Warrior Taekwon-Do hosts three colour belt gradings per year. Colour belt gradings are very formal events, where candidates have the opportunity to grade for an internationally recognised rank in ITF Taekwon-Do. That means if you move to another area in New Zealand or another country and continue training under the same international organisation, the rank that you gain with us will be recognised here and overseas.
The examiners for a colour belt grading are always 4th degree black belts or higher and must be a qualified ITF International Instructor. Then they must complete and pass an ITKD Examiners Course and undergo 12 months of examiner mentoring by senior examiners.
Students who wish to grade are expected to start putting work in well before the grading date - it is not good enough to ramp your training into high gear two weeks before a grading date and expect to grade. All the techniques you will be tested on are in your small blue Techniques Handbook, and you will be tested on the syllabus at your current level and as well as all the syllabus for all the previous grades. This means there is more to learn and have mastered at every grading, so it means you may not be grading every time as more work is needed to reach the required standard each time - particular in the senior colour belt levels.
If you are keen to grade:
The two-three weeks before a grading are known as the pre-grading period. During that time instructors are assessing to see whether your are ready to grade and will give important feedback to you on what to improve. You need to show you are ready during this period - this isn't the time to start trying to be ready! Remember also, that your instructors will not be able to pre-grade you if you are not there, so make sure you let your instructor know if you have a good reason to miss a session in advance. Factors taken into consideration in deciding whether to put a student forward for grading include attendance and conduct, as well as your Taekwon-Do techniques.
If you are not approved to grade, don't be disheartened. It is not a race to get through the grades. Use the tenet of perseverance and stay focused on your goals, and you will achieve them.
If you're approved to grade you will receive a slip with a link to the registration form. Once you have your slip, you (and/or your parent/guardian) will need to:
At The Grading
You will need to make sure you have a clean dobok, your belt and all jewellery removed. If you are wearing a t-shirt underneath your dobok it must be white. You will need to conduct yourself in the most exemplary manner during the grading, staying quiet, sitting properly and staying until the end. Sometimes examiners may let juniors or children leave early, however until that happens they should remain to support the grading.
The dojang will be set up with an examination table and marshals at the front who help you find your place on the mats and demonstrate the techniques you will be asked. Sometimes there will be other clubs with grading candidates as well as members from Warrior. Everyone will form up and be taken through some warm ups, there will be a short introduction and then candidates will be called up in groups according to rank to be tested. Sometimes candidates may be asked to come up more than once.
Warrior Taekwon-Do will receive the results normally within 2 days of the grading, and results and new belts and stripes will be presented in class. As the certificates are sent to us by our national organisation, International Taekwon-Do, it can be a few months before we receive them.
There are some great tips for beginners for creating a training schedule in Master McPhail's book 'Taekwon-Do Beginners' Training Manual'. This book is available at the Warrior office.
Here are some tips for parents and kids that will be especially useful for those preparing for their first ever Mini Kids Grading!
At Warrior Taekwon-Do we hold three Mini Kids gradings each year. Your very first Mini Kids Grading will be from white belt (no stripes) to First Green (a green stripe on one side of your white belt).
You have two books to help prepare for your grading. The Mini Kids Handbook (pictured above) has all the techniques and theory you will be tested on are in the White to First Green page in your Mini Kids Handbook and the homework page that needs to be signed off off by your instructor in advance of the grading. You will learn all the techniques in class.
Your TKD Skills Book for Mini Kids (pictured left) contains the skills and standards related to each technique that the examiners are looking for at each level.
Use the book when you practice and to monitor your own progress. The "Sometimes", "Mostly" and "Always" boxes are for you to use so you can track how you are progressing.
Your instructor will give you feedback through the term on where you are doing well and where to improve.
Homework and Theory
In the lead up to a grading you will need to do the following:
The two-three weeks before a grading are known as the pre-grading period. During that time instructors are assessing to see whether your are ready to grade and will give important feedback to you on what to improve. Factors taken into consideration in deciding whether to put a student forward for grading include attendance and behaviour in class over the whole term, as well as your Taekwon-Do techniques.
