Why gradings are a vital part of your martial arts journey.
The grading is the culmination of all your child’s hard work over the last 12 weeks. As a parent, you will not see the regular effort your child puts in each week to overcome numerous little challenges and win out, the grading is validation of all this effort and ends with a new belt or kata certificate.
Last year I had a new parent come to me and say that she really wanted me to grade her son. He had been with us about 8 weeks by this point but only 4 weeks before our regular grading so had missed it as wasn’t quite ready. She said that her son was telling her he couldn’t do ju jitsu, and she felt that this was because he had no proof that he could in the form of a new belt. Now if someone wishes to grade outside of a scheduled grading we charge an extra fee, this is because we have to restructure the class and ensure there is a second coach available, the lady was fine with this, as she was convinced that without it her son would want to quit, so we graded him and he passed with a credit!
The change in this young man was quite remarkable, you see he also trained in karate, but on my mat his kicking and punching lacked power and energy, but after the grading I started to see his true colours, he was putting more effort in, he was enjoying the sessions more and trying much harder with techniques that were more difficult.
We all need some kind of external validation from time to time, and all love to be recognised positively for the efforts we put, for the martial arts community this recognition comes from the grading process.
We look forward to seeing you at the next grading.
Sensei Rob Phelps 5th Dan
18th June 2017