Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Preparing For The October Belt Test

If you're planning to take the Level 1 or 2 belt test on October 8, now is the time to prepare.  One of the most practical steps you can take is to make use the book Complete Krav Maga by John Whitman and Darren Levine.  

When you signed up to take classes you probably received a little white booklet that lists all the techniques in each level, plus other information.  If you didn't receive a white booklet, ask at the front desk.  We were out of them for a while, but I've seen some new ones floating around lately.  Anyway...the problem I had with the white booklet when I was preparing for my first belt test was that I couldn't remember the names of the techniques.  I could do them, I just didn't know what they were called, so just reading a list of names meant little to me.

So I bought Complete Krav Maga & solved my woes.  And I still use it within an inch of it's life.  Here's a current pic of my book.

Every technique for each level through brown belt is covered, along with step by step photos.  Use the book (or the white booklet, if you prefer) to make sure you've practiced each technique you'll be tested on.  Once I've been taught a technique in class I put a little check mark on the page.  Once I'd practiced the technique with my trainer in my weekly private lesson I'd put his initial on the page.  So if I had both a check and an "H", I knew I'd done the movement at least twice.  As the test drew near, if there were no symbols on a technique, it was time to get busy.  

In no way do I mean to imply that practicing something only twice means it has been mastered & you're ready to test it.  But if you're leafing through the book as you prepare & see no symbols, ask your instructor to cover it, and/or practice it in your private lessons.  That way there'll be no surprises in the test. There are certain techniques, particularly in level 1, that we cover like crazy (cough, cough...palm heels & groin strikes...cough, cough).  These are the go-to go-crazy moves we want you to have mastered in case of a real attack, & that takes a lot of repetitions.  Unfortunately, if you're only able to train a couple of times a week, that can mean you miss out completely on some of the techniques you'll be tested on.  Use your booklet or Complete KM to make sure you've trained all the moves at your level, and don't hesitate to ask us to cover something in class.  

Before you test

Between now and the day of the test you need to get an instructor to sign a Permission to Test form.  Ask the instructor you've worked with the most, as they need to know you're ready.  If we sign your permission form & you fail, it makes us look bad.  So if I don't teach you regularly, I won't sign your form.  Please do this & sign up & pay for the big day at least a week before the October 8 test date.  If not enough people sign up, the test will be postponed.  It's a major buzzkill to expect to participate in the test the next day, be nervous the night before & walk in to sign up & find out either that you're not eligible to test because you didn't get your slip signed or the test has been cancelled.

The day of the test

There will be a "seminar" that anyone can attend.  Every technique from stance and movement through the end will be taught & practiced.  The seminar is actually the longest part of the day, and is required for all testers.  Afterward there will be a short lunch break - don't eat too much or you'll just throw it up later!  If, after the seminar the instructor feels that you won't pass, you will be asked/told to not test.  Ask any questions you have at the seminar, during the exam no questions will be answered.  Bring more water & sports drinks than you think you need, along with some protein bars, fruit, shotz bloks, or whatever you need to keep you going for a full day of hard training.  You can bring a small cooler if you like your drinks cold.  

Any questions?  Shoot me a line or grab one of us in the lobby, we're happy to help.  Good luck & train hard!


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