If you are not approved to grade, don't be disheartened. It is not a race to get through the stripes and it is important to be comfortable with your current level before progressing to the next. We always encourage our members to use the Taekwon-Do tenet of perseverance - keep at it and you will achieve your goals.
If you're approved to grade you will receive a slip confirming you have been approved to grade, and an email within 2 working days linking you to the registration form. You will then need to:
At The Grading
The grading is a formal event, with the dojang setup with an examination table and marshals at the front who help you find your place on the mats and demonstrate the techniques you will be asked. The examiners are almost always senior black belts from our club, and they will call the kids up in groups and ask them to go through their techniques and answer some oral theory questions. They will be asking the grading applicants what they know - they won't be trying to "catch you out".
At the end of the grading the kids are presented with their grading certificates and stripes representing their new rank and we have a group photo.
Click here to view a video of all the techniques required at white belt to first green and some clips from a Warrior grading
Remember that gradings are just one part of Taekwon-Do. We encourage you to get involved in other events that will help you to grow and develop in Taekwon-Do and as a person throughout the year besides gradings including pee wee tournaments, club events, special training and kids camps.
We are very excited to announce that we have a brand new black belt in our ranks!!! Miss Tessa King did an amazing job at her black belt grading last weekend - the results are out and we surprised her at our colour belt grading with her results and a brand new black belt uniform. We are so very proud of Miss King, what a well-earned achievement!
Last Week of Training
This is our last week of training at our Three Kings and Ellerslie branches with our final Three Kings class on Tuesday and the last classes at our Ellerslie branch on Thursday. Make sure you keep coming to class - not only will colour belt results come out this week, but every time you attend you will have more chances to win one of our 5 prizes in our December prize draw.
Yes we do have classes in January on a reduced timetable. A lot of people are asking at the office when classes start next year - but it is all available in our website, and we have linked the information in the last few newsletters. The reduced timetable starts from Monday 16 January and you can view it here.
On a completely different note, one of our Thursday afternoon kids has contracted chicken pox and her parents have been thoughtful to let us know. There is no reason to suggest that it has spread and no reason that anyone should panic, but as it is easily spread, please be vigilant if you or your child show any symptoms and stay home if there is any reason to suspect you could have it.
Enjoy your last week of training for 2017!
This week is a big week at Warrior with our Mini Kids Grading on Thursday. Registrations for this grading have now closed and grading candidates will receive an email with further information about Thursday either tomorrow or Wednesday.
It's also the LAST WEEK for Colour Belt Grading candidates to be pre-graded and receive and return grading forms. Remember you can take a photo of the forms and email them to the office.
Important information for anyone who attends a Tuesday or Thursday 5.30pmor 6.30pm class:
Mrs Robinson is back after her knee surgery and will be pre-grading you this week. This week is the absolute last opportunity to be approved for grading so don't skip class (I mean you shouldn't be skipping class normally either, but especially not this week!) IF YOU ARE NOT GRADING THIS TIME ROUND there will still be a class running for you.
Our last day of training for this year will be Thursday 15 December, then after a short break we will resume training on a reduced timetable in January. You don't need to let us know if you are coming or not during the reduced timetable period or necessarily come on your usual days - just turn up. You can view the holiday timetable here.
Announcement on Thursday: 5 Prizes to Win!
On Thursday will be revealing how you (Warrior Taekwon-Do members) could win one of 5 prizes! Make sure you are part of our members/parents group on Facebook for up to date news.
Have a great week!
Did you see Mr Matthew Chan's epic flying jump last week? He cleared about 4 metres! You can check it out here!
Next weekend is Labour Weekend so there will be no class on Saturday or Monday. Enjoy your holiday instead! Hopefully there might even be some good weather!
Auckland North Kids Camp
This Friday is the very last day to register for the Auckland North Kids Camp! The camp is from 4-6 November in Whangaparaoa and is a crazy $60 for the full camp for one child with discounts for families and day stay options. We have 6 kids from Warrior entered so far. For full information and registration check out the camp page here.
For the colour belts there is a sparring seminar with two of New Zealand's top sparrers Estelle & Kane Baigent in Papakura on 5 December. So why are we telling you now? It's limited to 30 spaces so you need to get in quick if you want a space. They now reside in Australia so this is a once in a blue moon opportunity! Check out more info about it and how to register here.
