Grading Dates 2024

Children 9.30am to 11.00am Adults 11.00am 1.00pm

Sunday 18th February

Sunday 7th April

Sunday 19th May

Sunday 14th July

Sunday 8th September

Sunday 20th October

Sunday 15th December

Grading “Game Plan”


As part of testing the skills we’ve been working on over preceding months, the structure of the grading aims to put us under a degree of physical and mental pressure. Indeed this is something we all expect in order to value the grade and walk out of the grading dojo with the feeling we have earned that grade. Despite the obvious pressures in the grading process which as participants we can’t control (environment, pairs work partners, order and amount of activity), there are many factors within our control that we can use to improve our performance and raise our standards.


Small levels of dehydration quickly lead to deterioration in performance. This is probably the most common cause impact to physical and mental performance seen during a grading.

This problem can be substantially reduced by taking on plenty of fluid (ideally water) before the grading starts. For example, to be well hydrated during the grading one can continually take on small amounts of water for a couple of hours before the grading until about 10 -15 minutes before the start. The body can be trained to carry the fluid into practice by making it a habit to have a good drink before starting any training session.


The body needs fuel to for its normal operation (i.e. food). For optimum performance, the body needs to be well fuelled. The body works most efficiently when it is converting glycogen to energy to drive the muscles and when the glycogen is depleted the body burns fat as fuel which takes longer to convert as energy and requires more oxygen (hence only being able to sustain shorter bursts of activity without getting out of breath). 

Glycogen is mainly stored in the liver and muscles and is derived from carbohydrates. The body takes about two hours to absorb and make the meal available as fuel so the optimum time to top up your reserves with a light pre-grading meal is two hours before the grading (e.g. beans on toast, muesli, fruit – rather than a chocolate snack bar). 


Some attention should be given to ensuring the body is in good condition ready for the rigors of the grading. The body should be given a reasonable rest for several days before the grading to be as free as possible from fatigue. There are some people who like a final last minute brush up on key skills the day before in which case training should be kept as light as possible.


You should not commence the grading with a significant injury. You can discuss any minor ailments with the chief instructor but it’s up to you to decide whether it will impact your performance. It has to be your decision to commence the grading.

Attending the Grading

Make sure you know the time of the grading and arrive early to acclimatise and to ensure you have time to get focussed on the task in hand. As for any test, there nothing worse than arriving late and being mentally unprepared. 

Make sure you have all the clothing and equipment you need. (e.g. Gi, wraps, gloves), plus water for before, during and after)


We all need to try the options and approaches to find out what works best for ourselves. As you work through the grades more thought needs to be given on how you will get out on the grading and perform for over an hour at the best possible level. What ever works for you it is important to have a “game plan”.

Paul Bacon                                                                                                                  30/12/06


  • Know the time of the grading and arrive early.
  • Check to have all clothing and equipment needed (e.g. Gi, wraps, gloves)
  • Take on fluid before the grading
  • Take on carbohydrates before grading
  • Discuss any injuries with chief instructor before grading. If in doubt withdraw.