Kids Grading Plan

Grading break down

  • Warm-up (approx. 5 minutes)
  • Stand-up techniques (for Jiu Jitsu academies these are takedown techniques; for schools that want to combine their striking styles with their BJJ grading these are striking techniques)
    • run for approx. 10 minutes
  • With 4-7yrs I would bring them out one at a time in the beginning and ask them to demonstrate for me a takedown of their choice and they would perform it on me or my assistant, if the level is high enough I would challenge them to go into pairs and demonstrate freely. This is how 7+ yrs perform their technique from the beginning.
  • Sparring this is either takedown sparring or striking for clubs combining their gradings matches allow 2 rounds of 2-3 mins
  • For 4-7yrs this sparring is monitored very closely.
  • Self defence (this is an option depending on how much it is practiced in the academy) run for 10 mins – in same way as the takedown/striking was performed above.
  • Groundwork: allow around 10 mins – once again performed in the same way as above.
  • REMEMBER – to explain that students that aiming for a higher belt will perform similar techniques to students aiming for a lower rank but it is the proficiency of their technique which will dictate the level they are at.
  • Sparring: this is BJJ sparring. Allow 3 – 4 rounds of 2 mins – As with the earlier takedown sparring this is extremely well supervised for 4-7yrs.
  • Cool down and belt presentation: approx. 10 mins

More detailed breakdown

Warm up

  • Use drills and exercises that you practice regularly in class.

Stand-up techniques

  • For academies running a combined grading this would be where your students perform what you require from them with regards to the stand up area of your Martial Art.
  • In BJJ-focused academies and academies running just a BJJ grading begin by asking for a demonstration of a takedown. Place emphasis on your desire to discover what the students knows i.e., What they are learning

Stand-up Sparring

  • For academies with a combined syllabus this will be sparring in the stand up area of your curriculum.
  • For BJJ focused academies this will be takedown sparring.


  • With this you will either jog the students memories by demonstrating a technique or series of techniques that they will replicate with a partner or you will ask them to pick their own, again with the goal of discovering what they know.
  • Depending on the technique selected there maybe some controlled sparring with the instructors after they have demonstrated the technique with their partners.

Groundwork techniques

  • Begin by asking for a demonstration of submissions for 7+ yrs. For 4-7 yrs we are looking for control positions that follow on from their chosen takedowns earlier in the grading.
  • At this point ask them to create a flow drill i.e., A takedown into control and then to a submission. As earlier emphasise how the students that are going for the higher belts really should come into their own here.

Groundwork Sparring

  • This is BJJ competition sparring for all academies

Cool down and belt presentation

  • Get everybody in their bow on and bow off positions and begin stretching the body whilst cooling down
  • Present all students with their new belts followed by award for best of grade
  • Finish with photo opportunities for parents students and INSTRUCTORS. Post these photos to Facebook.

Kids Grading Requirements

  • Why are Grading’s important?
  • What are the Grading requirements for juniors & Adults?
  • What are we looking for in our students?
  • Preventing Disappointment

Please remember that grading days are a celebration and a test of skills, knowledge and heart that all the family can share in!

We recommend that gradings are conducted in a very public environment, they are a very important and effective for building self-confidence in your members. The grading provides an environment for the student to display their progress in public under pressure, the reward they receive for facing and conquering this challenge will inevitably improve their confidence and self-worth.

Improving confidence is one of our tried and tested methods for preventing our students from being bullied or worse, becoming a bully. Remember it is very hard to have confidence without achievement and it is very hard to achieve without commitment.

We advise for kids grading’s that you hand out invitations 3-weeks prior to the grading day, invitations should be given to children that are attending regularly and progressing with their personal Jiu Jitsu journey.

Each BJJ coloured belt has 4 stripes, all of these stripes are individual ranks that must be earned before you can progress onto the next belt level.

For adults our advice would be for you too hand these stripes out during big classes or as part of the team training held twice yearly with our head instructor.

Both kids stripes and belts can be earned at your grading’s which we advise you to hold every 8-weeks.

On the Adult side coloured belts can only be awarded by the Head Instructor at the pre –arrange team training day twice yearly.

Remember the grading is by invite only so the students are constantly being assessed in class.

Grading’s are one of the main ways that people especially children learn about setting and achieving goals in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu training. They learn that with effort and persistence comes reward.



Junior Ranks

There are no maximum number of belt colours that can be skipped if you are prepared to put in the time and the dedication.

