There are 9 belts between beginner and Dan grade (black belt). Usually it is possible to obtain the dan grade level within 4 – 5 years of training twice a week. Learning the techniques and kata’s is the easier part of the training, perfecting them to the required level for grading is where the hard work begins.
The belt sequence can vary from club to club, here is the order that we use.
- 9th Kyu – Red belt (or red with white stripe)
- 8th Kyu – Yellow belt
- 7th Kyu – Orange belt
- 6th Kyu – Green belt
- 5th Kyu – Blue belt
- 4th Kyu – Purple belt
- 3rd Kyu – Brown belt
- 2nd Kyu – Brown belt / 1 white stripe
- 1st Kyu – Brown belt / 2 white stripes
- Shodan Cadet (for under 16’s) / Shodan-ho / Shodan
We have a syllabus for each of the grades of what techniques we expect you to know and master for each grading. These techniques, combinations and kata get more difficult as you go up the grades.
We’ve trained in clubs where either you’re passed with minimal effort (but able to defend themselves, including Dan grades !) or it becomes a task of mentally remembering too many moves and the techniques become poor, we have a nice balance we feel.
We have devised our own grading syllabus which we feel reflects what should be known at each grade. Our gradings are overseen by our 3 Dan grades and works on a fair point system. If you cannot effectively do one kick or move then we dont think that this should hold back your chances of progressing. We therefore add up your scores for the whole grading and see if you pass the mark between the 3 instructors.
Some clubs charge a lot to take, others fate are decided by one person who may override the rest of the grading officers, which is unfair.
Prior to the grading you will be given a syllabus which will detail what you need to know. Practice this at home and before class, and ask for advice if needed.