Tips for Grading

Tips for Grading

Especially for Kup grades the key to passing your next belt is effort. The examiners are not looking to fail you and anyone, no matter how good they are, make mistakes. Be confident, know your poomsae, practise your techniques, and put 100% effort into training and your grade. That’s all anyone can ask. And if you happen to be one of the people who fail, don’t worry, go back, try harder, show your indomitable spirit and show everyone next time. 



  • It is usual that you will be asked to show blocking, punching, kicking and striking techniques in particular stances up and down the hall. Your stances are key; ensure they are right in training.
  • It’s important that you attack your basics. You have to ask yourself the question would this work if I was attacked? If the answer if no you need change something to add power to your technique.
  • Kicking exercises should be high and fast and again should work.
  • Keep your eyes forward and head up. Looking straight forward is a sign of confidence and a good thing in a grading situation.
  • Focus and listen to the black belt at the front giving you instructions.



  • When you grade you can be asked to do any poomsae so it is vital that you practise them all and are confident in them all.
  • Take your time and try and get power, breathing and technique into the poomsae. Rushing through too quickly and hurrying stances will not get you good marks.
  • Keep your back straight and your eyes forward. Never look at the floor in a poomsae.
  • Ignore everyone else around you. Only you matter. If someone else moves a different leg or does something different, ignore them, because if they are wrong you are wrong. If you are going to make mistakes on a grade, make your own. You shouldn’t fail for making small mistakes.


  • Pick five of your best techniques and just continue them over and over again.
  • Always start with a simple fast technique to get you into your stride, then put your best technique second in the list, to show the examiner exactly what you can do.
  • Pick a varied five techniques, use hand techniques and feet techniques evenly.
  • For younger students try and incorporate kicking techniques and jumping techniques, as that is what Taekwondo is famous for after all.
  • Show control you will lose marks for making contact.
  • If you are the attacker, you are still being marked so make sure your forward stance and punch are strong and powerful.


  • Pick five of your best techniques and just continue them over and over again.
  • Tell your partner clearly how you want them to attack. Confused instructions will cause uncertainty.


  • Make sure you have a good fighting stance with the weight on the balls of the feet.
  • Move out of the way of attacking kicks, having good movement will gain you good marks.
  • Show combinations of techniques and don’t be scared to try advanced skills.
  • Kihap – Shout! It shows spirit and energy.
  • Don’t be scared and always go backwards, fight for your next belt.
  • Don’t make hard contact, this is an exercise of control as well as technique.
  • Never take your eyes from your partner. Looking away or down is dangerous.