Karate Gradings & Belts

As with many martial arts, a belt system is used in KUGB Shotokan Karate to show the progress and proficiency of students.  Belts are earned through their proven dedication to training in combination with an examination (grading).  Students progress from Novice through the coloured Kyu grades (9th to 1st Kyu) to Black Belt (1st Dan).  Learning Karate is unlimited and 1st Dan Black Belt is only the first in a series of Black Belt grades.  We are very fortunate to have Sensei Andy Sherry (9th Dan), Senior instructor and Chairman of the Karate Union of Great Britain (KUGB) as our Grading Examiner.  Gradings take place every 3 months (or more depending on grade).

KUGB students (karateka) will be eligible to grade providing they have fulfilled all technical requirements, hold a current KUGB licence and record book and have appropriate permission.

Students must train at least twice per week at a KUGB dojo such as Tsutahashi Karate Club in Ivybridge, with an approved KUGB instructor (all our instructors are qualified). The record book and licence must be available for the grading examiner's inspection and endorsement.

Each Grading has four sections:

The first is a minimum one and a half hours training with Sensei Sherry. The Grading then officially starts. The three remaining sections are Kihon (basics), Kata (prearranged form), and Kumite (sparring). Students are then informed by Sensei Sherry as to the result of their Grading. If the student has passed they move on to the next part of the Grading syllabus and are allowed to wear the appropriate belt for their Grade. If a student does not pass Sensei Sherry will explain what needs to be improved to obtain the Grade in three months time at the next Grading.  This information is also recorded on the students Grading card as a point of reference for the student's instructor.

Upon passing a Grading Tsutahashi Shotokan Karate Club students are issued with Kyu Grade certificates and Kyu Grade belts from Tsutahashi SKC. 

On average it takes approximately three to four years to obtain 1st Dan (Black Belt).

GRADING DATES FOR 2018:

  • 10th March
  • 16th June
  • 8th September
  • 8th December

KUGB Shotokan Karate Belt System:

White Belt Shotokan Karate Ivybridge

Novice / WHITE BELT

Minimum 2 months training for next grading

 Kata: Kihon Kata

 

 

Orange Belt Shotokan Karate Ivybridge Devon9th Kyu / ORANGE BELT

Minimum 3 months training for next grading

Kata: Heian Shodan

 

 

Red Belt Shotokan Karate Ivybridge Devon8th Kyu / RED BELT

 Minimum 3 months training for next grading

 Kata: Heian Nidan

 

 

Yellow Belt Shotokan Karate Ivybridge Devon7th Kyu / YELLOW BELT

Minimum 3 months training for next grading

Kata: Heian Sandan

 

 

Green Belt Shotokan Karate Ivybridge Devon6th Kyu / GREEN BELT

Minimum 3 months training for next grading

Kata: Heian Yondan

 

 

Purple Belt Shotokan Karate Ivybridge Devon5th Kyu / PURPLE BELT

Minimum 3 months training for next grading

Kata: Heian Godan

 

 

Purple and White Stripe Belt Shotokan Karate Ivybridge Devon4th Kyu / PURPLE & WHITE STRIPE BELT

Minimum 3 months training for next grading

Kata: Tekki Shodan

 

 

Brown Belt Shotokan Karate KUGB Ivybridge Devon3rd Kyu / BROWN BELT

Minimum 3 months training for next grading

Kata: Bassai Dai

 

 

Brown and White Stripe Belt KUGB Shotokan Karate Ivybridge Devon2nd Kyu / BROWN & WHITE STRIPE BELT

Minimum 3 months training for next grading

Kata: Bassai Dai

 

 

Brown and Two White Stripe Belt KUGB Shotokan Karate Ivybridge Devon1st Kyu / BROWN & TWO WHITE STRIPES BELT

Minimum 6 months training for next grading

Kata: Candidate chooses from: Bassai Dai; Examiner chooses from: Any Heian Kata or Tekki Shodan

 

 

Black Belt 1st Dan KUGB Shotokan Karate Ivybridge Devon1st Dan / BLACK BELT

Minimum 2 years training for next grading

Kata: Candidate chooses from: Bassai Dai, Kanku Sho, Niju Shiho, Jitte or Tekki Nidan; Examiner chooses from:  Bassai Dai, Kanku Dai, Enpi, Jion or Hangetsu

 

Black Belt 2nd Dan KUGB Shotokan Karate Ivybridge Devon2nd Dan / BLACK BELT

Minimum 3 years training for next grading

Kata: Candidate chooses from: Sochin, Unsu, Gankaku, Chinte or Goju Shiho Sho; Examiner chooses from:  Bassai Sho, Kanku Sho, Niju Shiho, Jitte or Tekki Nidan

 

 

Black Belt 3rd Dan KUGB Shotokan Karate Ivybridge Devon3rd Dan / BLACK BELT

Minimum 4 years training for next grading

Kata: Candidate chooses from: Meikyo, Jiin, Wankan, Tekki Sandan or Goju Shiho Dai; Examiner chooses from: Sochin, Unsu, Gankaku, Chinte or Goju Shiho Sho

 

Black Belt 4th Dan KUGB Shotokan Karate Ivybridge Devon4th Dan / BLACK BELT

Minimum 5 years training for next grading

Kata: Candidate chooses from: Any Kata from Shodan syllabus and above; Examiner chooses from: One or more Kata from Shodan syllabus and above. Demonstration of applications will be requested from performed Katas.

 

Black Belt 5th Dan KUGB Shotokan Karate Ivybridge Devon5th Dan / BLACK BELT

Minimum 6 years training for next grading

Kata: Candidate chooses from: Any Kata from Shodan syllabus and above; Examiner chooses from: One or more Kata from Shodan syllabus and above. Demonstration of applications will be requested from performed Katas.

 

6th Dan Black Belt and Above

Once a student has reached the Karate expertise of 6th Dan (an extraordinary achievement), further Dan grades are awarded by the Technical Committee of the KUGB rather than proven through grading examination.

What is a Karate Grading Like?

The KUGB grading examiner may ask to see some or all of the Kihon, Kata and Kumite listed in the KUGB Syllabus:

Kyu Grading Syllabus

Dan Grading Syllabus

Candidates may be required to demonstrate material from previous gradings to ensure overall development - a brown belt for example may be asked to perform a Heian Kata.

Allowance will be made for candidates who are unable to perform certain techniques due to physical or other restrictions.

The KUGB Syllabus is intended as a guideline to prepare students for their gradings and that the most important factor is the examinee's quality of performance.

Kyu gradings may only be taken with permission of the student's senior club instructor. They may be taken at the Tsutahashi Karate Club dojo in Ivybridge, other KUGB dojo's or at special KUGB courses.

Tsutahashi Karate Club's Chief Instructor, Sensei Neil Rowley, is committed to teaching students to the highest level to ensure individuals can achieve their Karate ambitions to the fullest extent.