Ranks & Gradings
A karate student’s progress in the art of karate is usually represented by their rank which in turn is represented by a coloured belt. Beginners are classified as ungraded (white belt) but after a minimum period of training may take a grading. Upon successfully completing a grading a student is ‘promoted’ to the next rank and will be expected to wear the appropriate belt. ‘Beginner’ ranks range from 9th kyu up to 1st kyu then the ‘advanced’ grades range from 1st Dan up to 10th Dan:
Beginners should be training twice a week for two months before they can take their 9th kyu grading, with three month intervals between gradings up to 1st kyu, six months between 1st kyu and 1st dan, 2 years between 1st dan and 2nd dan and so on. In some cases students will only gain a temporary grade which means they can wear the next belt but will need to retake some of their grading at their next grading.In exceptional cases, a student may double-grade, but only up to 7th kyu. If enough students wish to grade, a visiting qualified assessor may be arranged. If only a few students wish to grade we may organise a trip to a larger club when a grading is taking place.
A grading itself is a relatively simple test in which the student will be asked to perform a set of basic techniques along with some sparring and one kata. The grading syllabus is distributed to club instructors and is taught to students as part of ongoing training. Whilst the grading itself is usually a very simple affair it is very formal and can be quite scary.