Archive for the ‘UTKM Testing’ Category

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The notion that “It’s only for the military or police and not for me,” simply isn’t true. Originally, Imi taught Krav Maga to civilians, primarily Jews, for the purpose of enabling them to protect themselves from the Nazis pre-WW2. When Israel was formed in 1948, it was taught to the military, during which time it was considered a closely guarded secret. Given that it was intended “so one may walk in peace,” when tensions eventually eased in the ’80s teaching of the system was opened for all civilians. While, yes, at a good school you can go from being a civilian to a civilian trained in a manner similar to military or police, it is not meant to turn you into these things; but rather to give you an understanding that self-defence is NOT limited to unarmed combat (even if the laws in your country say otherwise). Anyone can learn Krav Maga, and should learn it (or at the very least a legit style with self-defence components), so that everyone may walk in peace.

So let’s talk about it.

This myth really comes out of the fact that the tactics for Krav Maga were fairly closely guarded within the military for the early days of Israel and the IDF. It wasn’t until the ’70s-’80s that it began to open up to the public, in one way or another. Furthermore, when it started to go global in the ’90s and early 2000s, Krav Maga was primarily targeted to military and police organizations. This is one factor that contributed to the use of the “patch” ranking system by the IKMF when it was formed in 1996, and later KMG in 2010. Patches being a common means of identification for groups and ranks within the police and military units; something that makes little sense for civilians, therefore furthering the myth that it is only for “the professionals.”

With regard to curriculum, one thing to know is that there are many different Krav Maga organizations, each with a different curriculum and strategy, but they are considered Krav Maga so long as they are following the fundamental principles and are employing appropriate training methodologies. Some organizations completely separate their police, military, and civilian programs, while others incorporate the techniques and strategies of all applications into one curriculum, placing the more complex material at higher learning ranks.

Those schools that do separate their curriculums by application will do so by having separate programs instructors; one set for police, one set for military, another for civilians. Which, in some countries, may be done for legal reasons, whereas in others it is simply more practical for training (and marketing).

Some people do believe that civilians should not learn Military and Police tactics for a variety of reasons, but this is something we at UTKM do not agree with. So long as you are a law-abiding, reasonable, human being, there is no reason you shouldn’t learn such things. While extreme violence scenarios are unlikely in day-to-day, civilian life, in our current world, the reality is that Krav Maga should prepare you for any and all possible self-defence situations. The more extreme ones would, in fact, require military and police tactics because, well, they are for the more extreme situations after all.

While we cannot speak for other organizations we have tackled this issue in a simple way: Breaking the knowledge into layers within our ranking system. White belt to Orange belt is “basic civilian self-defence,” but it is also where you learn the fundamentals. Which means if you only want to learn enough to defend yourself in most situations, then all you would need to do is keep training in the Beginner and Novice levels. Eventually you may even be able to hold off a decent MMA fighter long enough to find your exit. But should you wish to continue then you too can learn the tactics required for more complicated situations involving firearms (guns), arresting or detaining, or storming a live shooter with a partner.

Our motto after all is “turning lambs into lions” or another way you could say it is “turning everyday citizens into everyday warriors.” Because even if you are not the elite physical specimen of a “hooman being,” you can, over time, develop the same skills for the same situations.

On a side note, there is a belief by many that ONLY a person who was in the military or police should teach these tactics. This, by the way, is both true and untrue. It is true that an EXPERIENCED police or military vet, with loads of training, field experience, and good communication skills will likely be the most appropriate instructor for these tactics. However, the truth is that NOT all military and police have this kind of experience. Many people who served, on various roles, saw far less “action” than you think. Which means that, unless you have the former of the two types, a civilian who has spent a lifetime training in military and police tactics for self-defence would be no different in capability than a police or military person who was trained but spent their entire career behind a desk. So, really it’s about the person, their experience, and their ability to teach.

So, is Krav Maga only for police and military? Quite obviously, no. As the basics are all about civilians. Any organization worth its weight in toilet paper will usually teach the military and police stuff to more competent or experienced students, but know that, while this is still part of Krav Maga, this isn’t the only part.

So start learning and maybe, one day, you will not only be able to defend yourself on the street, but also will be prepared for a full tactical assault on that zombie hoard should our dream apocalypse ever happen.