Have a great week and a safe long weekend!
One context you will be familiar with for Taekwon-Do is gradings. Another is tournaments. The Pee Wee Tournament Series is for kids aged 12 and under and a great "first tournament" for kids new to tournaments. These events are extremely well run and held at Valley Rd School, Pukekohe.
Here are some tips to make the most out of your experience!
1. Enter All The Events
Pee Wee Tournaments give kids experience competing in the Taekwon-Do competition disciplines in a friendly, safe and fun environment. For just $20 your child can enter all the events - making it a great opportunity to give all the competition disciplines a go. The events available to enter are:
Patterns are the traditional forms that we learn in Taekwon-Do such as saju jirugi, saju makgi, Chon-Ji, Dan-Gun and Do-San. At the Pee Wee Tournament, the pattern is optional, which means that competitors may choose which pattern they perform providing it is not above their rank level. They will be called up in twos and each round a winner will be decided who then will face off against the other winners until places are determined. If a child does not yet know any patterns, at this tournament they will be judged on some of their basic techniques (e.g. punches).
The power punch event is the children's version of power breaking. A pad is dangled in front of each competitor, and released at the moment of impact. The pads that fly the furthest win and there are play offs until a winner is determined.
In children's special technique, they perform a flying high kick to a hit a pad held relative to the child's height. The pad is gradually raised higher to determine a winner. Some coaching to ensure that each child knows how to the perform the kick first is usually given.
Sparring at the Pee Wee Tournament is strictly no contact. Each competitor will have at least two bouts in a controlled environment, where they will be rewarded for the best technique. Techniques must adhere to the Taekwon-Do sparring rules of being aimed above the belt. Although sparring at a pee wee event is no contact, all competitors must have their own mouth guard.
2. Bring A Friend
Encourage a friend to register for the tournament as well and car pool to the event together.
3. Come Prepared
The night before, make sure you have everything packed and ready - your $20 tournament fee, a clean uniform, your belt, a mouth guard, some snacks to eat, a bottle (or two) of water and a jacket to put on over the top of your dobok in case it gets cold.
4. Arrive on Time
Make sure you arrive well on time for the event. This will give you time to find the venue, find parking, locate friends and fellow club members and begin to feel comfortable in the environment. When you do arrive, note the ring marshals and officials who usually wear special coloured t-shirts at these events - they will be able to help you with where you need to be and when.
5. Be a Cheerleader
Support and encourage your child and the other children competing at the tournament! It helps make the tournament more enjoyable if everyone works together encouraging each other.
These events are entirely run by volunteers who give up their time to put on a fun day and tournament for you and your child. Consider registering as an official to help run the event - not only does this help the event run quickly and smoothly, but you will get to meet a lot of great people! No qualifications or Taekwon-do experience are necessary to be a ring marshal, time keeper and general helper. An umpiring qualification is required to be a centre referee or corner referee - look out for the next ITKD run umpiring course to learn how to perform each of these roles.
The ITKD tournament rules state that each Taekwon-Do club must contribute at least one official per 10 members competing at each tournament. This ensures that there are enough officials to run the tournament and a fair representation of officials from the competing clubs. If your child regularly competes at tournaments, please consider contributing to their next event as an official.
7. Have Fun!
Above all, make sure you have some fun!
Welcome back to training! Our full timetable is back on as of today across all three of our branches. Meanwhile one of our instructors, Miss Courtney Church is in Budapest getting ready to compete at the ITF Taekwon-Do World Cup! It looks like there will be a livestream of the events - we'll keep you updated over the week on our Facebook group and page if we hear anything about how Miss Church is getting on.
Pee Wee Tournament Postponed
The Pukekohe Pee Wee Tournament has been postponed, probably until November. We'll keep you updated as to when it will be on.
From the Dojang to the Streets - Bridging the Gap
There's a very cool looking course coming up for blue belts and above who are aged 15+ on 30 October. "This seminar is about how we transition from the Do Jang to the streets and have the confidence that our skills and training in Taekwon-Do will be effective should we have to use it." To find out more and register go to the course page here.
Have a great week!