What to expect when you undergo a EGKA/IOGKF Grading
Most students will grade in their local dojo until they reach 3rd or 2nd Kyu. After that they have to attend one of the regional grading weekend events organised by the EGKA to gain their next grade.
The southern regional grading is held in June in Bournemouth, and the northern regional grading weekend is run in December in the Liverpool area. Junior regional grading sessions may be run at other times of the year, so visit the Events page to see when the next one will be held.
Your sensei will tell you when you are ready to grade at one of the regional events. They will also give you lots of general advice about how to prepare for it. You will find specific instructions on how to register and which grading forms to use by visiting Events and reading the relevant information page attached to the session you wish to attend.
You can get a better understanding of the actual grading process, and what the Grading Panel will be looking for by reading Your Grading - What to expect on the day.
This article is all about helping you achieve a positive, mental approach to the whole grading process. If you know what to expect; if you understand what the Grading Panel are looking for in your performance, and you know from your physical preparation that you really can do all of what is about to be asked of you on the day – then the actual grading becomes a pleasurable event to look forward to … rather than one to dread and avoid.
As in any other sports, preparation is the key to passing a grading. Part of that preparation must include dietary considerations and you may find reading the following article on nutrition useful.
Finally, we are often asked if candidates are expected to attend both the Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning training sessions of the weekend grading event. Exceptions will be made, but the answer is "Yes", candidates are expected to attend all of the weekend´s training sessions. It is to their advantage to attend, as the training sessions cover the areas that will be later examined in the grading.
Punches: Jodan, chudan, gedan and ura-tsuki.
Blocks: Jodan, chudan, gedan and open hand, ko-uke, ura-uke and shotei barai.
Kicks: Mae-geri, mawashi, yoko, ushiro and hiza-geri.
Strikes: Hiji-ate, shuto-uchi, nukite.
All the above performed from heiko-dachi.
Moving forwards in zenkutsu dachi:
1. Mae-geri, oi-tsuki, gyaku-tsuki.
2. Mawashi-geri, uraken-uchi, gyaku-tsuki.
3. Yoko-geri, ushiro-geri, gyaku-tsuki.
4. Neko-ashi, ko-uke, mae-geri, gyaku-tsuki.
5. Sanchin dachi, hiki-uke, chudan mawashi-geri, gyaku-tsuki.
6. Moving back in zenkutsu-dachi, block ude-uke; step in shiko-dachi, strike yoko hiji-ate; turn back in zenkutsu and gyaku-tsuki.
All the above combinations to be performed 10 times, alternating left and right. All single techniques 20 times. Any of the single techniques can be put together in combination form as the grading panel feels appropriate.
The above list covers the majority of techniques you will be asked to perform in the grading. Please keep in mind, however, that the grading panel may ask you to demonstrate other techniques, although they will always show you first exactly what they require of you.
All the bunkai for each relevant kata must be able to be performed by each candidate. In the case of juniors under the age of fourteen at least two of each kata must be performed. Juniors over fourteen will be required to know all of the bunkai.
These are the single attacks with a basic block and counter punch from zenkutsu dachi. The attacks are jodan oi-tsuki, chudan oi-tsuki, mae-geri and mawashi-geri.
The same attacks apply as Ippon kumite, but here the defender must show an understanding of Goju-Ryu using close range techniques and include at least one take down.
Kakie is a fundamental part of our style and candidates must demonstrate the basic technique and a minimum of four different variations.
This is the name in Okinawa for ju-kumite or free sparring. Junior candidate will have four bouts and seniors six. Protective equipment is not compulsory but anyone showing a lack of control or being too aggressive will be marked down and may fail.