Part 1 in a series.
So you've been training hard - you're just a little bit addicted to Krav Maga and hitting those pads (just go ahead and admit it, it's okay) and you're on the mat every chance you get. You've been putting in your time and keeping your eye on the prize - your next Krav Maga Belt! Only one thing stands in your way: the workshop and test you have to pass to get there. Actually, there's a second thing: Your instructor who has to sign you off so you can test. But we'll deal with that in the next entry.
Congratulations to Our Newest Krav Maga Worldwide™ Black Belts
This week's post is here to get you over the first of those hurdles and ready for your big day!
Every Krav Maga level has a curriculum which contains a list of techniques. You should have a copy of this list from when you first signed up; if you don't, ask at the front desk (Thomas can get you a copy). You're responsible for all of this material on your test, although you probably won't be tested on 100% of it. You are also tested on commitment and fighting spirit; it's not only a test of technical proficiency, but a test of heart. Finally, you must fulfill an overall component.
As Krav Maga Worldwide™ Official Testing Instructors, we look at the bigger picture as well - if you're testing for yellow belt to move up to Level 2, do you "look like" at least a yellow belt? How is your overall movement and sharpness? As you might expect, at each level we demand a higher level of overall performance.
At higher levels (starting at Green Belt), you're also responsible for all of the previous levels' material as review -- but at a higher level. It factors into your "Overall" grade. For those of you gearing up for this, take it to heart. It's important.
Here is your tip of the week around testing and advancing in the system:
The test is always there for you. Fools rush in.
I would say that about half of the members who ask me to test are trying to get signed off way too early. For instance, Level 1 has a minimum baseline of 40 classes, which is about 4 months on average. Let me stress something here -- it's a minimum baseline, not an automatic right to test. Some people need more time; others are good to go earlier on. Don't make the speed of your advancement significant. Just train hard and you'll get to where you need to be, on whatever pace you need.
By the way, we deliver each level's curriculum on a 4 month (for Level 1), 6 month (for Level 2) or 9 month (Level 3 & 4) cycle. This creates the best likelihood that you'll have gotten the training and technical work you need throughout the cycle.
I can tell you from experience: coming up though the Krav Maga system as a student many moons ago, any time I had to delay a test for any reason - schedule conflicts, readiness, etc., I was always thankful in the end because I felt that much more prepared going in. It's never a bad thing. Plus, there's always another test date around the corner. Just look at the testing schedule and you'll see what I mean. Trust me, unless you work 80 hours a week over 7 days (in which case you're probably not finding much time to train anyway), you'll be able to find a test date within a reasonable time.
So review your curriculum and make sure you'd be comfortable executing any defense or combative on that list, in any order, while under stress and fatigued. Even keep the list as a training log - check off items as you see them in class and add an additional check when you see something again.
In the next few entries in this column, we'll start to get into the do's and don'ts of test prep and the test itself. Stay tuned!