Grading Checklist

On this page, you’ll find a checklist of the techniques that will be evaluated at the upcoming November 2017 Belt Rank Gradings.

If you’re going to be participating at this event, you can use the checklist to prepare for your belt grading.

Remember: it’s not just about “the technique” – it’s also an opportunity to showcase your focus, determination, powerful execution and follow-through, and to put your perseverance and fighting spirit to the test. Good luck!

The Syllabus is listed below – if you want to return to the Gradings Booking and Information Page, please click here.

Grd Yellow

1. Briefly explain COLOUR CODING for states of awareness – using white, yellow, orange, red – a trainee must understand and be able to explain the application of the different stages of deliberate awareness.


2. THE “3 C’s” – a trainee must be able to explain and demonstrate the application of Clear, Control and Counter.

3. RELAXATION – a trainee should be able to demonstrate the basic relaxed “sitting down” posture to enable easy movement. Hands should be up and in play, chin should be tucked, a posture of relaxed alertness, the entire body moving as one unit. This should be added to by practicing and demonstrating the principle of parrying or redirecting an incoming force (like a push or punch) by sinking, rotating, stepping off the line of attack, and redirecting the attacker’s force with minimum strength or force being exerted.

4. BREATHING – a trainee should be able to demonstrate focused and forceful breathing (exhaling) by way of 4 examples – striking a pad with a straight punch, pushing a partner away forcefully, resisting somebody trying to move them, and by accepting light to moderate punches to the abdomen.



5. The “Alien Face” strike to the eyes – a trainee should be able to demonstrate this as an arms-length strike, as well as a close-up grab with the opponent’s head being held.

6. The “Blade Hand” or “Coffee Cup” strike to the throat – a trainee should also be able to apply these from different angles and situations.

7. “Bowling” to the groin – as well as a swinging / slapping strike, this must also be practiced as a close range grab / rip technique.

8. The “Big 3” sequence of rapid strikes – the trainee should be able to demonstrate this sequence of strikes.

9. Hammerfist Strikes – delivered vertically, horizontally, and in flowing combinations and sequences. The emphasis here is on delivering strikes using hip ‘flick’ and body rotation – the motions are identical to the cutting and stabbing motions for short knife use with an icepick grip.

10. The “Stab Punch” – essentially a straight punch delivered like a boxing jab or cross, using the ‘shoulder slap’ technique to fold around the centre of the body and increase speed.

11. The “Parry Punch” – a punch delivered simultaneously with a parry performed with the other hand or forearm – very similar to the traditional Krav Maga “knife parry and punch” method.

12. “Cup Hand” strike to the ear/s – fingers together, palm cupped, delivered singly or to both ears.

13. Secondary Targets – the trainee should demonstrate familiarity with the following:
– Nose (Any general strikes)
– Side of neck / base of skull (Hammerfist or Blade Hand strikes)
– Spine (Elbow Strikes)
– Small joints (such as fingers – twist or break)
– Shins / ankles (Scoop Kick or stomping)


14. Elbow Strikes (3 directions – upward, across, and spiking downward)

15. Clinch / Collar Hook with Knee Strikes – the trainee should be familiar with the ‘clasped hands’ clinch, the Collar Hook, and the delivery of knee strikes to the groin or midsection.


16. The Groin Kick – fast snapping delivery of the instep to the groin.

17. The Push Kick – stomping kick delivered to groin / midsection to thrust opponent away.

18. The Thai Kick – swinging kick delivered to the outside of the thigh as a crippling nerve strike.

19. The Scoop Kick – short stomping kick to the shin at close range using the inside blade of the foot.


Parrying, as taught within our system, is not intended to be ‘defensive’ in nature, but rather to be a means of bypassing an opponent’s defences by nullifying and frustrating his attack. For this reason, the variety of movements are distilled into 4 principle-based categories.

20. The “Paddle Wheel” principle – this broadly defines movements which are circular and cyclical in nature, like the wheel on a paddle steamer. This category also includes spiral parrying movements, and sweeping parrying movements in vertical, horizontal and diagonal planes.

