Unlike many martial arts systems KMG does not use belts to differentiate between levels. Instead we use a system of patches and grades to keep track of a student’s progress. Although we encourage students to take part in grading it is worth mentioning that at Direct Defence Krav Maga our main focus is on training students for real life, and not just for passing gradings.
In KMG the levels are divided into five practitioner levels, five graduate levels, and five expert levels. Each level has its own curriculum of specific techniques and training methods that are worked on during class by the student, then tested by a high level examiner during the grading itself.
The first practitioner level (P1) may be taken after a minimum of 4 months regular training, and the test for this level is conducted by us at Direct Defence Krav Maga.
P2 tests are also conducted in-house, and participants must have trained regularly for at lease six months since their P1 to be eligible to take part.
We will be running P1 and P2 gradings twice a year at DDKM. Students will be notified of upcoming gradings in plenty of time.
After gaining P2 students must train for approximately 6 months in order to be eligible for the next level. Tests for levels P3-P5 are taken at national events held by KMG UK twice a year.
After the P levels are the G levels G1-G5. These levels are held mostly by instructors although some students also hold graduate levels. Tests for graduate levels are held once a year at a weekend training event in the UK and can also be taken in Israel and a few other locations throughout Europe. There must be a minimum of 6 months between testing for graduate levels.
Next come the Expert levels E1-E5. These are reserved for high level instructors, mainly the KMG Global and International teams. Testing for these levels is usually conducted in Israel and there needs to be between one and four years between tests depending on the level.
Above the Expert levels there are also 3 Master levels. These are reserved for people who have reached an exceptionally high level and who have dedicated their whole life to Krav Maga. Within KMG there are only 2 people who have reached these levels, including the head instructor of KMG, Eyal Yanilov, who is Master Level 3, the highest level ever given by the system’s founder, Imi Lichtenfeld.
Why Bother With Grading?
At Direct Defence Krav Maga we train students to be able to defend themselves in real life, not to pass gradings. Our emphasis is on reality and not on what patch you have on your trousers.
However, we believe that taking part in grading is an excellent way to keep track of your progress in the system, and also a way of setting short term goals for yourself that are easy to achieve.
Having a set goal to work towards will keep you motivated to continue training and improving, and passing the tests is a great achievement, and something for you to be proud of as a student. For this reason we encourage our students to take part in gradings when we feel they are ready.
Many students choose not to take part in gradings and this is fine by us. We will never put pressure on anybody to take a test. The most important goal for us is teaching our students realistic and practical self-defence, and that is what we focus on in our classes.