Get ready for your next grading! Our tips -

It's the martial arts equivalent of revising and taking exams, something all students around the UK will have experienced at some point. have some handy tips to help get you ready for your next grading.

Firstly and most importantly, if you or your child don't feel ready for the next grade, or don't wish to take part in a grading examination at all, just don't do it! Martial arts are not all about the colour of your belt and enjoyment is what's vital.

Secondly, speak to your instructor. They are in the best position to judge whether or not you are ready to try for the next belt. Furthermore, if you've got any reservations, they'll be able to offer the best specific advice and put your mind at ease.

If you do decide you want to take it to the next level, use the following tips to help bring your A game:

Before your grading -

1. Know exactly what's required - get a copy of the grading syllabus and make sure you are familiar with and competent in all the listed techniques / blocks / forms (kata).

2. Practice - It's one thing being familiar with a technique, but to pass a grading, it has to be performed to perfection. Make sure you know all the techniques off by heart and can execute them correctly.

3. Attend classes - In the lead up to gradings, instructors will want to see you are making every effort to attend sessions, this can make a big difference to a grading result!

4. Ask for help - from instructors and senior grades in your class, it's what they're there for!

During your grading -

1. Presentation - many styles will mark you on presentation. Ensure you've got your current belt on properly, with a clean well presented uniform.

2. Effort - some students will be more technically advanced than others, this does not necessarily mean they will perform better. 100% effort during a grading will give you the best chance of passing

3. Take it seriously - during a grading you'll need to show that you understand the discipline of your martial art

4. Enjoy it - it's why you're there!

Finally, good luck! If you do get your next belt/sash, share you presentation photos with us at @maomagazine.

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