Join the Wiki Community to add a comment or post a question.
Please vote for the most useful & interesting posts & comments. The voting system (1^ 0v) is located on the bottom of each comment & post.
How to Post
To reply to an existing conversation, please use the "Write A Comment" box at the bottom of every message or click on a "Reply" link. To start a new topic, please use the "Post Something" button on one of the main sections.
Community Rules
  • Be civil, respect other martial arts styles and no spam! Violators will be banned.
  • Please do not post individual school events (i.e. a new Monday class), numerous links to personal blogs, etc. They will be deleted.
  • Remember to vote posts up or down.
  • Add martial arts or your style (i.e. Karate) to the title of your post in order for martial artists to find it via Google, etc.
  • New members - Please be aware that if you do not post at least once in the first month or two after you join, your account will be potentially deleted for inactivity.
  • FAQ - Answers to common questions.
  • Contribute information to main wiki.
  • Contact us
  • Preparing for first grading

    I have my very first grading coming up in 5 days time (Orange belt).
    I've been working hard on fitness, I'm moderately confident with Kihon, I have the three kata locked down and kumite.....well it is what it is.

    What does everyone else do to prevent cramps, exhaustion, dehydration etc during grading. I'm told it's 5 hours plus of intense excertion.

    Any advice gratefully received.

    Share this post
      • 2
      Aaron Bennett Thanks for advice folks. I passed!
      • 1
      Tracy Congratulations!
      Was this really your first grading as a beginner or was this the first grading of a higher level? I can't imagine testing for 5 hours unless you've been doing this for years. But I haven't been exposed to any MA other than my club.
      So what tricks did you end up using that helped you with the cramps, exhaustion & dehydration?
      Thanks [217372,Kim] for your advice to me. I'll definately try these things with my next test.
        • 1
        Aaron Bennett First grading. Was in total five hours of grading but I never knew I would get to rest while the higher grades did their more advanced testing.

        Actually the grading was probably only perhaps 3 hours of solid exertion. Still taxing but much easier than I anticipated!

        I took a magnesium supplement in the morning, along with a caffeine
        tablet and a multivitamin.
        I made up 4 litres of electrolyte replacement drink and drank about 2.5 litres of it during grading and ate a banana at half way.
        No cramps, a little fatigue but I still went swimming afterward so not totally exhausted.

        All in all I really enjoyed it and came away with some color on my belt!

      • 1
      Kim That sounds tough. Our color belt exams aren’t that long- they perform their curriculum, it is stressful, but it usually lasts 2-3 hours and they don’t work the entire time (the higher your rank, the more you have to do). There was a lot of sitting while other ranks perform each segment, which to me was worse than my parts of the exam. Our black belt exams are different, and you do work very hard for two days.

      As to how to survive it— for a black belt exam, I train for months because there is that much material to polish plus physical training to prepare for. You don’t have months, but it sounds like you’ve been training hard to prepare. During a long exam, I need to stretch well before hand and pace myself once it begins. Nerves & excitement will be very strong at the start and if you go full out from the beginning, without knowing what’s coming other than “hard stuff”, you will run out of steam. It’s not a race and if you fly through the first 100 push-ups or whatever, you could struggle by the time you get into sparring. I try to drink mainly water for a couple weeks before my exam, too, and on exam day, I have water & Gatorade and some sweet and salty snacks and a banana in my locker in case I need it during the test. During black belt exams we take breaks because we’re there for hours. Color belt exams, you get water or go to the bathroom when you gear up to spar (I’m sure you could ask to go to the restroom when it isn’t your turn doing forms, etc, just never seen anyone do it).

      Best advice I can give for a beginner is accept that you will be nervous, accept that you’re going to probably make a mistake or that your instructor will find some things for you to fix- you won’t be perfect, and answer up. If your exam is that long and demanding, they will want to see how you keep working even when you’re tired and struggling- don’t give up. It is more about perseverance than perfection. Your instructors probably aren’t going to smile or look happy, but they really are hoping you’ll do your best (they will push you more and more, though, the higher you advance). They wouldn’t have allowed you to test if you weren’t ready. Good luck.
        • 2
        Tracy Hi Kim.
        I've taken about 5 colour belt tests so far. The first thing that we have to do is a multitude of situps & pushups. After these (this happens every time), partly from exertion, but I think especially from nerves, my mouth turns bone dry. And I've just barely started my test. I then have to go through the rest of it with a screamingy dry mouth. I find it hard to even yell the number of kicks I'm doing. It's extremely uncomfortable and distracting. And we're not allowed a water break inbetween. Is there something you mentioned here that maybe I'm not doing that would help my problem? My tests are about an hour long, so definately not as difficult as yours have been. Beforehand, I've just been drinking water. Would the Gatorade or sweet & salty help this problem?
        If anyone else has advice with this, I'd appreciate it. Thanks.
        Good luck, [254178,Aaron Bennett]. I can't imagine testing for 5 hours:)
          • 2
          Kim Hi Tracy. Try not drinking many sodas, tea, or coffee for a few weeks before you test to see if that helps you. I feel more hydrated the less other stuff I drink. The Gatorade does make me feel sort of dehydrated at testing- I try to only drink it at my test after I spar. I like chewy Lifesavers candy- that seems to help me, too:.
          Our gup exams typically run a couple hours, but your portion of it is only part of that, so mine were not like the one Aaron described here. Black belt exams are different, but there’s instructional time mixed in with the testing—we have visiting Master instructors and they sometimes work with all the black
          belts. But it is still incredibly exhausting ( but exciting at the same time). You’ll be ready to handle yours when you get there.

    Martial Arts Books
    Aikido | BJJ | MMA | Karate | Krav Maga | Taekwondo | Other

    Click here to become a wiki community member
    if you want to ask or answer a martial arts question.

    All rights reserved.
    Legal Disclaimer