CMAA PROGRESSIVE GRADING SYSTEM (PGS) Copyright Cobra Martial Arts Association 2013
Clubs generally hold coloured belt (KYU/KUP) gradings at 3 to 6 month intervals with the students
learning the required techniques for each grade in the time between them. However some students
train more than others do and while this may be the traditional way of grading if we equate the time
into hours some will have done considerably more than others by the time the grading date comes
around. In addition some may miss lessons, which in turn may cause them to miss the grading day so
the following can be used by all students meaning they move up in grade once they have completed
the requirements over time during the lesson rather than on one set day.
Some students may also not be able to complete a full grading all at once for physical or other health
related reasons and equal opportunities tell us that everyone should be given access to take part in
sport regardless of ability. The same applies to the martial arts so long as taking part does not hinder
or make any condition or long term injury worse.
The CMAA PGS allows students to grade over time while still maintaining high standards, in
fact there is an argument that the standard required using the CMAA PGS is higher as students must
pass every technique in order to achieve the next grade unlike standard gradings where a set score is
However if a student has been signed off almost all of the grade requirements but is still struggling
with a couple of techniques the grade may be awarded with these techniques being deferred
and then re-visited at a later date, unlike a standard grading whereby these techniques would simply
receive a fail score and possibly be left behind. The Instructor can then require the student to
demonstrate once again prior to awarding a higher grade.
SO HOW DOES THE CMAA PGS WORK & HOW ARE STUDENTS GRADED?
The CMAA PGS works very much like a NVQ. As your students work through the grade
requirements the Instructor will sign off each one in turn as the student is able successfully
demonstrate 3 consecutive times without error. This can be done by placing an extra line under each
technique, shown below, or by simply initialling next to each one.
Lead head block & reverse punch, reverse parry block and lead back knuckle.
Double lead jab, reverse hook punch.
Lead front kick to body.
Reverse front kick to body.
Doing this then allows the student to focus more on techniques they find difficult rather than simply
repeating all of the grade requirements week after week.
WHAT ABOUT GRADING FEES?
Once all the techniques for a specific grade have been signed off grading fees then become due prior
to any certification and belts being awarded.
HOW DOES THIS EFFECT TIME SERVED REQUIREMENTS?
As the PGS method results in students having to score 100% to progress the need for standard time
served in months between coloured belts (KYU/KUP grades) is removed, the more hours of training
a student puts in the faster their skill set will increase. A student training six times/week for example
will progress faster using the PGS than one who trains just once. The time required between black
belt grades remains unaffected.