Its close to grading time again and the students are once again under pressure to perform.
But this week they looked fine, no technical issues. Stances good, technique good, even focus good too… but something’s missing.

This weeks lessons focused on that little bit extra that makes a grading performance.  Because what gets you through a grading isn’t just knowing your syllabus, lets face it – if you don’t know your syllabus then you really shouldn’t be grading!
That something extra is passion. But what does that mean? Personally I think of it like this…
Lets say you’re called to defend your self in the street. How did that happen? Ultimately someone either said or did something to you or someone else that violated your personal values, so much so that you are compelled to act. In other words – you care enough to do something about it.
This passion for what you believe to be right is strong. It is your driving force. And this force is supported by your martial skill. Your values say you should fight while your martial arts skills turn this raw energy into meaningful action.
And this again is why a good grading is not a test of knowledge or even skill so much as spirit.
So in our performances we have to convey this vital element else our movements will appear empty and lifeless. What puts the bite back in your punch and the tempo into your sequences is this raw passionate energy.
Just show us that you care, that this pattern of a fight you are performing is real for you which means you perceive the opponents as real. And more importantly you perceive their actions and intensions as real also and this will lead to showing how much you care about your values.
Values are what you care about. But if you aren’t going to defend them then they don’t really exist!!!
Search for your values as the reason this imaginary fight began then show the examiner just how much you care.
Always remember – a spirited performance beats a technical display hands down every time!!