21. The “Empty Space Intercept” principle – this broadly defines movements which involve reaching a hand, arm or other limb into the space around or near an incoming attack so as to intercept it and redirect it. At a higher level of practice, this also includes the technique of striking an incoming limb so as to injure it.

22. The “Elbow Shield” principle – this includes using the elbows and forearms to shield the head, using the elbows in linear or rotary parrying motions, and using the elbows to attack an incoming limb.

23. The “Avoidance” principle – this simply means any movement that intelligently removes a target out of the way of an attempted attack. This can include a rollback movement, doing a ‘banana’ motion with the body, slipping the head out of the way, twisting the body, etc.

24. The trainee is required to demonstrate very soft “flow” sparring, at around 30% contact and speed.


Grd Orange


1. Response to wrist grabs – the “Elbow Strike” principle (This technique and variants apply to same side grab, cross hand grab, both hands on one wrist, and both wrists being held. Because of the variety of wrist grabs possible, the individual techniques vary, but the use of the elbow as a common denominator is the reason for the name of this group of techniques).

2. Response to a shirt grab – the “Arm Swing” (This applies to single or double hand grab).

3. Response to a frontal choke – the “Hair Gel”.

4. Response to a side choke – the “Groin slap and hand pluck”.

5. Response to a bent-over choke (bully choke) – the “Groin slap and posture break”.

6. Response to a rear choke (with forearm) – the “Reverse Out”. (Note that this technique does not apply to an MMA / JiuJitsu rear naked choke).

7. Response to a bear hug (arms trapped) – the “Hip Twist”.

8. Response to a bear hug (arms free) – the “Knuckles of death”.

9. Response to a hair grab – the “Double Tap”.


10. The “Bicycle Wheel” disarm vs a gun presented at head level

11. The “Hook ‘n Lock” disarm vs a gun presented at mid level.

12. The “Armpit Hug” disarm vs a gun presented at mid or high level. (Moving to both the outside and the inside of the gun arm).

13. The “Scoop and Hug” disarm vs a gun presented at low level.

14. The “Wrist Pluck” disarm vs a gun at low level, usually when the gun is a little more out of reach.

15. The “Push/Pull” disarm vs a gun held close to the opponent’s body. This can be performed in a number of different ways depending on relative size, reach, and where the weapon is held.


16. The “Slap and Run” response to a mid-level knife holdup threat. This can also include a slap / arm trap / Alien Face takedown version.

17. The “Hook ‘n Lock” disarm vs a knife holdup at mid level / high level.

18. The “Armpit Hug” disarm vs a knife holdup at mid level / high level. This can comprise of a direct stab back at the opponent, or a version where the knife arm is trapped and the knife is struck out of the hand.

19. The “Scoop and Hug” disarm vs a knife holdup at low level.

20. The “Push/Pull” disarm vs a knife holdup at low level.

21. The trainee is required to engage in soft sparring, around 50% force and speed.


Grd Green


Combative striking techniques using a knife or small impact weapon:

1. Holding a knife in the Home position.

2. “Stitching Stabs” – Stabbing or striking using a fast hammerfist motion with alternate free hand jamming or striking the opponent.

3. 4-directional slashing (vertical, horizontal, side to side).

4. The “Punch Out” technique – almost identical to the “Stab Punch” learned at Yellow Belt.

5. The “Paddle Wheel” technique – identical to the empty hand parry technique learned at Yellow Belt, except that this is a fast attack.

6. The “Clapping Hands” technique vs an opponent grabbing or punching directly toward you.

7. The “Parry Punch” technique vs an opponent swinging a punch or weapon. This is identical to the technique of the same name learned at Yellow Belt.

