Monday, 4 July, 2022

Important Grading Matters

Pursuing the feedback from the examiners and the staff handling grading matters, the Singapore Taekwondo Federation (STF) finds it necessary to appeal to club leaders, coaches and club administrators for co-operation in the following areas in order to continue offering candidates pleasant grading experiences.

·         Candidates who missed the main grading or their club supplementary grading should NOT be sent to other supplementary grading without clearance from the STF office. Such request should be made before the first grading. A fee of $20 per candidate will be imposed if the request comes after the grading except for those with medical certification. Examiners will not grade candidates from other clubs at a supplementary grading if there is no prior arrangement made with the STF office. However, the examiners will grade the candidates if the coaches agree to pay $50 per candidate.

·         Coaches or club administrators shall ensure that the dates of the grading and the grades of the candidates are indicated on the grading cards so that the examiners do not have to incur additional time to complete the information before endorsing the results.

·         Grading cards should be kept in good condition. There should be no missing particulars or photographs from the cards. The examiners will NOT grade candidates with grading cards which are soiled or torn or have been amended carelessly or do not have full particulars or photographs unless the coaches are able to replace or complete the cards. The card replacement fee is $30 per card. At the sole and absolute discretion of the examiners, special consideration may be given to White 10 candidates only if particulars or photographs are missing from the card.

·         Uniforms worn by candidates should not only comply with the STF uniform code but also clean, neat and dignified. Oversized uniforms with sleeves haphazardly folded, disheveled appearance, belts reaching well below the knees and very short belts are some examples of what will not be acceptable. Candidates will automatically fail the grading if they appear before the examiners who find their uniforms unacceptable. The examiner will indicate on the card the letter ‘U” next to the result.

·         All promotion tests shall be preceded by the recitation of STF Pledge. The manner in which it is done shall be decided by the examiners as the situation may vary from grading to grading.

·         Candidates tested on sports syllabus should be separated from candidates who are under the normal syllabus. This is necessary to avoid confusion and make it easier for the examiners to assess the candidates.

·         It is the responsibility and rights of the coaches-in-command during the assessments to ensure that the candidates have given their best performance. If they are not satisfied, they may require the candidates to repeat the performance or return later to complete the grading. Courtesy dictates that the coach-in-command should ask the examiner for permission to allow the candidates to perform again later. Examiners may suggest to coaches to get the candidates to repeat. But it is up to the coaches to decide if it is necessary.

·         ONLY examiners have the rights to decide whether to allow coaches to guide the candidates – especially those requiring guidance for the whole poomsae. The coaches-in-command may correct not more than three (3) mistakes for each candidate on their own.

·         The grading requirements are usually observed. However, the examiners reserve the right to request the candidates to do more than required – for example, additional round of sparring or more kicking or punching.  The purpose is usually to satisfy themselves that a candidate deserves a pass or a double.

·         All kicks should be delivered above the kicker’s waist-level. Higher grade candidates are expected to kick higher – for example, green belt (at least solar plexus level) and red belt (at least neck level). The examiners may require the candidates to kick a target. All candidates should be prepared to do that.

·         Candidates going for Red 2 and 1 must be able to perform the following movements correctly to BE CONSIDERED for a pass (passing will depend on the overall performance): ‘Cha-ryeot’, ‘Kyeong-rye’, ‘Joon-bi’, Low-section block, Middle-section punch and forward stance.

·         For sparring, coaches should ensure that candidates do not confine themselves to only one technique. It is alright for green belt holders to take turns to kick each other. But from blue belt onwards, tactics should be introduced. In short, the same way of sparring will not be acceptable from green belt to poom/dan. There must be progression.

·         Groin guards are compulsory for candidates engaged in sparring. Coaches shall check and ensure that candidates wear their groin guards well before they appear before the examiners.

·         The examiners shall not reveal the grading results. All results will be released by the STF Secretariat. Coaches shall refrain from asking the examiners for the results.

·         While examiners are required to give due respect to coaches, it is incumbent upon coaches to be respectful when dealing with the examiners. Any disagreement or misunderstanding shall be ironed out privately and in a civil manner.

It is the intention, if not the desire, of examiners to promote all candidates but candidates should not give the examiners strong reasons to fail them. Coaches and candidates must play their part to make it easier for the examiners to assess the candidates favorably.

While the examiners will take into consideration the ages of candidates and the challenges they face to meet the grading requirements, coaches should ensure that the candidates are ready for the grading.

In view of the increasing number of very young participants, a new syllabus will be created for them. The syllabi for the other candidates will also be changed to provide better guidance for coaches and enhance the standard of participants.

STF will endeavor to work closely with coaches and club administrators for the smooth, safe and fair execution of its grading exercises bearing in mind that the status quo will not be able to meet the changing taekwondo environment and the rising expectations of candidates and their parents. Therefore, the STF welcomes feedback which will be helpful in the redesigning of the grading syllabi and the improvement of the grading process.

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