Tuesday, 29 April 2008

Dan Grading Preparation

To some the Dan grade in any martial arts style is a significant step towards becoming a proficient marital artist. To others it is seen as just another belt and should not be given any more relevance over other colours.

What ever way you look at it, the black belt level of first Dan is seen by people with no martial arts experience, as a level where the practitioner should be of a certain decent standard, and is probably the grading where all your family, friends, girlfriends, boyfriends etc are going to be watching and because of this I think it is necessary to prepare hard for it.

Generally there are two type of Dan grading in the different martial art styles. A theory grading and a contest grading, or maybe if your unfortunate enough, you get both.

For the theory grading, you will probably be asked to demonstrate a repertoire of basic techniques, kata, grappling techniques on the ground, stand up self defence techniques or whatever else depending on your style. Because of this, learning the names of each technique is necessary. To many times at gradings, people get stumped when asked to perform something, simply because they don’t know the name. Also practise the techniques that you KNOW ARE GOING TO BE REQUIRED OF YOU. There’s no point practising what you will not need. What you are practising in class for the three or four months prior to the test are what you are likely to be tested on so study them well.

For the contest type grading you shall have to fight in a tournament or spar with a certain number of people. Kyokushin fighters have gradings where they have to spar with 50, 100 or more people one after the other without rest. Grappling Dan gradings also consist of tournaments where a certain amount of wins have to be obtained. For these types of gradings, it would be worth you preparing yourself well. To be in tip top shape for it, start your preparation at least three months before. Eat the correct foods, cut the fried food and junk. Perform cardiovascular training at least four times a week to boost your stamina. Workout with weights to condition and strengthen your muscles. Above all, do plenty of hard sparring. Do this until about two weeks prior to the grading in which after you should concentrate on sparring and workouts which are not as hard but enough to get a good sweat. This is to ensure that you go into the grading with full strength and no injuries.

As mentioned, if you are unfortunate to perform both types of grading, you will have to do all of the above. Preparation is the key with everything. If you prepare well, you shall have no problems on the day. Train hard and train with one thought in mind. To succeed.


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