Blue flower on mountain wall
Slovenian mountains are filled with these blue flowers

Technical level in Martial Arts: Annual check versus Grading

When I was building up and developing Nanbudo in Finland, which included my personal development as well, I was requesting technical checks for the whole curriculum of Nanbudo from several shihans at that time.

These annual checks were somewhat similar to grading events, with the exception that once anyone observing my technical presentation, they could interrupt and offer their correction. Also the whole point was to keep these sessions simple and very dynamic, thus making them possible once an opportunity appeared.

Most often these annual checks were only done for me, while one to many were checking. It was mostly with the help of Jan Moen renshi from Norway who made these annual checks possible. I am always most grateful for his help as this laid the foundation for the technical accuracy of Nanbudo in Finland.

The technical content of these sessions was to include the whole curriculum of Nanbudo, but as it is pretty vast, in most cases just the basics were inspected.

It could be the future of preserving and developing technical levels of all practitioners, by having an annual check instead of grading. Since cars are checked every year if they are capable of safe transportations, similarly the technical level could be inspected and possibly grade level shifted. On the other hand this should be something additional to the gradings as it might turn out sometimes that the practitioner would not pass for his/hers current grade in the annual check.

Like cars, we human tend to become older and our technical level might deteriorate. However what we have in our hearts and in our mind, are most likely to develop further.

That said, building and developing is not over.