused me a pause since then were:

1) All Testing Cycle's had to be approved by the Hombu, no matter the Rank.
2) All Testing Cycle's Godan and above had to be done only at the Hombu; no exceptions.
3) Any and all students, no matter their Rank, had to petition the Hombu through their Sensei to be considered for any upcoming Testing Cycle in a timely manner before the given date.
4) Any and all Ranks, if approved by the Hombu, could attend their Testing Cycle at the Hombu instead of at their In-House Dojo during the Hombu Annual Testing Cycle.
5) I no longer have to attend/Administer the Annual Testing Cycle at the Hombu. [That I sorely miss a lot!!]

At my dojo, my Student Body are still subjected to 1-3, above. 4-5 above, for obvious reasons, are Not-Applicable anymore. However, the word(s) Hombu/SKKA have been omitted, and have been replaced with my Dojo's name.

No matter the Rank, students are tested on everything they've ever been taught, at each and every Testing Cycle, with no exceptions; not just Rank related curriculum's. Because of this, Testing Cycles can take up to several days to complete. The more candidates the longer the Testing Cycle.

Testing Cycles for Kyu Ranks test separately from the Dan Ranks. Duration of a Testing Cycle depend on primarily the amount of approved candidates. I've cancelled Testing Cycles if I've no approved petitions, and this happens more than one might think. Just because a student thinks that they're ready to attend an upcoming Testing Cycle, doesn't mean that I agree with what their thinking.

Testing Cycles for Godan and above are a minimum duration of 2 days, whereas a Nanadan Testing Cycle duration might be 3-4 days; there's a lot to cover for these type of Testing Cycles.

Promotions, if I've any, take place on the following Friday night.

Testing Cycles occur once every 3 months for Kyu Ranks, usually on a Monday. Dan Ranks NOW have their Testing Cycle on the last week of June, annually, starting at the conclusion of the Kyu Testing Cycles, usually on a Wednesday...Kyu Ranks are on that Monday and Tuesday. Testing Cycle week has NO CLASSES, not until the following Monday.

I've been blessed by having a very large Student Body, which fluxuates throughout the year every year. Having said that, just because I've a huge Student Body, that doesn't mean that they all petition for any upcoming Testing Cycle, nor does it mean that all petitions will be approved to attend any upcoming Testing Cycle. All candidates must sign-in 1-2 hours prior to any upcoming Testing Cycle, with that in mind, if any candidate signs in 55 minutes prior to any given upcoming Testing Cycle, that student(s) are denied to attend that given Testing Cycle with no exceptions...To be early is to be on time, and to be on time is to be late!!



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Nidan Melbourne
KF Sempai
KF Sempai

Joined: 21 Aug 2013
Posts: 2275
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Styles: Goju-Ryu, BJJ, Balintawak Arnis

PostPosted: Mon May 04, 2020 1:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

sensei8 wrote:
Well, our grading has changed dramatically across the board, on a network concern, ever since our Hombu/SKKA closed down permanently not so long ago. So, instead of speaking about use-to-be's, I'll speak towards what I've always done in my dojo.

For me, what has caused me a pause since then were:

1) All Testing Cycle's had to be approved by the Hombu, no matter the Rank.
2) All Testing Cycle's Godan and above had to be done only at the Hombu; no exceptions.
3) Any and all students, no matter their Rank, had to petition the Hombu through their Sensei to be considered for any upcoming Testing Cycle in a timely manner before the given date.
4) Any and all Ranks, if approved by the Hombu, could attend their Testing Cycle at the Hombu instead of at their In-House Dojo during the Hombu Annual Testing Cycle.
5) I no longer have to attend/Administer the Annual Testing Cycle at the Hombu. [That I sorely miss a lot!!]

At my dojo, my Student Body are still subjected to 1-3, above. 4-5 above, for obvious reasons, are Not-Applicable anymore. However, the word(s) Hombu/SKKA have been omitted, and have been replaced with my Dojo's name.

No matter the Rank, students are tested on everything they've ever been taught, at each and every Testing Cycle, with no exceptions; not just Rank related curriculum's. Because of this, Testing Cycles can take up to several days to complete. The more candidates the longer the Testing Cycle.

Testing Cycles for Kyu Ranks test separately from the Dan Ranks. Duration of a Testing Cycle depend on primarily the amount of approved candidates. I've cancelled Testing Cycles if I've no approved petitions, and this happens more than one might think. Just because a student thinks that they're ready to attend an upcoming Testing Cycle, doesn't mean that I agree with what their thinking.

Testing Cycles for Godan and above are a minimum duration of 2 days, whereas a Nanadan Testing Cycle duration might be 3-4 days; there's a lot to cover for these type of Testing Cycles.

Promotions, if I've any, take place on the following Friday night.

Testing Cycles occur once every 3 months for Kyu Ranks, usually on a Monday. Dan Ranks NOW have their Testing Cycle on the last week of June, annually, starting at the conclusion of the Kyu Testing Cycles, usually on a Wednesday...Kyu Ranks are on that Monday and Tuesday. Testing Cycle week has NO CLASSES, not until the following Monday.

