Grading Policy Within The British Academy of Krav Maga

In most if not all combat systems, the progress of a student is marked with a series of colours (whether this be the colour of the belt, a badge or even the colour of the students uniform).

Within the British Academy of Krav Maga (hereon known as BAKM) it is the colour of the logo on the T shirt which signifies the grade with qualifying students receiving a new T shirt with the respective coloured logo when they are made up a grade, with beginners starting with a white logo on a black T shirt.

Grading colours are then given in order of recognition: White, Yellow, Orange, Red, Green, Blue, Purple, Brown and Black.

Black grades receive a degree stripe (also known as a Dan) which is added below the logo every 2 years based upon acquiring the relevant skills & teaching ability & having contributed to the further development of the BAKM organisation


In general terms, between each grade it normally takes anything from around 3 to 9 months for white, yellow, orange, red and green grades and then 6 months to a year for blue and then a year or more between each of the purple, brown & black grades & a further 2 years between the black grade degree stripes (Dan’s)


Within BAKM we believe that both an informal and yet conservative approach to grading students should apply and so on the one hand we do not have specific test days where students will turn up to be graded (having usually paid a fee) but rather we prefer applying a constant assessment of student’s performance and promote in class or on a course when we deem it is deserved rather than paid for &  then only charge for the new t shirt and any other accompanying paraphernalia (wrist bands, certificates etc) that the student receives upon promotion.

To achieve above, we have 4 main areas we are constantly looking at for a student to be promoted

1.     Knowledge
2.     Application
3.     Fitness
4.     Attitude


Knowledge refers to knowing the relevant curriculum / techniques & theory for the grade a student is hoping to be promoted to, without this there is no point in grading at all


Application refers to a student’s ability to apply these techniques under various degrees of pressure (shown in controlled sparring & assailant sessions)


Fitness is a key element that we want to see has improved. We identify any weaknesses such as lack of cardio, flexibility or agility for example and work to improve these where needed


Attitude refers to a student’s character in reaction to challenges that maybe set them in class, whether this be fitness testing, sparring or helping others. We constantly assess this and will not promote or even train a student who we believe is lacking in good attitude & comradeship


Within above students are further qualified as instructors upon reaching red grade and above, coupled with attending phase 1 and phase 2 instructor training (the Self Defence Instructor course is Phase 1 and Krav Maga Instructor course is Phase 2).

The instructor scheme allows regular school students to achieve this through 2 pathways:

1. Grading promotion through attendance of intensive courses of instructor training that firstly covers the self defence syllabus over 5 days and then the Krav Maga syllabus over a further 5 days

2. Promotion through attendance of regular classes within an affiliated BAKM school coupled with attendance of phase 1 & phase 2 training (regular school members or private clients who already attained grades can attend this course at a reduced price).

Upon reaching Krav Maga instructor status the respective instructor is then able to teach and grade other students up to 2 grades below their own grade, so for example a blue grade instructor can promote up to red, a purple to green, a brown to blue and so on

However, please note that the crucial part “instructor status” is only given upon completion of phase 1 and 2 training (regardless of the grade a student may have attained in class before this) and any insurance without these phases accomplished would be invalid.


No gradings are issued to trainees during the self defence instructor qualification & although this therefore does not allow the respective trainee self defence instructor to deliver Krav Maga classes or carry out grading assessments afterwards, based upon the curriculum and knowledge and skill that they will have acquired through the intensive self defence instructor course, they can now still assist a qualified BAKM Krav Maga instructor where needed or run their own self defence courses going forward.

However, we must again, point out, that they cannot grade or set up a BAKM affiliated school unless in assistance with a qualified BAKM Krav Maga Instructor or more to the point upon successful completion of phase 2 training (phase 2 being the Krav Maga instructor course)


The qualified BAKM Krav Maga instructor will have arrived at this position through either attending and successfully passing firstly the BAKM Self Defence instructor course, followed by the BAKM Krav Maga instructor course or having already attained the relevant grades through attendance with an affiliated BAKM school and then successful completion of phase 1 and phase 2 instructor training. In short then, the aspiring Krav Maga instructor must attend and complete both phases 1 and 2 of instructor training to attain instructor status and have a valid insurance for this role


The ranks for children are different. Blue grade and higher ranks have age requirements (must be over 16) and so children have the following ranks beginning with White, Yellow, Orange, Red and Green with the highest rank being a blue belt which can only be issued to them when they are over 16 (when they can also join the adult groups for training).


The success of BAKM Krav Maga as an effective combative system is largely due to its teaching and these grading methods which, as well as drills, techniques and fitness, places such a large emphasis on live sparring and pressure scenarios to test an individual’s performance.

The individuals performance and skill level is one of the key foundations of grading & it is an accepted principle to never promote a student before they are of a skill level equal to or higher than others of a similar age and size.

This ensures that students are promoted conservatively and are representing BAKM Krav Maga and their affiliated school as best as possible.

This policy of conservatism is a key aspect in making BAKM Krav Maga one of the most effective Krav Maga systems available.

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