As we approach the last few months before the conference, it’s time for sifus and instructors to think about any potential high-level grading for their students and instructors. To grade at the conference itself, applications need to be in by the 4th of September, and the corresponding written exams need to be completed by the 30th of September in order to be able to do the physical examination at the conference itself.
Emails will be sent out to member schools this week with initial application forms, and I can explain the overall process a little here.
- First, make sure the applicant has passed your own school’s requirements for a Level 1 or higher. This might involve a physical examination, pressure testing, or controlled sparring as your school sees fit (every school is different).
- Next the applicant’s instructor should reply to the AWCF grading applications email (once for each applicant). Make sure the applicant hasn’t successfully graded in the last 3 years at minimum (usually more like 5-7), and be sure your school has current membership.
- Grading has two phases, both of which are assessed by multiple appointed graders from outside the applicant’s school, who are of a higher level than the level being assessed.
- First is a written exam. Questions are responded to in an exam format roughly 1000-2000 words. It is not uncommon for graders to ask for more details or for amendments to be added. These exams should be written unassisted and be the words of the applicant (not from a book or with assistance from others). The exam is about elaborating your own understanding, rather than a right/wrong context.
- Secondly the applicant must be physically assessed by three graders (who have read the exam). There isn’t a sparring element involved here, but rather a demonstration of understanding and applicable skill. Usually it involves pressure testing and discussion.
As the graders must be from another school/group, the conference lends itself as the perfect opportunity to complete these requirements.