'Tis the season to be grading, tra la la! (g)

Doing gradings is one of the true pleasures of teaching tai chi! Gradings are as different from school exams as it is possible to be:

  • When you have reached a certain standard in your learning, your instructor will tell you that you will be grading. It could take several months, it could take a lot longer, it doesn't matter how long it takes. The only thing that matters is that your instructor thinks you're ready.
  • You will be told what is in the grading, it is no secret.
  • You will be practised with on the things that are in the grading for a couple of sessions beforehand
  • During the grading itself, you will get continuous feedback and encouragement to help you improve your standard
  • I like to grade people in groups, so they can help and support each other throughout

Altogether the experience of grading is a teaching and learning experience, not a grilling. Though everyone feels nervous! The idea is to make sure you feel confident about what you have achieved and that you have specific feedback to help you upgrade yourself too. It's a great way to mark your achievement and to lead in to the next level of training!