Grading Expectations


If you have any questions about the grading process, please don’t make assumptions – ASK! You can ask any Leadership Team member in class, or email or phone Master Olpin at any time using the details on the Contact Page.

Firstly, yes gradings are a very important part of your training, but they shouldn’t be something you worry about. We’re not trying to give anyone a hard time or to catch you out. It’s just an opportunity to review what we’ve been working on in class and to see where individuals strengths and weaknesses lie. All we’re looking to see is the same syllabus you’ve worked on in class all quarter performed to a reasonable standard.

The role of the grading examiner is to assess that a students has a good command of the techniques appropriate to their current rank and that they are ready to move up a level.

We don’t expect miracles!

On the floor there will be a wide range of experience and in the juniors quite range of ages too.  Yes, the students are all performing the same techniques but obviously each is assessed based on their own merit based on their age and present rank.

For example, if in the current quarter we were working on an advanced form such as Toi Gye or Hwa Rang (which in a traditional TKD school would be required for red belt students) then clearly for a junior that’s only just moved up from the beginners that’s a massive leap from their previous beginner training, but that’s ok we are well aware of that and so of course I’m only looking to see that they’ve got an rough idea of the basics and maybe can manage a part of the form. For a student at a higher rank then of course we would expect them to be able to complete the form and to demonstrate a reasonable standard on each movement.  The most senior grades would be expected to demonstrate the form with full speed and power and to be able to explain the purpose of each movement etc.

The most important thing you can do in a grading is to simply make your very best effort to do what you can do. Don’t worry about what anyone else is doing, just show what you know.


Theory tests allow us to see that a student is prepared to put in time to study outside of the Dojang.

A student will be tested orally on their theory knowledge.

Junior members will be tested on the basic aspects as taught in class.

The key areas tested will include:-

HistoryA basic understanding of the history of Taekwondo, where it came from, how it was developed etc. Including important people and dates as described the History of Taekwondo on this site.
Taekwondo TraditionsA student should know the meaning of the belt colours up to the rank they are testing for.
Pattern NamesThe meaning behind each pattern name, the number of moves in the form.
Korean TerminologyAs a general rule, students should know the appropriate Korean terminology for all the techniques they know up to their current rank. This includes all the moves in their current pattern, sparring and self defence techniques.
Practical KnowledgeStudents should be able to explain at least a basic practical application for each fundamental move they know, including all the moves in their current pattern, sparring and self defence techniques.
Advanced students would be expected to demonstrate several possible applications for each movement.