Youth Student’s Corner

by Chantal Moylan

Gradings are an important part of Kung fu because they allow you to move up ranks and learn new things. Sometimes gradings can be pretty scary though. Lots of people get nervous at gradings and that’s ok, but it can help if you’re confident that you know everything you have to know. The best thing to help you be prepared for a grading is to practice! Practicing for a grading can be hard sometimes so something I do to help me is make something called a grading checklist.

What is that? A grading checklist is a special chart you can make a few weeks or even a few months before a grading. It is to help you practice your Kung Fu and help you be prepared! How do I make one at home? You can start by making a list of all the things you need to practice like your forms, sequences, strength requirements and techniques. You can decide how many times you want to do each of them a day but make sure it’s something you can do. For example, if you decided you wanted to do 500 pushups every day, you wouldn’t have time to do anything else and you would probably be too tired afterwards!

On the charts that I make, I will take days off from practicing my Kung Fu on the days that I have class so I don’t get too tired. You can also put things that aren’t related to Kung Fu, such as special chores that you do or a musical instrument that you have to practice. After you make your list your parents can help you make a chart, either on a computer or a piece of paper.

I’ve included a picture of my chart for reference from when I was eight as an Orange Belt getting ready to test for my Green Stripe. I have used a chart like this for my last ten gradings and it has helped me stay on track. Now I am twelve and my chart is much bigger as I get ready to test for my Junior Brown Sash.

If you look at the checkmarks on your grading letter, the last check says “My child is practicing at home for the required time as outlined in the Student Handbook. (10 minutes at Novice I & II, 15 minutes at intermediate and 20 minutes at advanced.) ” For me, my parents always wait until the last minute to check it off to make sure I practiced enough. Making a checklist always helps me make sure I stay motivated to practice and get the checkmark.

A checklist will help keep you accountable so that you know you are ready for your grading. Making a checklist like this doesn’t always have to be for a grading, you can also use a checklist to help you practice your Kung Fu or even to help you remember to do things like chores!