Testing, Coaching and Rank Systems

Combat sports programs around the world all have ranking systems. From the traditional to the creative. They exist in every shape and form. The industry standard to how this works is that someone trains for a bit, the head instructor announces that there will be testing for the next rank. The student is then required to pay a fee (amount varies) to attend the test and to test for his or her next rank. Upon successful completion of the testing, the students gets something to signify the next rank whether it’s a different colored belt, prajiad, shorts, shirt, certificate, etc. Always in my experience has it been that the fee to test is applied to the belt or shorts or shirt that the student gets. Especially if the testing fee was expensive.

For coaches, these individuals should obviously be constantly training and learning and sharpening their techniques so that when they teach, the technique can be demonstrated properly and explained correctly. Also, working knowledge of the technique will add more to the process.

Do you think coaches should be forced or mandated to test to the next rank whenever they can? What if they cannot afford the fee? What if their technique and training are still constant, but they don’t test for the next rank? And then what if they test, pass the test and then have to pay more for the belt or short or shirt? What do you think?