Kyudokan Grading

 

The method Kyudokan use to award grades is actually the most traditional way and one that the majority of Karate clubs in England now no longer use. Although traditional Kyudokan will be using technology to help communicate progress to students and parents through the app.

The amount of months will now only be used as a guide line for the typical amount of time between grades, at Kyudokan we believe it is the amount of hours that a student trains and how the student has improved in that time, not just the duration since the last grade.

Each week / month when a student has completed the guideline amount of hours training since their last grade or has shown outstanding performance, Kyudokan Senseis will then assess that students progress over the next few lessons. A student will not be notified of this assessment.

We will then update the Kyudokan files so students can see this on their app; this will include the progress against the milestones, showing what a student may now need to work on.

This section can be seen by opening the app and looking under Belts - the screen will show students when they have achieved their previous grades and the milestones that are required to reach their next one, along with the amount of sessions that have been attended since their last grade. The app will then tell you if you are eligible or not.

NB: up to 1st Dan Blackbelt attendance is shown, from 2nd Dan the app will not show this.

At the very bottom of that page on the app is another button labelled “other requirements”, this shows the complete criteria for the grade with links to helpful parts of the Kyudokan website and videos.

When a student is eligible and continues to perform in lessons to the standard for their next grade, they will be shortly be awarded their grade in a lesson. There will will not be a set grading day where we have found that some students can become very nervous and their performance on that day doesn’t reflect their usual standard. Similarly students that only perform well on the day but do not consistently work hard in the lessons will no longer be able to have one good session every 3 - 6 months and get through their grades. We believe this will improve the day to day standard of Kyudokan Karate.

 

Syllabus

The Kyudokan grading syllabus is a summary of what will be covered in the course of your training.

Progress is determined by practicing the requirements for each belt to a level acceptable to the Chief Instructor. Each belt are milestones to the next and must be thoroughly practiced before going onto the next.

To achieve your belt, you must be able to demonstrate all requirement of the grade to a level acceptable to the Chief Instructor. This can be by way of an examination and or assessment of the students training during classes. On areas where improvement is needed, an overall assessment is made to determine if the student would benefit from going to the next grade.

People put too much importance on the colour of the belt. It must be remembered that like educational qualifications, there are different levels when passing a degree. It is unwise to just judge or compare others on the colour of the belt without considering how it was achieved.

Our grading system considers many things, not just awarding grades on physical ability. While some students may find learning something easy, others may take more time to achieve the same thing.

On reaching the coveted black belt, while being a great achievement it is the first grade of understanding, a start again to study more deeply what you have been practicing for the previous years.

The grading syllabus is non exhaustive and is continually reviewed for the benefit of the student.

19th KYU – RED BELT
KATA
  • Tachi Kata – Basic Karate Stances. The basic stances or feet positions are very important and continuous practice will improve muscle memory
  • See The Basic Stances Here.
  • BASICS

  • Punches: Upper, Middle and Lower punches are practiced with speed and power
  • Blocks: Upper, Middle and Lower
  • Kicks: Knee, Front and Roundhouse kicks are practiced with speed and power
  • STATE OF MIND
  • Always listens to instructions and maintains a positive attitude.
  • STUDY
  • Practice outside of the dojo; To make steady progress, the student must practice at home as often as they can. Just by attending classes is not enough to develop the grading requirements. Practicing each technique will help develop consistency, timing and co-ordination. Repetition is the secret to success
  • To be able to count from 1 – 10 in Japanese
  • Attendance Guide for preparation to take grade:
  • Minimum; 2 months / 12 sessions
  • Typical; 3 months / 18 sessions
  • 28th KYU – YELLOW BELT
    New KATA
  • Pinan- "Peaceful Mind" The student must demonstrate they have a satisfactory understanding of the kata with no mistakes in feet or hand movement
  • Watch Kata Videos Here.
  • IMPROVEMENT
  • Improvements of all Basics and Previous Kata
  • SPARRING
  • Protective equipment must be worn when sparring and a satisfactory level of control must be adhered to
  • STATE OF MIND
  • Always listens to instructions and maintains a positive attitude. (This milestone is already being achieved from the previous grade pass, but is continually monitored, if the student’s attitude is not consistent then this milestone will need to be earnt again).
  • MAINTAINING STADARD
  • This milestone is already being achieved from the previous grade pass, but is continually monitored, if the student’s standard goes backwards then this milestone will need to be earnt again
  • STUDY
  • Practice outside of the dojo
  • familiar with the dojo rules

