The Grading System

Although gradings aren’t the be all and end all of student progression, they do provide an indication of the student’s ability to defend themselves at that period of time.

The Krav Maga grading system is divided into 3 main categories; Practitioner, Graduate and Expert Levels. IKMF students can participate in classes, testing or workshops/seminars worldwide where they see the IKMF logo by simply showing their IKMF Passport, which they receive after taking their first test. Most Krav Maga students are ready for the level 1 test after 3-6 months (mandatory minimum) and thereafter every 6 months (subject to regular and intensive training). IKMF gradings are conducted by expert members of the IKMF global training team.

Each level has its own badges of merit which are colour coded as described

Practioner Level (P1-P5)

These are practitioner grading levels for Krav Maga students. The Students’ uniforms have white trim & logos on black attire. Their grading patches are gold with black bars representing their level i.e. 2 bar = Practitioner Level 2 (P2). The Practitioner Levels of Krav Maga are the core of the system. Students learn how to defend against the most common attacks, as well as building on their fighting skills and learning how to avoid a situation or what to do after a confrontation. Training also improves fitness, strength, flexibility and mental determination.

Graduate Level (G1-G5)

These are mainly Krav Maga instructors who wear red trim & logos on black attire. There may also be G level students who have not taken the instructor’s certification, thus don’t wear red trimmed uniforms. The grading patches are cobalt blue with black bars representing their level i.e. 1 bar = Graduate Level 1 (G1). Students are eligible to move into the Graduate program 6 months after completing their P5 grade. More advanced skills are taught at G level, including dealing with more complicated situations. Students are expected to have a full understanding of all the P grades and continue to keep those skills at a high level whilst progressing through the Graduate program.

Expert Level (E1-E5)

These are high level instructors. Usually specialising or assisting in other areas such as Police, Special Units or Military instruction, in addition to their civilian qualification. Expert Instructors’ uniforms have gold trim & logos. Their grading patches are gold with red bars.


The first tip I can give you is to do your best in the first five minutes. The tester can usually predict who passes in the first five minutes. Clean technique, body language and explosiveness in the attack are components that will not change during the test.
Second tip: do your best at all times. Don’t try to just show your best while you are being watched; we have eyes in the back of our heads.
Third Tip: As testers we are looking for certain checkpoints to see if the principle part of the technique is preformed correctly. We look for common mistakes. For example: to avoid this mistake make sure to check that danger in eliminated fully before ending the exercise.
Fourth Tip: The tester will dedicate most of his attention to the first part of the test, therefore it is important the tested trainee understands what he is doing and why, so if the tester changes the parameters of the exercise in terms of distance or attack angle i.e the tested trainee will know how to adapt.
Last Tip: convince the tester that you will be able to successfully perform this technique on the street if you are attacked.


Step one: A technical examinations on exercises out of the relevant syllabus in which the trainee is being tested.

Step Two: Examining the trainee’s abilities to perform techniques from the same category, such as chokes or grips, that are included in the syllabus starting from P1 level up to, and including the tested level.

Step Three: Performing defenses against unknown attacks. The trainee begins each exercise from an eye – open position. At this phase the trainee will be tested on his tactical level and proficiency in terms of choosing the right technique at the right timing. This phase of the test also includes performing defenses against unknown attacks while The trainee begins each exercise from an eye – closed position. At this phase the trainee will be tested on his free skills to handle unknown attacks.

Step four: Zombie Game: Defending against a variety of attack(armed and unarmed) s. The student should aim to employ solutions that are as close to the curriculum technique as possible according to the tested level.

Step Five: Fighting Skills: Starting from slow fighting through light fighting (without protective gear) and progressing to full protective gear fight against multiple attackers in accordance with the tested level.


When several levels are tested simultaneously the testing will be conducted as follows:
  • Each level will take step one of the test, one after the other, according to ranking, starting with the lowest rank.
  • As soon as the trainee tested is done with step one he will retire to rest.
  • Once step one is completed all the tested trainees from every level will return and continue to be tested on the following steps above.