Students and Parent frequently want to know if the are ‘Ready to Grade?‘. NTX Grading Exams contains elements of Sparring,Basic Technique, Power Tests and Self Defence – it’s the relative amount of each that will vary between grades and between different exam dates. Click HERE for the Documents Page – look at the elements of the syllabus that will be tested for your Grade to give you guidance on this.
What guarantees do I have? In short, none. Like with School Exams, Driving Tests, etc.; only some of the syllabus will be assessed; and passing or not, depends on scoring enough points in these parts. The better that you know and have practised the entire syllabus, the lower the chance of being asked something that you do not know. Student with excellent techniques/Perfect attendance/Explosive Sparring – all start from the same point as everyone else.
Why do we suggest preparing at Home? The classes and attendance requirements are adequate for beginners students and for very focussed individuals with a 100% attendance record. This is not always practical and sometimes our concentration as Students can drop which reduces the effectiveness of the learning. To make up for this and to allow us to remember an increasing amount of syllabus as we progress through the Grades, we have to accept that training outside of class, at home on our own is inevitable.
When do you prepare? As soon as you have passed your previous grade, begin with a Home training plan for your next grade – Click HERE for a sample training plan. For Under 18’s, ask parental permission and train in a safe well lit large space with solid floor – ask your Instructor for guidance on this first. For beginners , this is slightly easier as all the Syllabus you learn is ‘new’. There are usually 12 weeks between each exam – Click HERE for the Calendar to check the Dates of your next Exam.
But how can Students prepare?
- Patterns – These will always form part of a TaeKwon-Do Grading Exam – knowing your patterns and being able to perform all the Patterns you have learnt, to completion, on your own and without prompting – this gives the first guide. Click HERE for the Patterns Page.
- Korean Terminology – Your Student handbook will be referred to by the Examiner – Know the answer to each of the possible questions for your Grade and previous Grades leading up to that, gives you the best chance of scoring maximum points – this is the easiest section as an Examiner and some students pick up very high scores because they know their terminology very well. Click HERE for the Questions that you might get asked in an Exam. Click HERE for Korean Terminology. Click HERE for the Syllabus Page.
- Sparring – in Grading Exams the assessment is based on:
(i) The tenet of Indomitable Spirit – We practice a contact Martial Art. Being able to maintain your focus and strategy despite an intimidating opponent or some physical discomfort is necessary. Prepare for this by learning to relax and not fear the sparring – it is analogous to a game of chess rather than a physical contest. Good levels of physical fitness allow you to shake off physical pain quicker rather than it being a distraction.
(ii) Movement between techniques & understanding the range of the opponent – Move around your opponent efficiently and switch from ‘in’ to ‘out’ of range quickly. Examiners will look for a relaxed stance with an effective guard with sudden explosive movements.
(iii) Variety of attacking techniques – Combinations of fast several and different kicks followed by hand techniques followed by movements out of range. What kicks do I use? Think about distance – Front kicks and turning kicks are shorter range kicks; Downward kicks and flying kicks are for covering distance.
Unlike a Tournament, free sparring in an exam is not about scoring more points that the opponent. Click HERE for the page on Free Sparring.
- Self Defence – This is the main reason we train. So when you’re asked to demonstrate this in exams, you must be prepared for continuous self-defence, similar to continuous free sparring. The reaction has to be fast, almost instinctive, but Students have to be able to think and quickly execute an alternative if not effective. Start with simple techniques and releases, practising both sides if they are asymmetrical attacks. Practice at home either facing a mirror or by visualising an attack and practising only the release. Do not practice this with another student outside of class – an Instructor is necessary to help prevent any injuries. The tenet most applicable here is perseverance.