Preparing for the Yellow Belt Test in November

Just like in other self-defense systems, Krav Maga has different belts (or levels) that identify you based on your experience and training. With each belt, you gain the ability to learn more advanced techniques/defenses. In Krav, the belt system is no belt, Yellow, Orange, Green, Blue, and so on. You don’t get a belt for just showing up for an hour long test or class. In Krav, you have to seriously work for it. We’re talking tests that last for days. Literally.

No seriously, I’m not kidding.

Chris and I talked to B and his son after class last week about the belt test they just took (and passed) a few weekends ago. “It was the hardest thing I’ve physically ever done,” he said. Yikes! That’s intense coming from a guy who is solid muscle.

The review was between six and seven hours long and then the test was another two solid hours. 100%. Non-stop. Full speed ahead. I’m thinking of taking the test at the beginning of November and I’m terrified.

With other kinds of tests, you’ll usually hear one or two people say “Oh, that was easy…” But I have heard NO ONE say that. Everyone has been worn smooth out.

Which makes me think I need to start preparing now. So, here’s my plan:

  • I’m going to start running and working out with Chris on the days we don’t go to Krav.
  • I’m going to work up to going to every Level 1 class I can. By the end of October, I will be going to every possible Krav class, including multiple classes per night.
  • My birthday is coming up too. So in celebration of that, I’m going to treat myself to a one-on-one session with one of my favorite instructors (that is, if I can afford it).
  • A week before the test, I’m going to hit the Krav and Crossfit classes hard.
  • Rest up a few days before the test.
  • Pass.

I’ve already looked over what we have to know for the test and there’s still a lot I’m not 100% on, but that’s why I’m going to train like it’s going out of style.

As far as nutrition goes, I’m already pretty good about what I eat. Over the next month, I’m going to try extra hard to consume less sodium, refined sugars, fried anything, etc. Drink lots more water. And eat lots more fruits and veggies (which shouldn’t be too hard, because I’m already a vegetarian.)

Any thoughts on this plan? What helped you guys prepare for your belt tests?

6 Replies to “Preparing for the Yellow Belt Test in November”

  1. Just like any other test, you need to prepare. Train but do not overtrain. Overtraining sometimes does more harm than good. Go over each technique outlined in the criteria. If you dont know it or arent sure, ask questions. If you dont feel good about the test, or dont feel ready, dont do it. Dont think of it as a race. I would much rather be confident and pass doing 110% than just enough to pass. You have only been doing this for a few months. Dont rush it.

    I stated earlier that overtraining can do more bad than good. About a month prior to my test I started coming to class 30 minutes early and going over technique alone. That was the only extra training I did, but I did attend fight class and conditioning class on a regular basis. A week before the test I didnt train for about 5 days before the test. I have trained like this for all rank tests in Muay Thai and Savate and by giving myself this rest period, I am more than fresh for the test. I also use this theory: If I dont feel ready a month before testing, then I am not ready. Technique should be solid and confident before your test. There’s no cramming! LOL

    And finally, have fun. Dont stress too much. Listen to your instructors. If they tell you that you are not quite ready, then dont test. If they feel you are prepared, then go for it.

  2. Thanks Kimberly! Even I decide I’m not ready to take the test, I’m still going to go to the review… just to get a taste for the torture! (HA!)

    Thanks for the suggestions!

  3. I would definitely suggest a lot of cardio and conditioning work when you can. The Yellow Belt test is 3-4 hours long at our studio, and it takes stamina to keep up your energy for that long. I suggest running at least 2-3 miles everyday that you are not going to class, maybe more if you are comfortable with it. But mix it up, run 1-mile at a good pace, then drop and do pushups or crunches, or other activities that are strength related but hard to do after you are out of breath, then start running again immediately. This will get you in the mindset of pushing through the tired.

    My other suggestion is to go hard, but not necessarily fast unless they ask for fast. I know our instructors are more concerned with a hard hit than a fast one in the Level 1 (Yellow Belt) test.

    Good luck, you’ll ace it!

  4. That’s a great idea for running… I can’t always make it to the Crossfit and bag classes at my gym, so this will be a good way to start to incorporate that in!

    You make such a good point about going hard, but not necessarily fast… I’m extremely guilty of going fast in the beginning of my classes and then slowing down at the end when I get tired. I’ll try to reverse that for more endurance training by going strong and slow at first and then working up to going faster by the end.

    Thanks for the recommendations!

  5. Another veggie who trains krav maga? I´m very proud of you!! =D

    I´m training here in brazil, and I´m the only veggie in the whole school I guess haha

  6. I passed the level two test last year and now I’m ready to take the level three test. I feel it requires 20% strength training, 20% cardio training and 60% technique practice.

    Upper-body weight training, running and lots of practice will get you ready. Be able to recognize the name of the techniques and be able to execute them correctly and without hesitation.

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