The Grades Explained


Kyu Grades

We begin our practice as a white belt. This signifies our innocence, purity and lack of knowledge and bad habits. As we progress the colour of the belts become gradually darker signifying the blood, sweat and tears which is part and parcel of the demanding but rewarding training we undertake. At each new grade we take on more knowledge and gradually develop our expertise as karataka as well as our awareness as human beings. Once we achieve 1st Kyu (brown belt) we are ready to commence our training for dan grade (black belt). 

10th & 9th Kyu, Blue Belt 4th & 3rd Kyu, Purple Belt
8th & 7th Kyu, Yellow Belt 2nd & 1st Kyu, Brown Belt
6th & 5th Kyu, Green Belt
6th Kyu is significant as the student formally enters the senior ranks: and begins Kumite (free sparring) practice.
1st Kyu is significant as the student commences the specific training required for Dan Grade (black belt).


Shodan, 1st Degree Black Belt.

Shodan is the first black belt grade, which is as memorable as the first grading ever undertaken!

Nidan, 2nd Degree Black Belt.

Sandan, 3rd Degree Black Belt.

Yondan, 4th Degree Black Belt.

Godan, 5th Degree Black Belt.

Rokudan, 6th Degree Black Belt.  There is only one rokudan in the U.K. – Kyoshi Julia Turley.

The grades then progress through to 10th dan, which only our Grand Master Soke Yuzo Tamotsu holds.