Gradings will be conducted approximately every 4-6 months. To progress to the next grade candidates must have trained regularly, show competence in the technical aspects required for that grade and show the proper attitude befitting a karateka. These requirements are set out in the club’s training syllabus. The grade structure is
|10th Kyu||White belt|
|9th Kyu||Red belt|
|8th Kyu||Yellow belt|
|7th Kyu||Green belt|
|6th Kyu||Blue belt|
|5th Kyu||Purple belt with a single white stripe|
|4th Kyu||Purple belt|
|3rd Kyu||Brown belt with a single white stripe|
|2nd Kyu||Brown belt|
|1st Kyu||Brown belt with a single black stripe|
|1st Dan||Black belt|
The red belt is given when the student has shown the correct attitude and a willingness to learn. It signifies acceptance on the start of a journey which could ultimately result in returning back to a red belt as a 10th Dan (the highest grade that can be awarded), so completing a circle. Traditionally in Shotokan karate the 10th Dan red belt is not used, but the same circle of knowledge is present. A student starts at white belt and with constant training the belt darkens until it becomes black. Years of further dedicated training means the black silk wears off the belt and it returns to white.
What is a black belt? ……………..
…………….. A black belt is a white belt who didn’t give up.
It must be stressed, however, that it is the journey that is important not the destination. Just like life, there will be trials and tribulations along the way.