Written by: Jonathan Fader

For training online visit at www.utkmu.com. If you are in the Metro Vancouver area, come learn with us in person, sign up at www.urbantacticskm.com

UTKM Belt Testing: Adult Requirements

Posted: January 11, 2018 by urbantacticskravmaga in UTKM Testing
Tags: , , ,

First off, if you haven’t read about our belts, in general, please see the page UTKM Belts – Our Story & Process.

In order to test for any specific belt level, you must meet the MINIMUM requirements.  However, remember that these are only MINIMUMS and do not immediately entitle you to test once you have met them (see “Goodhart’s Law”).  Please do not ask your instructor to test, you will be asked when your instructor has deemed you ready.  It doesn’t matter if you think you are ready, if the instructor does not think you are ready, then you are not ready.  There are a variety factors to consider when inviting students to test, from that student’s technical skill or mental preparedness, to mundane considerations, such as scheduling, number of participants, etc..  Please do not take it personally.

UTKM Adult Belt Rankings (Age 16+)

White Belt Progress Assessment – Fee $50
  • Completed a minimum of 30-40 hours of class time at White belt.
  • Participated in a minimum of 10 sparring sessions in the Warrior classes.
  • Demonstrated competency in sparring, and can safely spare with contact.

Yellow Belt Test – Fee $50

  • Completed a minimum of 70 hours class time at White belt, Warrior, and Defense classes, and be approved by your regular instructor.
  • Demonstrated competency in sparring, and can safely spare with contact.
  • Completed at least one White Belt Progress Assessment.
  • Have volunteered in or witnessed a previous Yellow belt test.
  • Attended classes a minimum of once a week for 6 weeks prior to testing.
  • Are physically and mentally ready for the test, as determined by your instructor.
Yellow Belt Progress Assessment – Fee $50
  • Completed a minimum of 30-40 hours at Yellow belt
  • Continued to advance your sparring skills in the Warrior classes
  • Demonstrated competency in sparring, and can safely spare with contact

Orange Belt Test – Fee $100

  • Completed a minimum of 70 hours at Yellow belt,
  • Demonstrated competency in sparring, and can safely spare with contact
  • Completed at least one Yellow Belt Progress Assessment
  • Recorded at least 2/3 of your required hours in the Novice Colour Belt classes
  • Demonstrated competency in the Yellow Belt Curriculum
  • Have volunteered in or witnessed a previous Orange or Green belt test
  • Attended classes a minimum of once a week for 6 weeks prior to testing
  • Are physically and mentally ready for the test, as determined by your instructor
  • Have prepared for the written portion of the test by studying the UTKM Blog and Guides
Orange Belt Progress Assessment – Fee $50
  • Completed a minimum of 100 hours at Orange belt
  • Continued to advance your sparring skills in the Warrior classes
  • Demonstrated competency in sparring, and can safely spare with contact
  • Have sparred at least 5 times in the Novice Colour Belt classes
  • Recorded at least half your hours at the Novice Colour Belt class level

Green Belt Test– Fee $100

  • Completed a minimum of 140 hours at Orange belt,
  • Demonstrated competency in sparring, and can safely spare with contact
  • Completed at least one Orange Belt Progress Assessment
  • Recorded at least half of your hours in the Novice Colour Belt classes
  • Demonstrated competency in the Yellow and Orange Belt Curriculum
  • Have volunteered in or witnessed a previous Orange or Green belt test
  • Attended classes a minimum of once a week for 6 weeks prior to testing
  • Are physically and mentally ready for the test, as determined by your instructor, including the ability to run a minimum of 2km
  • Have prepared for the written portion of the test by studying the UTKM Blog and Guides
  • Have received your Firearms License (PAL)
Green Belt Progress Assessment – Fee $100
  • Completed a minimum of 150 hours at Green belt
  • Continued to advance your fundamentals in Warrior and Defense classes
  • Continued to advanced your novice skills in the Novice Colour Belt classes
  • Have attended enough Advanced classes to know at least 2/3 of the material
  • Ensure that you know the majority of the Green Belt Theory
  • Demonstrated competency in sparring, and can safely spare with contact
  • Have sparred at least 5 times in the Novice Colour Belt classes
  • Recorded at least 1/3 of your hours at Advanced and 1/3 at Novice Colour Belt classes

