It’s grading week at KSW Glasgow! Grading in martial arts is one of our most important events, it’s where we come together and try to set new and higher standards for ourselves. 

We have quite a few students who are completing their first grading this week so here is what to expect at a grading.

Grading Times

  • 5.30pm – Dojang will be open
  • 6pm – Brown Belts, DBNs and Black Belts start time
  • 7pm – Everyone else start time
  • 8.30pm – Grading ends

What to Expect

Grading is supposed to be challenging. We are looking to test your skill and knowledge of the Kuk Sool curriculum, even when you are tired and stressed. Good attitude and good etiquette are the two most important qualities we are looking for. A good attitude is about trying your best and not shying away when things get difficult. Good etiquette means bowing to your instructor when you enter or leave the dojang, when you step on or off the mats and calling instructors and students by their rank or Sir/Ma’am.

Everyone forgets what they have been taught from time to time, a lot of people look to the ground or look up when it happens but this just shows the judges you are struggling. Just try to stay calm, look at what others are doing and give yourself a chance to remember. Never show your frustrations to others!

You might be asked to do things you have never done before, just try your best and if you feel you can’t, don’t worry, this won’t be held against you.

Although everyone is being tested individually, grading is far easier when everyone comes together as a group and puts lots of energy and enthusiasm into it. Making lots of noise, loud ki-haps (martial art yelling) and remembering to say Yes Sir, or Yes Ma’am when given instructions strikes a positive note that everyone around you will feed off of.

Be Prepared!

Preparation is equally important for grading. Try to have a decent size meal before the grading, but not within the two hours before you start. Make sure you stay hydrated on the day of grading and bring plenty to drink (more than a normal class) during grading. An easily digestible snack like a banana is a good idea right before you start or to snack on during water breaks. Also remember to take your full uniform – this means dobok top, dobok trousers, black t-shirt and your belt.

Although this sounds like it is quite intense, grading is often fun! We try to make it as rewarding an experience as possible and it is a great feeling when you have to work hard and really earn your new belt.

Post Grading Plans

After the grading is over we always like to celebrate together, this time we will be ordering some pizza for us to have at the dojang. If you’d like to join please can you bring £5 cash to cover the cost.

I hope you are all looking forward to grading! With the right preparation and good attitude it can be one of the most rewarding experiences in Kuk Sool Won. Good luck and see you there!