Students tend to be very nervous before a grading, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but remember the examiner just needs to see what you have learnt. Try to use your nervous energy in a positive way to be powerful, loud and confident!

If you are in the grading hall at the start of the day before the first session then students will make their lines up in order to give the examiner a round of applause. Our examiners are all 6th Degree Black Belts or above; and they travel a fair distance to come to do the grading. We give them a round of applause to show our respect and gratitude.

The students will then be sent to the back of the hall and those taking part in the first session will be called by name. They will be told where to stand, e.g. ‘Position number one’ which is where the highest grade in your club would normally stand in your usual class. As your name is called you should say (shout!) “Here Sir/Ma’am” and run to your spot. Running looks keener than walking! When you arrive on your spot, bow to the examiner and stand in junbi (ready position) or with your hands behind your back. Stand still and try not to fidget!

When all the students have been called onto their marks you will be asked to state your name and grade. This begins at position number one. Put your feet together, left hand on your left leg, right hand in the air and say your name and grade. For example “John Smith, 10th Kup Sir”. A white belt student is a 10th Kup (meaning you have 10 to go before black belt!). If you pass you become a 9th Kup. Once you’ve done this, return to junbi (ready position).

Once all the students have stated their name and grade, the examiner will begin the grading. You will probably relax once you get started! Follow the examiner’s instructions as you would in class. Remember to be courteous and respond with ‘Yes Sir’, ‘Thank You Sir’ etc.

After the physical grading is over you will be asked some theory questions. At the end of each answer, say ‘Sir’. The examiner will either ask you to return to your mark or he might say you can relax at the back of the hall. This isn’t an indication of how well you’ve done! Either way you should follow the examiner’s instruction, bow to him, and say ‘Thank You Sir’.

Just try to relax and do your best. Your examiner will be looking for good stances, power, confidence, courtesy and effort. Remember to bow to your partner and although shouting is a bit embarrassing at first, it helps! It makes you sound confident and it also regulates your breathing.

Mr Plant will be seated at the table next to the examiner and Miss Bradford will be seated at the back if you have any last minute questions. Results are given at the next lesson. Good luck!