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Earning your Black Belt represents a significant personal achievement. It requires persistence, resilience, discipline and virtue (our core training values). The path to Black Belt for WMAA students begins with your first assessment (or "grading") for Yellow Belt.   

Our approach

WMAA students progress from White Belt to Black Belt via a series of competency-based assessments.

Students are promoted as they demonstrate their competence against the core skill requirements for each Belt level. Accordingly, dedicated students (or those with prior training) may be promoted more than one level based on their demonstrated competency at grading.

Students undertake their test as a group with other students at the same belt level. In other words, all White Belts test as a group (allowing families training together to grade together).

Each candidate is individually assessed against core competencies and feedback is provided to the group or to individuals following each grading performance. Assessment outcomes are formally recorded in candidates' Achievement Record Cards, which are dated and endorsed with the Grandmaster's personal seal and signature.  

Gradings are held at the end of each 10 week training cycle at a central location. 

Our approach is to teach efficiently within each 10 week cycle; to prepare students to demonstrate core competencies at the end-of-cycle grading ceremony; and to begin the next 10 week cycle with a new set of challenges.

After each grading, students are encouraged to actively reflect on past learnings to improve their own skills and to share these learnings with others.      


WMAA students apply for grading using the Grading Application Form

Students return their completed form, Achievement Record Card, and relevant fee to their Instructor.

Details regarding each grading ceremony, its location, starting time and return dates for forms, cards and fees are set out in an invitation notice distributed to WMAA students several weeks ahead of the proposed ceremony.

White belts

WMAA White Belts are encouraged to attend the first available grading after commencing lessons with us.

Our approach is to seize every learning opportunity and reset your view of how effectively you can learn with a clear goal in mind.

For many White Belts, the first available grading only gives your instructor a brief training window to prepare you. However, they are highly practised in this regard and our White Belt program is specifically designed to support that method of teaching and learning. 

Our aim here is to train you to make small, forward steps constantly and not to confuse competence with perfection. If perfection were the grading expectation, no one would ever apply to grade.

The feeling of accomplishment from backing yourself at this early stage and applying for grading cannot be over-emphasised. It sets you on a positive course toward greater challenges.

Still in doubt? Trust the program. Trust the process. Trust yourself. We do.           

transfers from other schools  

Students transferring from non-WMAA schools with assessed ranks present as White Belts for their first grading.

You are independently assessed by Grandmaster Walsh at the equivalent WMAA Belt level based on your demonstrated competency

As the leading school in Australia in receiving and assessing transfers, this approach has proven to be the fairest and most efficient way to account for assessment disparities that may exist in non-WMAA schools. 

ceremony dates 2024

Grading ceremonies will be convened in these State/Territory Capitals:

  • CANBERRA (ACT): 9 April; 2 July; 24 September; and 10 December 2024 | Convenors: Master Peter Halliwell 5th Dan, Master Trevor Corver 5th Dan and Master Ross McLennan 5th Dan
  • SYDNEY City (NSW): 21 March; 20 June; 12 September; and 12 December 2024 | Convenor: Master Alan Lau 5th Dan
  • SYDNEY Northern Beaches (NSW): 11 April; 27 June; 19 September; and 3 December 2024 | Convenor: Master Ricky Young 5th Dan
  • MELBOURNE (Vic):  4 May; 10 August; and 30 November 2024 | Convenors: Master Bryce Howie 5th Dan and Master Anna Crompton 5th Dan

Grading ceremonies will also be convened at:

  • Australian Defence Force Academy (ACT): TBA | Convenor: Mr Leydon 3rd Dan
  • ACT Schools Program (ACT): TBA | Convenor: Ms E. Walsh