Blue Belt Test – Fee $150

  • Completed a minimum of 180 hours at Green belt,
  • Demonstrated competency in sparring, and can safely spare with contact
  • Completed at least one Green Belt Progress Assessment
  • Demonstrated competency in the Yellow, Orange, and Green Belt Curriculum
  • Have volunteered in or witnessed a previous Orange or Green belt test
  • Have attended enough Advanced classes to know all of the material
  • Ensure that you know all of the Green Belt Theory
  • Have sparred at least 5 times in the Novice Colour Belt classes
  • Recorded at least 1/3 of your hours at Advanced and 1/3 at Novice Colour Belt classes
  • Attended classes a minimum of once a week for 6 weeks prior to testing
  • Are physically and mentally ready for the test, as determined by your instructor, including the ability to run a minimum of 5km
  • Have prepared for the written portion of the test by studying the UTKM Blog, Guides, and Advanced Class theory notes
  • Have volunteered a min of 8 times for testing or assessments
Blue Belt Progress Assessment Fee – $200
  • Completed a minimum of 200 hours at Blue belt
  • Continued to advance your fundamentals in Warrior and Defense classes
  • Continued to advance your novice skills in the Novice Colour Belt classes
  • Have attended enough Advanced classes to know at least 2/3 of the material
  • Demonstrated competency in the Yellow, Orange, and Green Belt Curriculum
  • Ensure that you know the Green Belt material
  • Ensure that you know at least 2/3 of the Blue Belt material
  • Demonstrated competency in sparring, and can safely spare with contact
  • Have sparred at least 5 times in the Novice Colour Belt classes
  • Recorded at least 1/3 of your hours at Advanced and 1/3 at Novice Colour Belt classes
  • Demonstrated competency in safe firearms handling for Pistol, Rifle, and Shotgun
  • Have trained in, or demonstrated that you have completed, enough live fire training

Brown Belt Test – Fee $250

  • Completed a minimum of 280 hours at Blue belt
  • Completed at least one Blue Belt Progress Assessment
  • Continued to advance your fundamentals in Warrior and Defense classes
  • Continued to advance your novice skills in the Novice Colour Belt classes
  • Have attended enough Advanced classes to know at least 2/3 of the material
  • Demonstrated competency in the Yellow, Orange, and Green Belt Curriculum
  • Ensure that you know the Green and Blue Belt material
  • Demonstrated competency in sparring, and can safely spare with contact
  • Have sparred at least 5 times in the Novice Colour Belt classes
  • Recorded at least 1/3 of your hours at Advanced and 1/3 at Novice Colour Belt classes
  • Demonstrated competency in safe firearms handling for Pistol, Rifle, and Shotgun
  • Have trained in, or demonstrated that you have completed, enough live fire training
  • Demonstrated competency in live fire training
  • Have volunteered a min of 15 times for testing or assessments at all levels
  • Are physically and mentally ready for the test, as determined by your instructor, including the ability to complete a minimum 2km weighted run
  • Demonstrated competency in Krav Maga application for civilian, security, and law enforcement
  • Have prepared for the written portion of the test by studying the UTKM Blog, Guides, and Advanced Class theory notes
Brown Belt Progress Assessment – $300
  • Completed a minimum of 300 hours at Brown belt
  • Continued to advance your fundamentals in Warrior and Defense Classes
  • Continued to advance your novice skills in the Novice Colour Belt classes
  • Have attended enough Advanced classes to know at least 2/3 of the material
  • Demonstrated competency in the White, Yellow, Orange, and Green Belt Curriculum
  • Ensure that you know the Green and Blue material
  • Ensure that you know at least 2/3 of the Brown Belt material
  • Demonstrated competency in sparring, and can safely spare with contact
  • Have sparred at least 5 times in the Novice Colour Belt classes
  • Recorded at least 1/3 of your hours at Advanced and 1/3 at Novice Colour Belt classes
  • Demonstrated competency in safe firearms handling for Pistol, Rifle, and Shotgun
  • Have trained in, or demonstrated that you have completed, enough live fire training
  • Demonstrated competency in the ability to teach all levels of UTKM material

Black Belt Test – Fee $400

  • Completed a minimum of 400 hours at Brown Belt
  • Completed at least one Brown Belt Progress Assessment
  • Continued to advance your fundamentals in Warrior and Defense Classes
  • Continued to advance your novice skills in the Novice Colour Belt classes
  • Have attended enough Advanced classes to know and teach all levels of UTKM techniques
  • Ensure than you know all levels of theory
  • Demonstrated competency in sparring, and can safely spare with contact
  • Recorded at least 1/3 of your hours at Advanced and 1/3 at Novice Colour Belt classes
  • Demonstrated competency in safe firearms handling for Pistol, Rifle, and Shotgun
  • Have trained in, or demonstrated that you have completed, enough live fire training
  • Demonstrated competency in live fire training
  • Have volunteered a min of 20 times for testing or assessments at all levels
  • Demonstrated competency in Krav Maga application for civilian, security, and law enforcement
  • Are physically and mentally ready for the test, as determined by your instructor, including the ability to complete a minimum 5km weighted run
  • Have prepared for the written portion of the test by studying the UTKM Blog, Guides, and Advanced Class theory notes
  • Are prepared to teach beginner, novice, and advanced students
  • Have achieved a Blue Belt, or higher, in BJJ or comparable grappling style

*Testing fees are subject to change unilaterally by UTKM.

