Grading's at Derbyshire Krav Maga


For the latest grading details please speak to Darren

Please note; for GP1 grading and pre-grading sessions there are no charges as achievement to this grade benefits both the individual student and the club. For students who then decide to progress down the grading structure a charge of £10 is applied for certification.

Why We Grade

In the Israeli Martial arts one of the overwhelming principles is that the flow of knowledge should be passed not only from instructor to student but in the majority of cases from student to student. In part the saying, ‘Always a student, sometimes an instructor but never a master’ is derived from this principle and the belief that knowledge should flow in as well as out.

As with most things in life we should always strive to be better and to seek improvement. The enemies of Israel do not sit idle and neither do thugs and criminals. A street mugger armed with a knife may bring sadness to many peoples lives and a great deal of easy money into his own pocket but to believe that this street mugger would amend his ways after a single meeting with a IMA practitioner would be stupid. He may be defeated in this single instance but do we honestly believe it would deter him from such an easy life. I do not! I believe we are all the same and even the street mugger strives to be better next time, either by technique or by choice of weapons.

This is the way of the Israeli Martial Arts, ‘Constant challenge and constant development’ and in line with this principle and to maintain a high standard and quality of training at our club all KMSD students have a mandatory requirement to undergo and hopefully achieve the basic General Practitioner 1 Grade (GP1).

By achieving the General Practitioner 1 Grade students will be able to demonstrate knowledge of basic techniques and an understanding of the requirements for those techniques. This knowledge will then form a solid foundation on which to build other techniques. In truth any fool can throw a punch but no fool will ever disarm an attacker with a gun and yet in Krav Maga the techniques of disarming and punching are 95% one in the same. If a student can demonstrate the ability to perform correctly the motion of a straight punch then without question they can demonstrate the same move to grasp/disarm a firearm in a shorter time than it takes the attacker to pull the trigger.

As well as building the students own foundations the club also benefits by having students attain this mandatory grade in so far as the standard of training and the flow of knowledge from one student to the next will be increased and as such of a higher quality. Most people are similar in the way that we follow what we see. If we’re training with a fellow student of a higher skill level we see how that student performs and moves and this knowledge is transferred, often subconsciously. If however we train with a lesser practitioner, or someone who lacks the required basic knowledge then the scenario becomes the blind following the blind and neither students improves.

Grading FAQ

Q) What are Grading's?

Initially grading's are a set of formalised benchmarks through a given system. These benchmarks are achieved when a student demonstrates their ability to perform a set task or solution to a specific problem. These benchmarks are designed to offer a student a means where by they are able to chart their own progress or self-advancement through a given system. Grades are generally awarded on technical merit and in some cases can almost be seen as a set of “educational” qualifications.

Q) What else are Grades assessed on?

As well as specific techniques, Grading's will also be assessed on your ability to; work under stress, maintain awareness, remain in control, aggression, your will to survive and your state/attitude of mind.

Q) If I become a “black belt” will the world bow at my knees?

No! In the same way as a University degree won’t guarantee you a job when you leave, a “black belt” certificate won’t make people bow in front of you or guarantee your safety in the street. This goes to your state of mind. History is full of World Champion kick boxers and alike being shot in the street.

Q) So why Grade?

For most individuals grading's are about personal advancement, they are about achieving more than is normally expected and sometimes needed. They are for students who want to go that extra step to gain qualification or certification. There also a must for any would be instructors, especially at KMSD!

Q) Will Grading change the way I train when I attend normal classes?

Grading techniques are a lot more formalised, they require students to be more exacting and precise in their movement and techniques. For students wishing to go down the grading path you should expect a harder time as your training becomes more technically focused. You will need to spend more time working on your simultaneous movement, rhythm and pace. You will be expected to train in a dry fashion sometimes on your own building techniques up stage by stage or at slow speeds with plenty of repartition in order to train your muscle memory and speedup your non-instinctive responses. You may also be given homework.

Q) Will there be extra training sessions for grading's?

Yes, if needed. The main aim of the weekly classes is to teach in a realistic fashion. The emphasis is placed on quick learning and cramming. With reference to techniques we concentrate on solving the big issues and leave the little issues for more occasional technical classes. Imagine if you will having to spend 20 minutes teaching the precise art of throwing a straight punch every time we used the focus mitts because someone new was in the class. At the end of the day the majority of people don’t need to be taught precisely how to throw a punch or deliver a perfect kick. Of course there’s also a big positive side to this as training sessions for grades will be student lead meaning you’ll be able to work on your own negatives under more specific instruction.

