Several students have been enquiring about grading so I decided to type up this blog to clarify a few points. Firstly the essence of IKI Krav Maga is about saving lives not boosting someone’s ego with artificial accolades in the form of gradings and sparring trophies that you see in your typical martial arts school. My school is not about churning out gradings every three months like a conveyor belt at a black belt factory, at least not for the Krav Maga part of the business. Krav Maga is more about teaching practical systematic skills to save your life. However I am prepared to grade any student who has trained with me regularly for six months or longer.
When I first graded in Krav Maga many years ago my instructor told me that the first grading in Krav Maga is equivalent to about brown belt level in your typical traditional martial art school in terms of self-defence ability. It was a bit of a bold statement to make but having come to Krav Maga from a background in other martial arts I would have to agree. As well as the entire basic chokes, holds escapes and combatives the first grading also featured a lot of work from the ground, with break falls, rolls, kicks, sweeps and escapes. It was very interesting to learn how to fight on the ground and having come from a Taekwondo and kickboxing background to me this was a completely new skills set. I think anyone training for self-defence who does not take into consideration fighting on the ground may one day find themselves unprepared for a dangerous situation and therefore I feel that the first Krav Maga grading covers a very broad range of skills.
As a certified IKI instructor my responsibility is to maintain the integrity of our ranking system. I maintain constant contact with our organizational headquarters and having trained in Israel with our director know of the standards expected from our practitioners. Grading is not the be all and end all and one can simply keep attending classes and continue to take on board new skills without progressing through the belt rankings. I will not force my students to grade for them to learn new skills. The advantage of taking a grading with me is getting officially certified by the IKI with a grade that will be globally recognized amongst any one of our affiliate schools operating worldwide. I am planning on running a Krav Maga grading beginning or mid July.