Important: In order to compete or to grade, please make sure your taekwondo membership is current.
Progress is assessed by gradings at the end of each term in which students demonstrate improved ability in the following areas:
- kicking and hand techniques
- one-step sparring
- full-contact sparring (for green tag and above)
- physical fitness
- breaking (for green belt and above)
Successful performance in the grading is rewarded by progression towards higher belts. Belt progression is as follows:
After each belt, you receive a tag of the next belt up, i.e after white belt, you receive a yellow tag before your yellow belt.
Beyond club black belt, there are international black belts for 1st Dan, 2nd Dan, etc; these are awarded by an international panel of judges.
Current insurance is required in order to grade. Grading costs £13 (this includes the belt, if the grading is successful).
If you want to grade
It is now club policy that if you would like to attempt a grading, you must train a minimum of two times per week and obtain the chief instructor’s approval first. He will assess your abilities and let you know whether you have progressed sufficiently to have a good chance. If you don’t do this, you won’t be allowed to take part in the grading; if you turn up on the day anyway, you will be automatically failed.
If this seems unreasonable to you, to quote chief instructor, Dr Peter Smielewski, “When you are taking your grading you should be fully aware of your abilities and 100% confident that you can perform the techniques required from you with full speed and power in any situation… if you find yourself forgetting things and losing confidence under [the stress of] grading it simply means you are not ready yet to take the grading.”
Your objective in learning a martial art is to develop skills and abilities to their fullest extent. Scraping together a half-decent performance in front of a grading panel is not the same thing as truly being proficient in the techniques- it’s the latter that you should be aiming for in a grading. Also, again to quote Pete, “…it is not a shame not to grade every time there is an opportunity”, and you should not feel under any pressure to do so. Everyone progresses at their own pace; it is much better for you to take your time and only grade when you are truly ready to do it.