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How the Stripe system works

Stripes are attached to the black bar on the end of the belt and represent different levels of achievement and progress through the ranking system.

1st stripe   – You have successfully shown that you understand the techniques for your belt level.

2nd stripe – You are able to demonstrate the techniques at a higher standard for your belt level.

3rd stripe – You have shown improved efficiency in all the techniques for this belt level.

4th stripe – You are fluent in the techniques for your current belt level/rank and ready to start training towards the next coloured rank.

Stripes are accumulated at each grading, by the time you reach your 4th stripe you should be ready to move onto the next belt level, if you are not ready the instructor will advise you of your options.


Attributes you should look for in your students

Leadership skills in class, time spent on the mat, performance in class, performance in competitions and performance at the grading.


Preventing disappointment

Inform students that they are aiming to progress one level per grading.  You should try to manage the student’s expectations so to avoid disappointment.  If they happen to achieve more than a stripe or belt it is an added bonus for their efforts.  Remember student’s train at different levels, some student’s train twice per week and some up four or five times per week.  This is why managing expectations is very important.  It is better to be fantastic at your belt than to be average at your belt.  As an instructor you can assist in managing your students expectations it will help in keeping their confidence and self-esteem high.

This is also a fabulous time to impart a life lesson for your student – that effort leads to reward!







    Stage 1:


    Decide on a date for your grading for kids this should be every 8 weeks for adults this should be twice yearly at the team training held with the head instructor. Stripes for the adults can be handed out in busy classes.

    Your Admin will need to create your club’s Grading Schedule, Grading Invitations, Grading List PDF. We also recommend a Junior Grading Checklist PDF for staff.

    • Print and laminate the Grading Schedule and put it up on your academies walls.
    • Talk about it during the cool down phase of your daily classes in the 3 weeks prior to the event.


    Stage 2:


    • Print off a current member list
    • Print off Enough invites for the junior members on the list you intend to invite.
    • Tick the relevant start time, for large academies with multiple gradings for the same age group you will need to tick randomly making sure amounts are split evenly between the classes.


    Stage 3:


    • Encourage any staff members to alter the current member list using the Junior grading checklist PDF you supplied them with.


    Stage 4.


    • Begin writing out certificates and preparing belts, We advise using a member list that also contains current belt ranks along with active members this will enable you to write out and order belts and certificates prior to the day and will make for a more efficient and professional grading.


    Stage 5.


    On the grading day have following done prior to the arrival of parents:

    • All belts should be laid out in grading order
    • Quality white tape for the stripe grading’s
    • Quality bright coloured tape for the best of grade that will be awaded to the junior that performs the best on the day of his grading.
    • Any handouts or promotional material that is to be given out at each grading
    • You must have your clean kimono on prior to the arrival of any parents or children


    Stage 6.


    • As parents arrive please greet them with a big smile. Always ask the child if they are ready for their grading and ask them if they have been practicing their techniques. If they are nervous please re-assure them that they will be ok.
    • After greeting the student this is a good opportunity to correct any errors on your member list re-guarding this member that you have not picked up previously. Ie. Current belt/future belt, age group belt size etc.
    • Once all the kids have enrolled start the grading.


    Stage 7.


    • For the technical part of the grading follow the grading plan provided


    Stage 8.


    • Finish writing any certificates that required changing whilst your assistant stretches the kids down


    Stage 9.


    • Before you begin handing out the belts explain what you are about to do
    • Give a little speech about what the belt/stripe represents and most importantly let them all know that you are very proud of them and lead everyone in a round of applause.


    Step 10.


    • Walk up to each child individually start with the lowest rank and move to the highest rank
    • Get them to stand take off their old belt and put on their new belt for them bow to them and lead everybody in a round of applause
    • When you have children that excel or have overcome problems in the cause of their training highlight this to everyone and tell them that they should be very proud of themselves.


    Step 11.


    • Get your assistant to follow you around handing out the certificates after you have handed them their new belt.


    Step 12.


    • At this point award the best of grade with a little speech attached highlighting why you have awarded it to them.


    Step 13.


    • Thank everyone for coming remind them about any up coming events and promote everything Facebook, Camps etc.


    Step 14.


    • Make sure you get a photo and post it in between grading’s to your facebook page tagging in the Infinity main page.


    Stage 15.


    • Repeat this process until all grading’s are done