8. The “Elbow Swimming” technique to retain your weapon against an attempted grab or hug.



9. The “Hook ‘n Lock” vs gun presented from the rear (usually mid or low level).

10. The “Scoop and Hug” vs gun presented from the rear (usually mid or low level).

11. The “Armpit Hug” vs gun presented from the rear (usually head height).

12. The “Push / Pull” disarm vs gun presented from the rear, close to the opponent.

13. Disarm vs gun to side of head, hostage style – the “Gun Twist” disarm.

14. Disarm vs gun to back of neck / head, hostage style – the “Sit and Turn” disarm.

15. The “Clap Hands” disarm vs gun presented past your own body (hostage situation, gun aimed at someone else).


16. The “Hook ‘n Lock” disarm vs knife presented from the rear (usually mid or low level).

17. The “Scoop and Hug” disarm vs knife presented from the rear (usually mid or low level).

18. The “Armpit Hug” disarm vs knife presented from the rear (usually higher).

19. The “Push/Pull” disarm vs knife presented from the rear, close to the opponent.

20. Disarm vs knife to throat from front, conventional grip, right hand side – “Hook ‘n Lock” disarm.

21. Disarm vs knife to throat from front, conventional grip, left hand side – “Armpit Hug” disarm followed by return slash.

22. Disarm vs knife to throat from rear, hostage style – “Reverse Out” (with rib stab).


23. The “Slap & Trap” principle can be used against all modes and directions of knife attack – icepick stab, rising or straight stab, forehand slash, and backhand slash. From the Home Position (hands against chest), ‘slap’ outward to ward off or seize the attacking arm, sweeping it downward. Instantaneously, get onto the arm, take it across your body, sit into a solid wide squat, and trap the arm against your legs while twisting / dragging the opponent off balance. From there, strike the back of the knife hand to force the opponent to release the knife.

A variant of this principle can include trapping the arm and levering / throwing the opponent to the ground so that you are lying or kneeling on the arm to pin it while gaining control of the knife.


24. Overhand swing – “Bounce Off” or “Sweep Down” disarm.

25. Backhand swing – “Sweep Down” disarm.

26. Two-handed swing – “Sweep Down” disarm.

75. Jab or bayonet type strike – “Scoop and Rip” disarm.


27. Escaping kicks on the ground – “Turtle Crawl” and regain footing.

28. Escaping from the mount – “Hug and Bridge” principle.

29. Applying the guard position, and getting opponent out of guard – “Scoot Out” principle.

30. Applying the Low and High Side Control.

31. Applying the Rear Naked Choke.

32. Escaping the Rear Naked Choke, standing and on the ground.

33. The trainee is required to engage in moderate contact sparring, around 60% contact and speed.


Grd Blue


1. The Systema Punch – a punch delivered using body rotation, most commonly with the arm bent, in a variety of directions, using a tensionless “heavy hands” and relaxed arm method of imparting force to an opponent’s body.

2. The Double Strike principle – this refers to the ability to land two strikes at the same time. This can include:
– Striking two opponents simultaneously.
– Striking with two different bodyparts, eg fist and elbow.
– Compression striking, eg striking the face and the base of the skull to create compressive force.

3. The Supported Strike – using an arm wedge to add power to a strike. This is either a swung strike or a push using the wrist (Tai Chi Press).

4. The Foreknuckle Strike – using the foreknuckles to strike into a throat, incoming limb, or other target.


5. Wrist hold with chest pat (preventing a punch or weapon draw).

6. “Window of opportunity” or Arm Drag against a holstered or lowered weapon.


7. Collar Hook into Alien Face.

8. Collar hook into Elbow Spike.

9. Collar Hook into Arm Drag.

10. Clinch into Passing the Head.

11. Neck pull into Foot Sweep.


12. Lever knife disarm #1 vs icepick stab – “salute” grip with twist forward to strip knife away.

13. Lever knife disarm #2 vs icepick stab – bring knife down to the right and strip it away using the right wrist or shoulder.

14. Lever knife disarm #3 vs icepick stab (in the event of missing the wrist in #1) – bring the knife down and strip away as in #2 or #8.

15. Lever knife disarm #4 vs rising / straight stab – “swing” technique, strip knife away using left wrist, shoulder, or elbow.

