Gradings are a part of Karate and other martial arts alike. That said, not everyone has to grade.
It is perfectly fine to just train, however most will want to progress through the belts and ultimately obtain the highly coveted black belt.
When and Where are the Gradings?
Gradings are held every 3 months and are normally the 2nd Sunday of the month concerned. That said, speak to your club instructor or check the website (www.eska.org.uk) for exact dates/times.
The venue for gradings is at the Stevenage Honbu (Headquarters) Dojo located inside Stevenage Lifestyles Leisure centre underneath the Gordon Craig Theatre. Address: Stevenage Lifestyles, Lytton Way, Stevenage SG1 1LZ
How many Belts are there?
This depends on if you are an adult (14 belts) or junior (19 belts). For Adults (ages 16+) there are slightly less belts but the gradings are more difficult.
You can find details of all of the belts and what you need to do in order to pass your grading, in the ESKA Grading Syllabus. This can be purchased from your club instructor.
At ESKA beginners wear a white belt, after the student has learnt the initial basics, they are then graded to 10th Kyu (Blue Belt).
How do I know if I can grade?
You should not expect to grade every time and the ability to grade is directly related to how hard you train.
There are certain conditions that must be met in order to be eligible to grade:
Number of lessons
You must have completed the MINIMUM number of lessons in order to be able to grade.