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
Timeline For Grading
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)
How Do We Grade?
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 when we deem it is deserved.
We 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 there are therefore 4 main areas we are constantly looking at for a student to be promoted
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
BAKM Instructor Scheme
Within above students are automatically further qualified as self defence instructors upon reaching red and/or green grade & then further qualified as Krav Maga instructors upon reaching blue.
The instructor scheme allows students to achieve this through 2 pathways:
1. Promotion through attendance of intensive courses of instructor training that firstly covers the self defence syllabus grades (yellow, orange, red & green) over 5 days and then the Krav Maga syllabus grade (blue) & above for a further 5 days
2. Promotion through attendance of regular classes within an affiliated BAKM school
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.
Self Defence Instructor
Although the self defence instructor qualification does not allow the respective instructor to carry out grading assessments, based upon the curriculum & knowledge and skill that they will have acquired through the intensive course (or through regular training) they can still assist qualified BAKM Krav Maga instructors where needed or run self defence courses based upon their knowledge of the basic BAKM curriculum. However, they cannot grade or set up a BAKM affiliated school unless in assistance with a qualified BAKM Krav Maga Instructor.
Krav Maga Instructor
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
Grading for Children Taking Up Krav Maga With BAKM
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).
Our Belief In relation To Grading
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.