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Ranking ⁄ Grading System:

The grading system in Karate has been introduced for a variety of reasons. In modern day, it is a sign of having achieved a particular skill level, that gives the student an indication on how they are progressing. As a visible sign, the colour of one's belt lets other students in the class know what skill level to expect from their fellow students. This makes partner training easier, and the newer students know where to look for the more experienced students.

Traditionally in most Karate styles, there are 9 stages where students go from 9th kyu (kyu means junior rank) to 1st Kyu wearing colored belts, and ultimately become 1st Dan (1st Level Black belt). Black belts can purchase specially embroided Karate belts to provide their name and the style name thereon.

The grading procedure typically involves a training session where experienced Karateka (typically black belts from 3rd Dan onwards) examine the performance of the students, including basic techniques, Kata, Bunkai and sparring. In general, the further you advance in the study of Karate, the more precision and also fighting spirit is expected in the performance of all techniques. Familiarity with Dojo etiquette and also a good grasp of the Japanese terminology is also increasingly expected. There are two kinds of students with regards to belts. Junior students ages 18 and younger, and senior students, over the age of 18. It usually takes the senior student about 5 years to get his 1st Dan black belt. And the junior student till the age of 18 for full black belt grade due to concentration, strength and skill required to becoming a full black belt.

There are certain belts which requires a student to wait a minimum period before the student can grade for his next belt. Like for instance there are a few brown belts which one first have to qualify for, with a minimum waiting period of one year between the last two, before attempting for Black Belt.

Each stripe on each belt counts as a full grading. Depending on a student's level and skill the student attempting a grading may skip a stripe or two at the maximum.

Junior Grades (Students under the age of 18):

junior belts

All students starts off as a white belt. The cadet yellow (white with yellow stripe down the middle) are skipped if the candidate can perform the first kata with correct form.

Senior Grades (Students over the age of 18):

senior belts

Every subsequent Dan grading is in increments of the Dan rank eg. a minimum of two years must have passed between 1st Dan and 2nd Dan and a minimum of three years must have passed between 2nd Dan and 3rd Dan. From 4th Dan Level onwards all your efforts and contribution towards the organization is taken into consideration for further grading and is decided by a highly ranked senior in the organization.
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