Grading System

 

There are 10 grades before Black Belt and 10 after. The grades before Black are known as Kyu grades, while the ones after are called Dan grades. There is a popular misconception among Karate students during the early years of Karate training, that being a Black Belt is where Karate ends. In fact, the reality is quite the opposite. Getting a Black Belt is where you truly begin to study Karate.

Originally, there were no grades in Karate at all. It was decided though that grading was a useful technique that helped keep students motivated, especially in the early years of training.

Belt Colour Rank Kata
10th Kyu

jukyu
Fukyu-gata Ichi
White belt is were everyone must start. A student wearing a white belt has much ahead, but all journeys are started with a single step.


9th Kyu

kukyu
Nihanchi Shodan

8th Kyu

hachikyu
Nihanchi Nidan

7th Kyu

shichikyu
Nihanchi Sandan

6th Kyu

rokkyu
Pinan Shodan

5th Kyu

gokyu
Pinan Nidan

4th Kyu

yonkyu
Pinan Sandan

3rd Kyu

sankyu
Pinan Yondan

2nd Kyu

nikyu
Pinan Godan

1st Kyu

ikkyu
Passai Sho
First Kyu is an interesting grade. The student is only one step away from becoming a black belt. So as a lesson in humility the student is required to wear a white belt for the duration of this grade. Perhaps it is also to remind us of where we have come from.


1st Dan

shodan
Passai Dai