16. Lever knife disarm #5 vs forehand slash – “swing” technique, same strip out as #4.

17. Lever knife disarm #6 vs backhand slash – same as #4 and #5.

18. Lever knife disarm #7 vs reverse grip (icepick grip) slash – swing down, do same as #2, #3 or #8.

19 . Lever knife disarm #8 vs horizontal icepick stab (stitching) – swing down and lever knife away from body using left wrist.

20. “Strike Out” knife disarm, high and low level.


21 . The Americana from mount or side control.

22 . The Armbar from mount or side control.

23 . The Arm Triangle Choke from mount or guard.

24 . The Kimura from the guard.

25 . The Knee Arm Break from the guard.

26. The trainee is required to engage in fast sparring, around 70% contact and speed.


Grd Brown


1 . The Home Position (hip or shoulder).

2 . Snap Strokes delivered with a return to the Home Position.

3 . The “Short Stab” technique.

4 . The “Double Punch” technique.

5 . The Hilt Strike at close range.

6 . “Elbow Swimming” for weapon retention.


7 . The “Rugby Ball” disarm applied with one hand.

8 . The “Thumb Grab” disarm.

9 . The “X-Grip” disarm.

10 . The “Scoop and Hug” vs a gun held low at opponent’s side or behind the back.

11 . The adapted “Push / Pull” disarm, or Alien Face Takedown vs a gun held high and out of reach (often combined with a frontal push or grab from the opponent).

12 . Gun disarm, kneeling, gun to forehead – rising “Bicycle Wheel” disarm.

13 . Gun disarm, kneeling, gun to back of head – rotate and modified Armpit Hug disarm with takedown.

14 . Gun to back of head, lying on stomach with opponent on top of you – “Hug and Shrimp” disarm.


15 . Arm Trap and Alien Face / Pass the head / Elbow Drag takedown (against forehand and backhand strikes).


16 . Knife or gun presented from front – Hook ‘n Lock, Strike Out, or Elbow Drag disarm.

17 . Seated vs rear hostage knife to throat – “Clasp Hands” disarm.

18 . Knife or gun in hand of someone walking past – Elbow Drag disarm.

19 . Knife or gun presented as holdup across a table – “Across the body” posture break and disarm.

20 . Knife stabbing attack across table – “Across the body” parry / posture break and disarm.


21 . Frontal holdup mid / high level – Modified Hook and Lock disarm.

22 . Frontal holdup low level / out of reach – Alien Face Takedown.

23 . Rear holdup – Modified Hook and Lock or Modified Scoop and Hug disarm.

24 . Rifle or shotgun cradled in hip – Push and Rip disarm.


25 . Stab with garden fork or spade – Modified Hook and Lock disarm.

26 . Swinging attack with chain or electric cable or sectioned weapon – Wrist Wrap disarm.

27 . Swinging attack with axe – Recoil Strike disarm.

28 . Rear choke with cable, rope or wire – Turn and Hug disarm.


29 . Applying the Scissor Choke from mount or half mount.

30 . Applying the Leg Triangle Choke from guard.

31 . Applying the Reverse Armbar from Side Control.

32 . Applying the Omoplata from the guard.

33 . Applying the Hell Strangle from a standing position into a takedown.

34 . D’Arce Choke (standing) into Anaconda Choke.

35 . Gun / Knife disarm using Hook ‘n Lock or Armpit Trap against mounted opponent weapon near face.

36 . Knife disarm vs a stabbing attack with opponent sitting on you – “Steeple” method with armpit trap and roll off, or Hook and Lock with bridge.


37 . The “Drag and Trap” gun disarm technique vs a gun presented near or through a vehicle window.

38 . The “Press and Disable” technique vs a gun or knife presented alongside in a vehicle.

39 . The “Elbow Drag” disarm variant vs a gun presented alongside, folded arms concealment.

40 . The modified Armpit Hug vs a gun presented alongside to the head.

41 . The “Slider” technique vs a rope choke from the back seat.

42. Sparring: the trainee is required to spar robustly, at around 80% force and contact.


Gradings Booking and Information Page