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 KyuWhite belt
9th KyuRed belt
8th KyuYellow belt
7th KyuGreen belt
6th KyuBlue belt
5th KyuPurple belt with a single white stripe
4th KyuPurple belt
3rd KyuBrown belt with a single white stripe
2nd KyuBrown belt
1st KyuBrown belt with a single black stripe
1st DanBlack 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.