there’s some mystery surrounding the events of the day. Since spectators are not allowed in the grading hall, those who have never taken a KB Kickboxing Belt can’t be completely sure what to expect.
In order to ease the anxiety some newer graders may be feeling, KB higher grades shared a few tips to help them prepare for the big day.
Jess started with an important one: “Believe in yourself. It does take courage to decide to start the grading journey. But it's so rewarding if you do! With your instructors' help, and your peers' support, you're fully capable of whatever you set your mind to.”
Self-belief is an important component to success. Jess also reminded the newer members that they are not alone on this journey: “There are no stupid questions! If you have any questions, doubts or worries about grading (such as what to eat on the day, how to wrap your hands, good stretches to do for your warm up, etc.) please just ask! I can guarantee you, you won't be the first to ask. We're all ready to help.”
Grading at KB Fitness is an unforgettable experience that brings a lot of joy, satisfaction, and a sense of achievement. It is much more than simply earning a belt to tie around the waist, and those who have gone through it wish for more and more KB members to have the same experience.
“My grading journey at KB was incredible and it transformed my life both inside and outside of the dojo. I would totally recommend it to all KB’ers!” said Beth, KB Kickboxing Black Belt. She continued: “Grading days are not easy - they’re not meant to be! Have confidence in your ability to succeed - Kelly wouldn’t let you grade if she didn’t know you could do it!”
Beth is correct in saying that KB Gradings are not meant to be easy. They are when KB members who wish to progress show KB Chief Examiner Kelly (KB) that they are ready, that they are fit enough and have the technical knowledge required for the next level.
She also mentioned a key fact: Chief Instructor Kelly (KB) is 100% dedicated to preparing her students for gradings and she would never set them up for failure. Kelly will always do her best to guide her students and give them all the support necessary to achieve their goals. Only when she believes that they are ready, will she give them the green light to grade.
Grading journeys are personal and different for each person. Some will be ready for the next level within the minimum time-frame, others will take longer. There’s a lot to be learned throughout the grading journey and one of the lessons to be learned is mutual trust between the KB member and Kelly.
Kelly FN pointed this out: “If Kelly tells you that you are ready, you are ready. So, be confident and proud. Don't let doubts creep in. No negativity or head-shaking. Kelly believes in you, so believe in yourself.” She also gives a few practical tips, reminding graders to bring a folder for their certificates, lots of water, and a snack: “Bananas are a popular choice.”
“My best tip is not to try anything new in terms of food the day of grading - or try it a few times before the day,” said Ryan.
Neil said: “If you have longish hair that’s not long enough to tie back, a black headband is a good idea to help keep the sweat out of your eyes. Also, label your sparring kit with your initials so they don’t get mixed up with anyone else’s. Keep moving, keep ki-ai’ing, acknowledge any feedback, keep smiling and above all, enjoy yourself, because it’s always a day of achievement and celebration of the KB spirit!”
Beth also gave a somewhat unusual tip: “When it’s getting super hard, SMILE - this simple action must release some positive chemicals in your body, because you’ll find it gives you an automatic boost and helps you keep going!”
While smiling and keeping positive is definitely a good tip, Beth’s tip was about a known physiological reaction the human body has to smiling, the release of ‘feel-good’ chemicals, that seems to help in times of intense physical exertion.
“It's normal to be nervous, especially if it’s your first grading, but most people will tell you that the nerves will settle as soon as Kelly bows you in and calls for the first drill. Every single person there will be cheering you on. Everyone who's done a grading knows how you feel, and we're all there for you,” said Kelly FN. She continued: “One thing the higher grades have told me as well is that your grading is more than just the "test" on the day. You're grading the moment Kelly tells you that you are ready. Grading day is just the final lap, the moment you prove to Kelly and to yourself that you deserve that belt, that you have progressed and achieved that standard.”
Frederike said: “If you make a mistake in a combination, smile, and you'll get it right the next time. If you feel your arms or legs getting tired during a long set, ki-ai extra loud. And have fun! It's your day and you're sharing a special moment with your grading peers.”
“Above all, enjoy it, and have fun!” said Phoebe.
KB members all had a lot to contribute to the topic of KB Kickboxing grading tips, making this article rich with their words. But if there’s one thing that should be taken from this article, it’s the sense of community and how much KB members care about one another, to the point of making sure they are given all the guidance to make their special day as stress-free and enjoyable as possible.
Enjoy each moment, KB Kickboxing Graders! Come in firing and reach for the stars!
Want to learn KB Kickboxing London in a martial arts school where the instructors and members are invested in your progress and success? Join the #KBFamily, book your first KB Kickboxing London class today.