Gradings are a chance to test your progress and also provides a concrete goal to work towards. There is a syllabus for each level with specific techniques that you are tested on, and also a a set of requirements for the skill level expected for each grade. This is the same all over the world within KMG. You can do your first grading after 4-6 months of regular training.
In Scotland there is a National Grading for all the KMG schools in the country. This takes place twice a year, in March/April and October/November. Occasionally there are also local gradings at the individual KMG schools.
A lot of people take part in gradings to set a goal, challenge themselves, measure their progress. You also get a different kind of "training" experience than in a normal class, and in the national grading events you meet krav maga practitioners from all over the country.
There is no requirement to grade when you are training in krav maga.
The level system
Our ranks are structured in Practitioner levels: P1-P5, Graduate levels: G1-G5 and Expert levels: E1-E5.
To be eligible to grade for P1 you need to have trained regularly for minimum 4 months (minimum 60% of classes for your level). For P2 it must be at least 5 months since your last grading. For P3 minimum 6 months, and for the G-levels minimum 6-8 months.
We don't have belts to show the rank, but instead patches that are worn on the training trousers.
But how does it work, really?
Think of a grading as a regular class, it's just a little bit longer and more demanding. If you have trained regularly and attended recommended workshops you will be well prepared for the grading.
So do I need to be a super fit krav master to go?
No, absolutely not. The grading will be physically demanding, but regardless of your level of fitness, you are expected to do your best, no more. Show determination and keep going even if you are tired. You'll be sweaty, sore and exhausted by the end, but the feeling when you are done, knowing that you gave it your best, is so very, totally worth it.
You should prepare for the grading, make sure you know all the techniques in the syllabus. Don't hesitate to ask your instructor or your fellow practitioners to help you with techniques you are uncertain about —before the grading. Once at the grading you are there to show what you know, not to learn techniques that you haven't done before. Though you are likely to pick up some details you hadn't noticed or been made aware of before.
A grading is physically tiring and you need to stay focussed to show good techniques, but it can also be fun, and definitely rewarding. Go for it.
For the grading you need:
A valid KMG license.
KMG passport - you will get this on your P1 grading. If you have graded in KMG before and you don't have a passport or you have lost your passport, get in touch with the grading organisers.
KMG t-shirt, or your local KMG club t-shirt, and KMG trousers or black trousers with no affiliation marks. Indoor training shoes recommended.
Groin guard and mouth guard (P1). For higher levels you may need shin guards and boxing gloves or MMA gloves.
Plenty of water/liquid, and snacks: nuts, bananas, energy bars. You're going to use a lot of energy, you'll need to refuel. There usually aren't lunch breaks, so bring things you can gobble down in shorter breaks.