Following on from my post on class structure I thought it may be interesting to share and compare the grading requirements of the Kyokushin organization that I am a part of with other styles and organizations.
This is based on my last experience of grading.
The warm up takes nearly half an hour and consisted of the usual jogging, star jumps and basic stretches with only 20 each of push ups, sit ups and squats finished off with around 10 minutes of 4 in 1 stretching.
The next three hours was then spent on kihon, moving up and down the hall in the various stances going through just about every stiking, kicking and blockng technique for the entire syllabus from 10th Kyu up until 3rd Kyu. Only the briefest respite from moving was given while the sensei were speaking and this is often done when your arm is held out at the end of a strike and you can not allow it to drop. No drink or rest breaks are permitted during this time but at the end of the first three and a half hours you break for a 30 min opportunity to eat and drink.
Once back from the break a short warm up followed by more kihon this time for the ranks being tested so first each person will be asked to demonstrate the techniques that they are grading for solo then the whole group goes through them up to their grade. This is where lots of the tobi (jumping) kicks come in so if you are not tired yet this sorts you out.
We then go through all of the kata as a group. Starting with the basic taikyoku kata through to the pinan (heian) series right up to yantsu and tsuki no kata for my grade, 12 kata in all some were repeated over and over again. We would then demonsrate solo the kata for our grade plus a kata of our choosing. We would then be give a kata of the sensei's choosing.
Following on from this its exercise time. For 2nd and 1st Kyu (brown belt) 70 push ups, for shodan (black) 100 push ups. Brown 100 sit ups, black 150. As for squats it depends how many people are grading. On this occasion it was 31 so each person counted out 10 so 310 squats. Next come Mae geri keage, brown 150 each leg, black 200. Then 310 blocks jodan uke. At this point anyone who doesn't feel like they just died is pretty much superhuman .I felt like I'd died, been buried, been dug up and died again lol.
At this point lots of fresh people come in, mostly black belts but some lower grades and head straight in to full contact sparring. As is the kyokushin way with no protection other than soft shin and instep guards and bare hands The rounds are 1 minute long with no rest in between. You are expected to defend yourself properly and put up a strong fight If you dont you will be hit. Hard. And you will potentially fail. They are not trying to knock you out so the fights don't have the same intensity of a knockdown tournament but ts certainly not made easy. 1st brown belt 20 fight, 2nd 25, black 30. Those going for 3rd Dan have 40.
Grading over, the sensei,s go off and confer and come back in and award the belts to those who have been successful.j
I have no experience grading in any other martial art and would like to know what happens in not just other karate styles but across the whole spectrum of martial arts.