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Grading & Belt Colors

The Shuri Karate Dojo provides a clear pathway for students to learn and improve. Grading examinations are held at regular intervals throughout the year.

During the weeks before a grading test your sensei will begin to assess your ability and desire to grade. A promotion is NOT an automatic right. If during these initial assessment periods he deems you unready to grade you will not be permitted to test and will be informed prior to the grading date. Knowing your syllabus is not enough. Your performance, effort, attendance, dedication and the motivation you show are ALL considered.

Just being able to remember a technique, stance, drill or kata is simply not enough. You must show good performance, focus and power with a good understanding and depth of knowledge relevant to your grade and age.

Students must submit their application form and grading fee prior to the grading date to be eligible.

Authorization to grade is based on:

  • Time at current grade level.
  • Good, regular, consistent attendance.
  • Completion of a written test with 90% score.
  • Authorisation from your Sensei.
  • Competence in the syllabus for the level required.

Junior Students (aged 12 - 16)

Younger students require a little more time to develop their skills so they spend two grades on the same level. They receive a black stripe to add to their belt indicating an interim grade.

Senior Students

Students aged 16 years and over will receive a full colored belt each time they successfully grade. For black-belts, there are no "dan" bars on the belts.

Below are the belt colors and corresponding grades we use in our dojo. Not all karate styles and dojo use all the same colors and some use them in a different order. Qualified instructors are eligible for the "red belt" or "gold bars" on their belts to indicate teaching level.

Adam Carter Hanshi image
Black-belts Grading

   Beginner - ungraded
   Kyokyu - 9th kyu
   Hachikyu - 8th kyu
   Nanakyu - 7th kyu
   Rokukyu - 6th kyu
   Gokyu - 5th kyu
   Yonkyu - 4th kyu
   Sankyu - 3rd kyu
   Nikyu - 2nd kyu
   Ikkyu - 1st kyu
   Shodan - 1st dan & above

   Renshi - 5th dan & 6th dan
   Kyoshi - 7th dan & 8th dan
   Hanshi - 8th dan & above
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