I've been blessed by having a very large Student Body, which fluxuates throughout the year every year. Having said that, just because I've a huge Student Body, that doesn't mean that they all petition for any upcoming Testing Cycle, nor does it mean that all petitions will be approved to attend any upcoming Testing Cycle. All candidates must sign-in 1-2 hours prior to any upcoming Testing Cycle, with that in mind, if any candidate signs in 55 minutes prior to any given upcoming Testing Cycle, that student(s) are denied to attend that given Testing Cycle with no exceptions...To be early is to be on time, and to be on time is to be late!!




Thanks for sharing Sensei8!

For Godan and above gradings, how do they work when they cross several days? We generally only work ours on a weekend, and only have our seniors kyu gradings during the week. Which sits nicely into our timetable.

I don't know too much about the SKKA unfortunately, so I am in the dark about what your curriculum comprises of and say how many kata that are required or bunkai.

Our Kyu Gradings are held in around the same time frame as yours, albeit we are on a much smaller scale in comparison to yours. As we have approximately 350 students across two sites.
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DWx
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 17 Jan 2007
Posts: 6408
Location: UK
Styles: Tae Kwon Do & Yang family Tai Chi

PostPosted: Wed May 06, 2020 6:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Our colour belt and black belt gradings are very different.

Colour belt gradings are done in school and are mostly up to the individual instructor. (Though you can only promote up to half your grade). I run mine separate from classes and they take an hour to 2 hours per grade. Students will do all their fundamental movements, forms, sparring (both set and free depending on the grade), theory and board breaking from 6th kup up.

Blackbelt 1st through to 3rd are done on a national level and for us that means a 2 day seminar and then you grade at the end. The seminar covers everything from white belt up (though only intermediate and advanced grades are present). and you are watched the whole time before grading at the end in from of everyone. You can be asked to demonstrate anything up to your grade.

For 4th dan and above you have to apply to international headquarters for approval and they have to approve your examiner too. On your application you have to show what you have done outside of your school such as seminars, competitions (as coach, umpire or competitor), travelled to other schools etc. and for 4th itself you have to submit a thesis on a chosen subject. (I actually make my 1st dans write a mini-thesis to be submitted to me as it helps me understand where they are with their understanding).

4th and above testing is sometimes done nationally at the same time as 1st to 3rd but more often you have to travel internationally to test at the end of a 3 day technical seminar. My sister for example took her 4th in Austria.

7th is when you become a master and the end of the formal syllabus. They have to submit an application to headquarters detailing what they have done outside of their own training such as how many students they have, how many blackbelts, who they have taught, what courses and certifications they have etc. I'm told the physical test is less exam and more demonstration of your abilities.

8th and 9th are not tested for and are based on what you have given back not on what you can do.
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sensei8
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 23 Feb 2008
Posts: 15405
Location: Houston, TX
Styles: Shindokan Saitou-ryu [Shuri-te/Okinawa-te based]

PostPosted: Wed May 06, 2020 4:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nidan Melbourne wrote:
Thanks for sharing Sensei8!

For Godan and above gradings, how do they work when they cross several days? We generally only work ours on a weekend, and only have our seniors kyu gradings during the week. Which sits nicely into our timetable.

I don't know too much about the SKKA unfortunately, so I am in the dark about what your curriculum comprises of and say how many kata that are required or bunkai.

Our Kyu Gradings are held in around the same time frame as yours, albeit we are on a much smaller scale in comparison to yours. As we have approximately 350 students across two sites.

Great question, Liam.

My Godan and above Testing Cycles are scheduled to commence on Wednesday, however, depending on any unforeseen delays of the Kyu Testing Cycle, I can wait until Thursday to commence Dan Testing Cycle, irregardless, Dan Testing Cycles are concluded on Saturday.

I run Segments. For example, once I've completed a particular Segment, a Segment is a particular Kyu or Dan, for example a Dan Segment 1, is for those testing for Shodan. At the conclusion of Segment 1, I'll announce, that that concludes Segment 1 for those candidates testing for Shodan, so on and so forth. This is the same way for the Kyu Testing Cycles, they too have assigned Segments.

Because I run every Testing Cycle candidate through the entire curriculum/syllabus, crossing every 't' and dotting every 'i', from Jukyu to Nanadan, no matter Kyu or Dan, whenever I finish with Yondan, those Godan and above candidates remaining on the floor continue on.

For example, all Dan Testing Cycle candidates report to the floor, no matter Dan Rank. As I'm running them through their entire curriculum/syllabus, from Jukyu and up, once they've completed their Testing Cycle Segments, they bow, and find a place to sit off to one of the the sides while I continue the very next Testing Cycle Segment.

In short, my Testing Cycles run non-stop except for scheduled water/restroom breaks, Segment conclusion announcements/dismissals, Testing Cycle set-ups, like for Kobudo, Tamashiwari, partner(s) Segments, and any unforeseen delays like injuries/equipment failures/etc.

So, by Friday, Godan and above would commence with their Segments. Rokudan and Nanadan, if any, would commence with their Segments on Saturday.

Hopefully this answers your question, Liam.



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