UTKM Belts – Our Story & Process Audio

What is a Belt? From the martial arts point of view, a belt is a milestone, a marker of progress (sometimes a weapon!). I couldn’t tell you why belts became common practice for ranking in the martial arts, though I am sure someone out there could tell you. What I can tell you is that belts, or more specifically the Judo system of belts, were chosen early on in Krav Maga to recognize progression. Later, circa 1996, a patch system was added when IKMF, one of the first major Krav Maga offshoots, was formed. IKMF opted to go with the, now famous, patch system, using the ranks Practitioner 1-5, Graduate 1-5, Expert 1-5, and Master.

UTKM Ranking System

So it was that, when forming a Krav Maga school with no direct parent organization, there were 2 choices; the Belt system or the Patch system. UTKM opted for the belt system for the following reasons:

  1. Belts are more recognizable, globally, in the martial arts world, and are easier for people to comprehend without a detailed explanation.
  2. It was Imi’s original choice and we stuck with that tradition.
  3. We felt that the patch system comes across as gimmicky and has far too many levels, which, in our opinion, is a cash cow scheme. Though it was probably created to relate more to the target market of Police and Military members rather than the general populous.
  4. Belts are harder to lose and easier to pass down.
Our belts have now evolved into what you see below:
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UTKM Branded Belts

In choosing the final design we thought about Krav Maga, and how it is designed to be practical. Thus, we wanted our belts to have practical purposes beyond indicating a rank and being a symbol of UTKM. Just like our students, we wanted them to be something more. The following are possible uses for the belt (assuming you keep it with you or even wear it outside of class).

  1. A weapon of opportunity – Due to the hard, metal D-rings, the belt can be easily taken off and wielded as a weapon against would-be attackers.
  2. An emergency rescue tool – Because our belts are made of strong webbing (seat-belt material) they could be used to pull someone, hold something, or brace a limb in an emergency situation.
  3. A tourniquet – In a true emergency our belts can easily be used to stop bleeding, assuming, of course, you are familiar with first aid practices.

This is just a short list, as the only limit is the imagination. Like Krav Maga, our belts are meant to be practical and adaptable to the given situation, and, of course, will look stylish in the process with the UTKM branding. Who knows, perhaps our belts will literally save someone’s life someday.

Lastly, at UTKM we pass down our belts when someone earns their next belt. We adopted this from the Israeli Defence Force (IDF), where Sergeants  and Officers, at various points in progress, will pass down their Beret or Pins to the soldiers who they feel are most deserving.

Every time a person earns a belt they write their name in a permanent marker on the back of that new belt. Upon achieving the next belt level they give their old belt back to the school, becoming a “lineage belt.” When the next round of tests comes for a colour for which we have lineage belts, we will give these belts, with their collection of names, to the students who we feel, for whatever reason, exemplify the qualities of UTKM students. The new belt holder adds their name to the lineage belt, and it continues the cycle.   When a belt has 5 signatures/names it is retired, hung up for all to see on our Wall of Belts. (We have yet to create this Wall, as no belt has collected five names, but, when the time comes we will build with Joy!)

So, assuming there is a lineage belt to give away at the conclusion of a test consider these qualities:

  1. Courage & Strength – There have been cases where our students have had to overcome major challenges, be they mental or physical, to pass their test. Students have injured themselves during a test, but fought through to complete it, or were injured prior to testing but pushed through rather than rescheduling.
  2. Spirit & Attitude – Some students are always in class and never have excuses, no matter what is going on in their life. Or they have gone out of their way to bolster their classmates, and promote the school and what it represents.

Do you have what it takes to achieve a UTKM milestone and earn a belt from us? Even better, will you prove to us that you have what it takes to receive a lineage belt? There’s only one way to find out.

So ask yourself, Can you be turned from a lamb into a lion?