Grading is a formal event where students are assessed and examined in order to progress to the next grade. Here at EMAR Dojo, we conduct regular grading exams for our students. Adults are graded on average twice a year. Children are graded three times per year, based on their progress from the previous exam.
Each candidate must have an up-to-date licence in order to attend grading. All candidates who are eligible to grade will be invited to test at the discretion of their dojo’s head instructor after following a strict syllabus. The Sensei in charge will take into consideration additional criteria such as behaviour, leadership skills, punctuality, teamwork, dedication, willpower and discipline. The attitude of the candidate is also of prime importance. Karate promotes being a good human being and this is what we look for in students when it comes to belt promotion.
Students will also need to complete certain physical tests as well as kata, kihon, controlled sparring (for advanced grades), flexibility, endurance and knowledge-based questions. There is a strict time period and class attendance criteria that needs to be covered between grades. All students will be provided with clear instructions outlining everything to be covered prior to grading exams.
The minimum age for a Senior Shodan (1st degree black belt) is 18 years of age. Once 18 years of age, they must retest to Senior (adult) Shodan to progress further. Students eligible for black belt testing under 18 years of age will be awarded Junior Shodan.
It is the instructor’s responsibility to put students forward for a grading exam. Your Sensei will decide when you’re ready to be graded, so students should not ask to be graded.