Q) What about the grade themselves?

The grades are KMSD grades covering the entire KMSD syllabus. The grades encompass elements from both Kapap and the various Israeli Krav Maga systems (in-line with the 3 core principles) and as such will come under the heading KMSD Israeli Martial Arts. At this time there are 10 + 1 grades. The first 1 to 5 grades are General Practitioner (GP) with grade 5 being the highest ranked. These grades encompass the basic moves of Krav Maga with level 5 introducing some more advanced dynamic Kapap techniques. From here the student will progress to a Graduate Senior Practitioner (SP). Again there are 5 graded levels covering both advanced Krav Maga and Kapap Defensive Tactics. For students who qualify as Senior Practitioner Grade 2 the option to become an instructor will then be available to them, all be it with additional Instructor training. The +1 grade refers to our final Grade within the KMSD system and will fall under the heading of an Expert Practitioner or a Specialist. Upon reaching this grade the student will then be expected to take on a more liner approach and to broaden their knowledge into other specialised areas such as Law Enforcement and Military Techniques. It’s also expected that once a student reaches this grade they will have the expertise and knowledge to start to give back to the system (in-line with core principles) so as to keep the system evolving inline with the needs of the day. The basic premise of the KMSD grades is that a practitioner is “always a student, sometimes an instructor but never a master”

Q) Will my grades be accepted by other KM/Kapap clubs/associations/federations?

Highly unlikely! This is the case in all Martial Arts and in particular the Israeli systems. More than likely if you join another club or Federation they will re-asses your skills in line with their own grading systems.

Q) Can I still train with other federations/associations?

Absolutely, in fact we actively encourage it and may even be able to offer subsidies and contracts to students who wish to attend other Kapap/Krav Maga instructor sessions. All you need to remember is to keep an open mind.

Q) I’ve been studying at the club for sometime now so will I have to start with GP1?

Not necessarily. For the majority of people the first grading sessions will cover the grades GP1 to GP5. For students who have the ability to gain the GP5 grade they will need to progress through the GP1 to GP4 grades first. If they should fail to reach GP5 then the grade they achieved prior to failing will be applied.

Q) What if I disagree with your decision?

Tough, the grading instructor’s decision is final and is based on how a student actually performs at the time of the grading. The students own thoughts and opinions as to how well they may have preformed has no bearing and will not influence the final decision. All students should note at KMSD grades can not be ‘bought’ and the grading system will never be compromised.

Q) What’s the time span in-between grading's?

Generally speaking grading sessions will be scheduled every 3 months for the GP grades and every 6 months for the SP grades. The time in between is to allow students to build experience and knowledge but is also dependant on how often the student trains and may increase or decrease accordingly.

Q) How do we know what's covered in the grades?

Copies of the General Practitioner Grades are offered to students freely on completion and successful qualification of the previous. GP1 is shown below. Copies of the Senior Practitioner Grades are kept a little closer to heart and as for copies of the entire KMSD syllabus... maybe one day when you become a KMSD instructor.

General Practitioner Level 1 Grade

Outlet Stances and Movements
The meaning of “outlet-stance” and starting position
General outlet-stance.
Techniques of moving to various directions from the general outlet-stance.

Straight Punches
Heel of hand punch (first straight punch to be taught).
Straight left punch (to chin).
Straight right punch (to chin).

Circular Punches
Left roundhouse punch (2 variations with the body / distance).
Right roundhouse punch.
Uppercut from passive stance and from regular stance with either hand.
Note: Basic studying of punches will be done from a small spread / passive stance. Later from a regular outlet stance and then punch to various directions, Later - to various heights, in retreat or advance, and also from other positions such as sitting or lying down

Hammer Punches
Horizontal sideways
Horizontal backwards

Elbow Strikes
Horizontal Elbow Strikes
Vertical Elbow strikes
To the rear
Rear and up

Other Various Punches
Finger strikes

Front / regular kick with ball of the foot.
Variation:  Fast kick to groin (with instep).
Roundhouse kick - 2 ways:  1) horizontal, 2) diagonal. (Show one in test) (Possible-Hitting parts:  ball of foot; instep; shin.)

Defensive Kicks (stomp family)
Stomp vertical down
Defensive kick forward. (Hitting parts: heel; ball of foot; whole foot)
Defensive kick backward
Side-kick with the heel
Note: The kicks will be studied and exercised from the passive stance, the regular outlet stance and when relevant from a side stance.

