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10 steps to making the grade

Below are listed 10 important points that if followed, will take you through your grading with flying colours. Good luck!

1. Make sure you are ready. By this statement we mean that you have the ability to take the next level of grading. There is no rush to take gradings so wait until both YOU & YOUR INSTRUCTOR feel that you have the ability to pass.

2. Do your homework. Practice regularly at home and in your spare time to perform the best that you can at the grading.

3. Plan ahead. If your grading is in 2 months time then plan ahead and schedule in extra training sessions that will help you in your grading. Also address any other factors that may occur and interfere with your training schedule. You may be on an important project at work, school or going on holiday prior to the grading date. You should plan to work around these obstacles or just simply postpone and take your grading at a more suitable time.

4. Ask Ask & Ask again. Ask your instructor for feedback regularly. Your instructor is there to help and assist you and he wants you to do well in your grading.

5. Know your stuff. Practice so much that you know your syllabus inside out and back to front (& upside down). This way less pressure will be felt on grading day as you will be able to focus fully on performing the techniques to the best of your ability rather than trying to remember punch or kick combinations.

6. Express yourself. When you take your grade the majority of the time there will be many other students grading at the same time as yourself. Try and make yourself stand out from the rest of the students grading by expressing yourself through your techniques. Make your technique strong and powerful and ‘call out' (kia) on execution. This should be practised so it feels natural whilst grading.

7. Work the weakness. If you are not good at kicking but excellent at all other techniques dedicate twice as much time on your weaker elements. Do not neglect your stronger elements but refine them and polish them so they will shine even more on the day of your grading.

8. Look at detail. When you take the grade there are several criteria that you will be marked on. These include speed, power, balance, technical application and effort. Break each one of your techniques down and see which of these elements can be improved upon and then act upon your findings. Ask your instructor to help you with this process.

9. Make a checklist. Make a checklist of all the things that you will need for your grading. Use this list to check that you take everything you need for your grade with you. If you find that you do not have the correct equipment speak to your instructor as early as possible. He may be able to loan you some or you may be able to purchase the goods.

10. Face your fears and embrace the challenge. You will know what to expect on grading day from previous grades. Even so many people still feel nervous but this is normal. In fact, many people tend to perform well when they feel slightly nervous. If you are one of those people who suffer from serious bouts of anxiety during tests of this type, we advise you to take your time and if you make any mistakes and you are aware you have, then correct them yourself without being told to on the grade day. This way the grading panel will recognise that you do know the techniques and you may just be Nervous.

Practice as much as you can and be the best you can be. Have a good grading

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