Black Belt School of Excellence
Established 1994

Kickboxing Belt Gradings

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Neil Holden

Email: NARHolden@aol.com


Telephone / Text:
07973-43-18-18



School Director:
Neil Holden

Trainer of Several National,
two European and two
World Amateur Champions.

Certified Muaythai
( Thai-Kickboxing )
Instructor
by Grand Master Sken
( Thailand ).

Certified 6th Dan Black Belt
Japanese Kickboxing
( Shihan - Master Grade ).

Training in the Martial Arts
Over 30 years.

Professional Instructor
Over 20 Years.












 







Pict: a 'K-1' ( Japanese Kickboxing ) match. Delivering a "Hiza-Geri" Knee-Kick, the Kickboxer in the white shorts is a high ranking black belt.



Many years ago Jogaro Kano, a Japanese Instructor of Judo invented the system of using 'coloured belts' to show the level / rank of a student as they progressed during their martial arts training. This proved to be practical and very popular and was soon adopted by many other schools and styles.

Belts were commonly worn by people of the various countries of Asia such as Thailand, China, Korea and Japan to keep the clothing jackets fastened together.

Using coloured belts was a simple idea that came about as should someone have a uniform and a belt that they wore during their training, over several years that belt would become darker and darker through wear and tear. Hence a beginner wearing a brand new uniform would wear a new 'White belt' and an senior student with many years
of experience would wear an old 'Black belt'.

Today the coveted BLACK BELT is a world renown martial arts qualification in many different styles such as Judo, Karate, Ju-Jitsu, Taekwondo and Kickboxing. A goal to aim for, and an achievement to accomplish.



Note : In Thailand most
Thai-Kickboxing camps do not have any form of grading system at all as Muaythai is taught specifically as a 'Combat-Sport' for professional fighters.

Those schools that do actually have a grading system generally do so because they also teach traditional Muay-Boran techniques as a
'Martial arts' system for self-defence.

Depending on the individual school that teaches Muay-Boran, a Grade
( rank ) maybe shown via

coloured Head-Bands ( Monkol )
or
coloured Arm-Bands ( Prajeet )
or
coloured Belt-Sash ( Paa Kamaa ),

as seen on this photo.


 



Pict: 'Muay-Boran' is the collective name for the traditional martial art systems of Thailand, that lead to the development of the combat sport known worldwide as
Thai-Kickboxing ( Muaythai )
.

Notice that both 'Muay-Boran' stylists are wearing the Headbands, Armbands and Belt-Sash.


 


Warrington Kickboxing continues with the tradition of wearing a Belt-Sash as part of its uniform and uses coloured belts to show a students rank as they progress through the Wolf Gym's grading syllabus.




The Wolf-Gym conducts six grading examinations for adults each year on a bi-monthly basis.


These are held at the last Saturday of February, April, June, August, October and December for those that are eligable to grade.


During these exams students demonstrate their techique skills, Sparring skills, fitness, and knowledge to a pre-set level according to rank. This then gets increasingly harder as the grades are progressed through.



 


Pict: Grand-Master Sken, Neil Holden's Muaythai and Muay-Boran teacher,
wearing the traditional Muay-Boran uniform which consists of Headband ( Monkol ), Armbands ( Prajeet ) and Belt-Sash ( Paa Kamaa).





Regular grading promotion tests, help to vastly improve a students skills, knowledge and confidence as well as highlighting any areas requiring specific improvement.




Most members upon starting at the Studio, never intend to Grade, or to compete. Only to find having a training goal helps them progress much quicker than they would do otherwise.




 

Pict: Grand-Master Sken, Neil Holden's Muaythai and Muay-Boran teacher,
wearing the traditional Muay-Boran uniform which consists of Headband ( Monkol ), Armbands ( Prajeet ) and Belt-Sash ( Paa Kamaa).





All the Students that do successfully Grade at Warrington Kickboxing Studio receive a Certificate and a Coloured Belt-Sash,
to show their rank and level of personal achievement.



Pict: Nick Griffiths, ( Black Belt )

2011 --I.K.F. --British
Amateur Welterweight Champion
K-1 ( M.T.R ) format.

2013--I.K.F. --Commonwealth
Amateur Welterweight Champion
K-1 ( M.T.R ) format.