Knee Kicks
Straight up, diagonal / horizontal inwards (roundhouse)

Combination With The Learned Attacks         
Short combination – simple 2-4 attacks (punches / kicks)
Note: In all the attacks (especially straight punches and reg. kicks) emphasize the recoiling

Outside Defences
360 outside defences (extended and closed) - from a passive stance. (Later - against defined punches).
360 block (extended and closed) with simultaneous counter attack.
Defending against knife attacks - knife held in upwards (oriental) or downward holds. Simultaneous defence and counter attack, then fast retreat.

Inside Defences vs. Straight Punches,
(Passive stance)
Inside defence (hands high) - sending palm of hand (vertical) diagonally forward, head movement to side.
Inside defence as above & lowering hand & counter-attack (1.5 rhythm)
Inside defence with lean back and kick.

Various Defences
Step / lean backwards, while kicking (with forward leg) to groin or to other vulnerable point. Train vs. straight punches.
Closed block, turning away while delivering side kick to knee or other vulnerable point.
Train vs. circular punches.

Release from Chokes
Preventing - Educational Block, Stopping the opponent before he reaches - (Kick or punch are also possible, it is another attitude / solution)

From The Front
Pluck with 2 hooked palms and counter-attack with knee/shin and/or punches.
From the Side
Pluck and counterattack (palm, elbow, or knee - as needed).
From Behind
Pluck - step diagonally backward, attack to groin and chin.

Release From Headlock
Release from Headlock from the Side
Attack groin, pull/push a sensitive point of the opponent's head and finish

Release from Headlocks from the rear
A) Arm-bar to front of throat (windpipe)
B) Carotid pressure type of hold.

Defences Against An Impending Knife Threat
Basic from the front - at long range - deflect and kick, while leaning away from the knife. Move away or deliver more kicks
Basic from the side / back - at long range - deflect and kick, while leaning away from the knife. Move away or deliver more kicks.

Releases While On Ground
Release from a choke from the side, assailant is kneeling by side of defender
Pluck, push, and insert knee, push & kick.

Release from chokes on ground, attacker sitting on defender
Pluck; stay with one hand - up and to the side with hips, counter attacks.

Using Common Objects As Weapons For Self-defence
The student will be able to identify the main categories/types of common objects, such as:  shield type, club type, stone type, blade type, small objects type, chain type and liquid / aerosol type.
Student will train on using common objects of the shield type and small object such as keys or coins applying the principles of distraction to create an opening for escape or counter ( defender throws objects at attackers face and follows immediately with: escape; or kicks and other counterattacks.
NOTE: This is used primarily in situation before an actual attack is made, mainly in a threat or in the early stage of an attack.

Fighting Games - 4 vs. 1
Advance to grab and choke with straight arm (zombie), one “chock” every 2 seconds
Using 360° attacks, one attack every 2 seconds.

Training - Watching, Awareness, Prevention
The student will train on looking at attacks being sent towards him/her, know real distance.
By lecturing, simulating and training, the students will get to know various problems that can arise in real life and that can lead to physical conflict. The student will learn ways to avoid conflict: Move away; Keep distance; Ignore verbal assault

Dealing with falls
Forward roll - right shoulder
Backward roll - left shoulder
Forward soft break-fall (from the knees if needed)
Backward break-fall
Note:  For adults, it is recommended/possible that this subject be tested in a higher level

Extra Curriculum – Training but NOT for the test
Hammer Punch Backwards: vertical.
Practice attacks to different heights and directions.
Looking / Watching Attacks  -  Reacting to Movements - Looking at an opponent performing one attack at a time and then short series of attacks. A sequence is repeated multiple times.
Attacking with the hands and feet to targets that are at different locations.  
Kicks - Practice basics of advance and retreat, and also from other positions as sitting and lying down, hit targets that are in different angels and heights.

Outside defence #1, #2, #3, against straight punches, with simultaneous counterattack (use straight right punch).  #1 - palm is up; #2 - palm directed inward; #3 - little finger
Outside stabbing defences #1 , #2 , #3
Inside defence - With left palm against left punch and counter with left punch (with vertical fist) – or turned fist (palm up)
The trainee will practice outside and inside defences with counter attacks against an attacker coming from various directions.

Vs, chokes and headlocks from different direction, add the element of surprise.

Attacks in combination:
Trainee will practice combinations of attacks including double attacks with the same leg/hand. Train on hitting targets/pads