How things work...



Full, clean suit and belt, weapons, sparring equipment. You should have completed your knowledge test and fitness assessment before grading day. The knowledge test can be found on the Documents and Information page of this website - print off the sections up to and including the grade you are testing for, complete them and hand them to your instructor. Fitness tests will be completed in class with your instructor.

Arrive around 15 minutes before your grading to allow time to settle in. Please don't arrive too early. We have to set up the room and you will have more time to get nervous. You may bring a drink for after the grading, but no food or drink should be consumed in the hall - and that includes spectators. Please do not bring your hot drinks into the grading hall; you will be asked to remove them.

Phones must be turned to silent and photography is permitted, but please ask permission before publishing on any public sites. Your membership form has a section regarding this - if you do not consent to being photographed, it is important that you let us know.


Firstly, be consistent in your training. Look at the website - it has all the information you require. Please print off a copy of the Student Manual - 10th Gup to 1st Gup - it shows the requirements for each grade level and has links to the YouTube videos that will help with practice. Our YouTube Channel is ATMA Martial Arts, please subscribe; it doesn't cost anything and is safe for children.

We operate 3 sections for grading - Section 1...10th to 7th Gup (Yellow tag, Yellow, Orange and Orange tag belts), Section 2...6th to 4th Gup (Green, Green one tag and Green two tag belts) and Section 3...3rd to 1st Gup (Red, Red one tag and Red two tag belts). You will be given a time to arrive for your grading section when we have the final lists. They will be run in the order of 1,2,3, so lower grades will be on first. We have split these sections so that we minimise the number of people in the room at any time.

Candidates will be called up in their grades and will perform the required syllabus in front of a panel of Dan grades (Black belts). When they have completed their sections, they will be expected to sit, cross legged and quiet, at the side of the room until the rest of their section has finished. Successful candidates will be presented with their belt and certificate, on the day, when their section is complete. You may then leave. Any failures will be spoken to by their assessor and advised as to what they need to improve upon. Gradings are £20 and you do not pay for retakes. There is a facility within our Online Store on the website to pay for your grading and the Grading Application form can be found in the Documents and Information section of the website.

What you'll need...

This note is intended mainly for our new students, but our old hands should still look through it to make sure you have everything you need for your training.


This is your insurance. The cost of membership is £25 per annum. This can be paid in one or as a monthly standing order. Both options are available in the online store. You will need this before you are permitted to belt test.


Suits are currently £21 for child sizes (160cm and below) adult sizes are £26. Suits are available to order from your instructor when you are ready and committed.


These are belt tests and cost £20. We ordinarily run belt tests every three months (March, June, September and December) but the schedule is still a little disrupted by Covid. Dates of belt tests are announced in classes, on the website and on the ATMA students group. If you would like to be added to the ATMA students group, add 'Laura ATMA Fisher' as a Facebook friend and we'll add you to the group.

You will need to pass a fitness test and submit a written test before being allowed to grade. Details of both of these can be found on this site. Fitness tests can be found by clicking on the Fitness Tests tab on the menu. Knowledge assessments are on the Documents and Info tab for both children and adults. The information to help you complete these tests in under the Background Info tab.


A note went out when we returned after the final lockdown about having your own kit to minimise contamination. This has not changed. Even without Covid, shared kit can lead to things like ringworm being passed around.

You will need:

1. Pads. Either focus pads or thai pads. Examples of both are shown on the ATMA Student group on Facebook.

2. Bo staff. It's the big sticks you see us waving around. Fancy carbon graphite ones are available online from £25 upwards. Master Fisher has two types of wooden bo staff available (£12-15). If you have small children, broomsticks will do the job, or a piece of dowling rod from B&Q (with the added bonus that they can decorate the ends to personalise them). Remember, carbon graphite will not take the contact work as well as wood will!

3. Rubber/wooden knife. (between £4 and £12) Knife form is a syllabus requirement from red belt onwards. You can have your own at any time, but in the case of children, this is at the parents' discretion.

4. Sparring kit. Now that we can have contact again, we will be making a return to sparring. You will need:

-Boxing gloves (around 8oz for kids, 10-12oz plus for adults. The heavier you are, the more padded your gloves should be)

-Shin/ foot protection. This can either be in the form of boots with separate shin protection or combined. Examples are shown on the ATMA Students group on Facebook. Again, choose something that looks weight and size appropriate. Tiny padding is for tiny people.

-Headguard. Examples are shown on the ATMA Students group on Facebook. They are available with face guards based on personal choice.

- Groin/ chest protection. We strongly recommend that all males wear a groin protector. The reasons why are obvious. Once breasts have developed, I would recommend chest protection (it is optional). Most female chest protectors are terribly designed, usually by people without breasts but I'll present several examples that may suit. Female groin guards are also available, but are utterly pointless.

-Gumshield. These vary from the pricey, dentist made ones to cheap, 'boil in the bag' models. If you have a small child/ still growing mouth/ don't spar that often, a cheap one will do. If you compete/ spar regularly and you have all your adult teeth, you may want to consider a moulded one. Gumshields do not just save teeth, but they prevent teeth cutting the inside of your mouth.

Latest comments

29.08 | 08:59

Hello Karl, I would recommend Mondays at Ashlawn school...

29.08 | 08:14

Hello. I have two children ages 14 &15, neither with any MA experie...

01.02 | 21:45

Hi Charlie, We have 2 classes in Rugby. Monday's at 6pm Ashlawn school...

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Hi looking for a class for 10yr old in rugby please