Here is a little guide with information that can be good to know before taking a grading examination.
As for the first grading tests one can usually be able to do them, if one practices regularly, after about one semester.
You can read about how Shorinji Kempo’s grading system works on this page.
To take a grading examination test, you must have practised long enough since the last grading (or since you started training if it is the first grading), you must also have practised a minimum number of practice sessions. For dan ranks, there is also a minimum age requirement. But the most important thing is that you know the techniques and the theory required for the rank you will take the test for.
To take a grading test you must always have permission from shibu-chō, otherwise the rank will not be registered with hombu (headquarters in Japan).
In Sweden, kyū ranks (before black belt) are administrated by each branch. For the first dan ranks, shodan to sandan (1st dan to 3rd dan) the grading tests are organised by the Swedish Federation. The Swedish Federation normally organises two dan grading examinations per year, one in the spring and one in the autumn, if there are examiners available, it can also be dan grading examinations at the annual summer camp in Visby. Grading test to yondan (4th dan) or above (special dan grading) is only held at hombu in Japan (or at some special occasions at events organised by hombu).
In our branch, we normally hold kyū gradings at the end of each semester, but can basically organise kyū grading tests once a month if there is a need at other times during the semester.
When can I take the Grading Examination Test?
When you’ve practised enough time since the last grading test (or since you began in the case of the first grading) and have practised enough number of practise sessions (the time required and the number of sessions can be found in your kamoku or list of techniques that you have received from your instructor), and above all know the techniques and the theory required for the rank, you may ask shibu-chō if you can take the test.
The written homework should be submitted at least one week before the actual day of the grading examination, via email is also acceptable. The grading fee must be paid before the grading test (see here for information about the fees)
To remember for a grading examination test
- Make sure you meet the formal requirements regarding time since the previous grading (or since you began if it is the first grading test) and the number of required practise sessions
- Get permission to take the grading test from shibu-chō
- Write your homework and submit it no later than one week before the day of the test (for gradings to 8th & 7th kyū it is an oral theory test)
- The homework assignment must have a cover sheet and be neatly written so that it is easy to read and understand (see this template as an example: Word / PDF)
- Make sure to pay the grading fee before the day of the grading test