Working With and For

Working With and For


Shotokan Karate School



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Grading Structure

The grading structure that we follow at our Club is no different to any other Club around the country. We take students at beginner level, training them through to 1st Kyu. Our students are, however, graded by a panel of sensei, from outside of our Club, when they are ready to take their black belt, Shodan (1st Dan) and further.

At our Club there are ten kyu grade levels, steps through which students will pass on their way to attaining their black belt. Beginners move to their 10th Kyu at their first grading and in some instances possibly through to 9th kyu. Through a progression of further gradings karate-ka (students) will proceed through the other levels until they reach 1st kyu. At each kyu level, the grade a student has achieved signifies that many belts away from holding the black belt. Therefore, a student at say 5th Kyu is five belts away from being a 1st Dan black belt, and so on.

This Kyu grade system is uniform throughout Karate schools and when karate-ka meet from different clubs they should always talk about the kyu grade they have achieved when a comparison is made between the schools and not the colour of their belt as there is no uniform colour structure for kyu grades. For instance an Orange belt at one club may signify a 9th kyu grade whereas at another school it may signify an 8th or possibly 7th kyu.

The structure that we follow for our Kyu Grades is:

Beginner White Belt
10th Kyu White Belt with one orange stripe
9th Kyu Orange Belt
8th Kyu Red Belt
7th Kyu Yellow Belt
6th Kyu Green Belt
5th Kyu Purple Belt
4th Kyu Purple Belt with one white stripe
3rd Kyu Brown Belt
2nd Kyu Brown Belt with one white stripe
1st Kyu Brown Belt with two white stripes


Please use this link to view our Syllabus Requirements for Moving Between Grades




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