 


The grading syllabus at the Wolf Gym is a very well structured training program. This guarantees that a Student, over their training career, will learn all aspects of
Kickboxing as both a Martial Art system for Self-Defence applications and as a Combat Sport for Ring Competition under either
Thai-Kickboxing ( Muaythai Rules ) or Japanese Kickboxing ( K-1 Rules ).

Across all the martial arts systems, no matter the style studied, the students that take regular assessments through gradings tests are always much more skilled than those who do not!





Grade Ranking Colour System : White to Black.

In many martial art schools, a RED BAND is the Insignia used to denote the rank of INSTRUCTOR. This system is also used by the Wolf Gym, you will see this Instructor Insignia, ( RED BAND ), worn across one end of the Black Belt of the trainers.

The system then follows that a Level One Instructor, has one Red Band on their belt. A Level Two Instructor has two Red Bands on their Belt, A Level Three Instructor has three Red Bands on their belt, etc...

To better understand the belt ranking system, please refer to the following chart.


CHILDREN'S GRADINGS:
--------------------------------------

Juniors under the age of 11 grade up to Junior Black Belt via an awards system. However when they progress from the Junior-School-Classes, ( ages 6 to 11 ), and move into the High-School-Classes, ( ages 11 to 16 ), they need to complete the Adult syllabus for complete certification.

Juniors advancing into the High-School-Class that have been awarded Belts to a specific colour, keep their belt colour, however this Belt will have a White Tag added to it. They will then need to complete the Adult syllabus. As they pass each exam, the colour of the added Tag will change colour according to the Adult certification passed. This is known as a TRANSITION grade.

EXAMPLE OF HOW TRANSITION ( TAG ) GRADES WORK:

A student that has been awarded a
Junior GREEN Belt in the Junior-School-Classes and then joins the High-School-Class, will be given a GREEN Belt with a White Tag. The TAG represents a student with a Transition Grade.

The student will remain a GREEN Belt, but will have to pass the Yellow Belt exam, the Orange Belt exam and the Green Belt exam before they can test for their Blue Belt.

As they pass the exams, the TAGS will change colour, from White to Yellow to Orange to Green. Passing the GREEN belt exam will result in a full GREEN belt, as the student is no longer going through the transition from Junior Gradings to Adult Gradings. The GREEN Belt students next grade will then be for BLUE belt, as per the standard Adult syllabus.


GRADING TERMINOLOGY :

Shodan literally means 'First Level'. While 'Kyu' means 'step'.

A student progresses through 'steps' towards the first level Black belt or Shodan.

When a person becomes a Shodan, they are still required to train just as regularly and as hard as they did when they were a Kyu grade, as holding a Shodan ( First Level ) is only the start of greater learning.

Some Martial Arts Centres quickly grade students to black belt simply, for the financial gain - charging upwards of £ 300.00 per Black belt exam.

This is not true of Warrington Kickboxing Studio, as we do not charge any fee for the Black belt exam. A student will be invited to take their Black Belt test once they are ready, and not for financial gain.

 

 

INSTRUCTOR GRADES

A senior student of any martial arts style can achieve through examination a Black belt. However at the Warrington Kickboxing Studio, as indeed it should be with other Martial Arts Centres, this alone does not automatically qualify someone to teach!

Our belief is that an Instructor does not learn the required teaching skills purely through academic exams, but experience through apprecticeship. Many of the worlds leading craftsmen learned their skills through working apprenticeship rather than in the class room. When a person passes a driving test, they cannot then suddenly become a driving Instructor - and so it should be with the Martial Arts.

A Black Belt senior student at Warrington Kickboxing Studio wishing to become an Instructor must pass a probation period succesfully as an Apprentice Instructor, attached to a Senior Instructor ( Level 5 ) or Higher.

During this time they may help to teach beginners, ( White, Yellow and Orange belts ), whilst under strict guidance and supervision of their Senior Instructor. Should they show appropriate teaching skills, they will then be awarded their Instructor Insignia - the 'RED BAND'. Only once they have received their 'RED BAND' are they a 'Level one' Instructor.




It is extremely uncommon to find Instructors of such high ranks as those of 8th or 9th or 10th dan in any martial arts syste as many are either no longer involved in martial arts or have passed away. People claiming these ranks are generally referred to as being Professors in their martial science such is their knowledge and experience.

All of our Instructors are registered with the Amateur Kickboxing Association of England / International Kickboxing Federation. Please check the following link.

Click here - Kickboxing Instructor Black Belt Ranks