Omi-poll #1: Promotions

Discussion in 'General Martial Arts Discussion' started by Omicron, Oct 25, 2012.


How does your martial arts school give out promotions?

  1. Testing: promotion is given out once the student passes a formal exam

    19 vote(s)
  2. Time at current rank: promotion is given out after the student has been at the current rank for a pr

    4 vote(s)
  3. Instructor's discretion: promotion is given out when an instructor feels the student is ready

    8 vote(s)
  4. N/A or other: promotions are not given at my school/we use a different system than any of the above

    5 vote(s)
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. Omicron

    Omicron is around.

    Hey MAPers.

    I'm a naturally inquisitive fellow. There's quite a diverse community here, and I thought a series of polls might be an interesting way to see our similarities and our differences.

    On to the first poll! This one deals with rank promotions. I've trained at a few different martial arts schools in my day, and each one had a different policy toward grading. Let your fellow MAPers know: what is the policy for promotions at your school?
  2. Sketco

    Sketco Banned Banned

    There are only two ranks at my school: student and teacher. You can leave and teach once sifu says so.
  3. Kave

    Kave Lunatic

    Our BJJ classes rank according to the syllabus laid out under the Will-Machado org, if you know the material and can display your knowledge satisfactorily during a test for grading, then you will be given the appropriate grade. It seems to take at least two years per belt.

    Our MMA classes don't have rank and dont need it, everyone knows who is competent and who isn't. The only real hierachy in our MMA classes goes student > fighter > coach.

    Our No-gi grappling doesn't have rank either, although BJJ rank does seem to unofficially transfer to No-gi. Progression in No-gi is generally judged by competition record.

    To be honest I think ranking has limited value (not zero).
  4. El Medico

    El Medico Valued Member

    What he said. Which is for want of a better word,the "traditional" CMA practice.
  5. Zabrus

    Zabrus Valued Member

    In my dojo it is test based, but you take the test when the sensei thinks you are ready...
  6. Thomas

    Thomas Combat Hapkido/Taekwondo

    For the most part, we have our curriculum broken down into clear chunks - we organize those chunks with a belt system (like using book marks in the curriculum). Students work on those aspects of the curriculum (and all preceding in a spiraled manner). When they have a good knowledge of, and can apply, those techniques they may be offered a chance to test formally. We do have some "minimum" time in grade for dan ranks as well.

    Some students may get advanced quicker in the color belt ranks if they excel, and may get placed higher up if they come from another system and can pick up this one quickly.

    We like having formal tests and we make a night of it - let's everyone go through their material and we throw the people who aren't ready to test out on the floor as well (as partners). Black belts might get asked to do a 'maintenance' test on a test night too - they get tested on certain things and evaluated (no cost, no rank advancement, just a 'pop quiz').

    We get some students who come to cross-train and not to earn rank. We try to fit them in to appropriate level training and exercises based on what they are looking for.
  7. Hannibal

    Hannibal Cry HAVOC and let slip the Dogs of War!!! Supporter

    A combination of testing and discretion - depends what mood I am in

    Also, although I have regualr gradings in some classes (Ju Jitsu for one) there is no pressure to take a grade if you do not wish it
  8. old timer

    old timer Just well worn !

    Similar to ours, we also have sigong and taisigong.

    We have an informal test to make sure we know and understand the forms, the philosophy is that seniors and juniors train together so that we can all learn from each other, It is essential that students can communicate their knowledge to beginners of Wing Chun so that they understand their own skill.
  9. Mitch

    Mitch Lord Mitch of MAP Admin

    If my students want to grade, and if I think they're ready and they have spent sufficient time in grade they get to take a formal exam administered by an external grading examiner.

  10. Omicron

    Omicron is around.

    Our BJJ school (Gracie Barra) follows a set weekly curriculum, and ranking represents the amount of time spent in the curriculum. However, the amount of time is a minimum requirement; promotion can be held back if the instructor deems a student unready.
  11. melbgoju

    melbgoju Valued Member

    I ticked two boxes: formal grading, and when the instructor says because we have a formal grading, but only when it is recommended by the instructor that we are ready.

    Also, when I started at my current school, I walked in with over a decade of prior training in other martial arts; within a week of being there, my instructor had taken me through a range of techniques and principles to see where I was in standard, and gave me the belt grade according to what he saw (no formal test, no fee, no fuss).
  12. aikiMac

    aikiMac aikido + boxing = very good Moderator Supporter

    Oops, I checked only 2 boxes when I should have checked 3. There is a minimum time requirement, first. That met, the instructor has to invite you test. A specific date will be set aside for a bunch of people to test on the same night. That met, you have to take the test and perform well. It's your test to fail, because you wouldn't get invited to test unless the instructors already agreed that you're already at that level. However, every once in a while someone does fail.

    My son's BJJ school seems not to have either a time requirement or a testing requirement. When the instructor says you deserve the next rank, you get it. He makes a big announcement at the start of class, and presents it.
  13. Sketco

    Sketco Banned Banned

    I think this is a far better way to do it. There's no special prep, no doing anything different, just your level of skill day in, day out.

    And I should've checked 2.
  14. Thomas

    Thomas Combat Hapkido/Taekwondo

    This is a great way to do it with small classes and dedicated students.

    The formal curriculum type with specific benchmarks and listings is good for larger classes and especially for those with studnets who may not be there every class. Having a formal test with clear standards can help keep people on the floor and in class and focused on what they need to know in those cases.
  15. LeaFirebender

    LeaFirebender Ice Bear has ninja stars

    We have rank tests, but we're on rotating curriculum. The curriculum lasts until a set date, and you either test for your next rank on this date (or take the make up test a week later) or you wait for the next set of curriculum. So mostly option 1 with a bit of option 2 :D

    Edit: I'll go into a bit more detail.
    Black belts can take "level" tests, which are the same as the color belt tests but free :D You have to have a certain number of level tests, plus a certain amount of time, before the next dan grading.

    Just a bit of info on "rotating curriculum": Everyone does the same thing for each test, and the curriculum gets changed after the test. Of course, higher ranks are expected to perform better and show higher skills :p
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2012
  16. LeaFirebender

    LeaFirebender Ice Bear has ninja stars

    That's how one of my friends (who trains at a completely different dojo than me) went from his "kid" black belt to his regular dan black belt: his instructor or whoever just decided he was ready.

Share This Page