How does Krav Maga test for and organize belts, levels, or degrees? Here is a handy guide to understanding how you’ll progress as you train.
Most federations did away with belts decades ago, moving to a level system that is frequently delineated by patches worn on one’s pants.
For children, IKM (International Krav Maga) uses the Young Practitioner curricula to determine what a student must know and be able to perform during testing in order to move to a new level. We, at The Academy, use a point system that corresponds to class attendance, performance, and even a certain amount of parental input to judge when a student is ready for sub-level and level testing.
Adults’ Training: Practitioner, Graduate, and Expert
For adults, there are three major divisions of training: five Practitioner (P) levels, five Graduate (G) levels, and five Expert (E) levels. A select number of the original students of the founder of Krav Maga (Imi Sde-Or), hold Master levels. Each adult level has its own curriculum, and level testing is based on the techniques included in each curriculum document. All students begin at the Practitioner stage.
Adult students training a minimum of twice per week for a minimum of six months are eligible to test for a Practitioner level. The first level that an adult student can attain is P1 (Practitioner 1). From there, with a minimum of twice-weekly participation in class, a student can test for Practitioner levels every six months. Given that there are five Practitioner levels altogether, the earliest point at which an adult can become a Graduate student is 3 years after starting his/her training. That same six-month period between level tests (with minimum class attendance) is true for Graduate students as well. For Experts, the period between level tests increases to two years. Experts are also required to participate in intensive certification courses covering special material, such as Krav Maga military courses, police courses, and more.
Current students can access curricula documents at the studio or request copies by e-mail. While the documents do not outline how to perform the techniques (i.e. there are no step-by-step instructions), they provide a great overview of techniques taught in class. Many students find reviewing these documents very helpful in organizing their training and preparing for level tests.
For any questions related to level testing and progression in Krav Maga, or if you are a current student and would like to have a look at the curriculum document for your current or next level, please e-mail us at email@example.com
The Academy Team