    Attendance Guide for preparation to take grade:
  • Minimum: 3 months / 18 sessions
  • Typical: 4 months / 24 sessions
  • 37th KYU – ORANGE BELT
    New KATA
  • Gekiha - "Attack and Tear" The student must demonstrate they have a satisfactory understanding of the kata with no mistakes in feet or hand movement
  • Watch Kata Videos Here.
  • YAKUSUKO KUMITE
  • Demonstrate 3 applications of Pinan Kata
  • IMPROVEMENT
  • Improvements of all Basics and Previous Kata
  • SPARRING
  • Protective equipment must be worn when sparring and a satisfactory level of control must be adhered to
  • STATE OF MIND
  • Always listens to instructions and maintains a positive attitude. (This milestone is already being achieved from the previous grade pass, but is continually monitored, if the student’s attitude is not consistent then this milestone will need to be earnt again).
  • MAINTAINING STADARD
  • This milestone is already being achieved from the previous grade pass, but is continually monitored, if the student’s standard goes backwards then this milestone will need to be earnt again
  • STUDY
  • Practice outside of the dojo
  • familiar with Japanese terminology.

    Attendance Guide for preparation to take grade:
  • Minimum: 3 months / 18 sessions
  • Typical: 4 months / 24 sessions
  • 46th KYU – GREEN BELT
    New KATA
  • Sanchin - "Three Battles" The student must demonstrate they have a satisfactory understanding of the kata with no mistakes in feet or hand movement
  • Watch Kata Videos Here.
  • YAKUSUKO KUMITE
  • Demonstrate 3 applications of Gekiha Kata
  • IMPROVEMENT
  • Improvements of all Basics and Previous Kata
  • SPARRING
  • Demonstrates control and combinations
  • STATE OF MIND
  • Always listens to instructions and maintains a positive attitude. (This milestone is already being achieved from the previous grade pass, but is continually monitored, if the student’s attitude is not consistent then this milestone will need to be earnt again).
  • MAINTAINING STADARD
  • This milestone is already being achieved from the previous grade pass, but is continually monitored, if the student’s standard goes backwards then this milestone will need to be earnt again
  • STUDY
  • Practice outside of the dojo
  • Attendance Guide for preparation to take grade:
  • Minimum: 3 months / 18 sessions
  • Typical: 6 months / 36 sessions
  • 55th KYU – BLUE BELT
    New KATA
  • Unshu - "Cloud Hands (Unusual Hands)" The student must demonstrate they have a satisfactory understanding of the kata with no mistakes in feet or hand movement
  • Watch Kata Videos Here.
  • YAKUSUKO KUMITE
  • Demonstrate 3 applications of Sanchin Kata
  • IMPROVEMENT
  • Improvements of all Basics and Previous Kata
  • SPARRING
  • Demonstrates control and combinations
  • STATE OF MIND
  • Always listens to instructions and maintains a positive attitude. (This milestone is already being achieved from the previous grade pass, but is continually monitored, if the student’s attitude is not consistent then this milestone will need to be earnt again).
  • MAINTAINING STADARD
  • This milestone is already being achieved from the previous grade pass, but is continually monitored, if the student’s standard goes backwards then this milestone will need to be earnt again
  • STUDY
  • Practice outside of the dojo
  • Attendance Guide for preparation to take grade:
  • Minimum: 4 months / 24 sessions
  • Typical: 7 months / 42 sessions
  • 64th KYU – PURPLE BELT
    New KATA
  • Saifa - "Smash and Tear" The student must demonstrate they have a satisfactory understanding of the kata with no mistakes in feet or hand movement
  • Watch Kata Videos Here.
  • YAKUSUKO KUMITE
  • Demonstrate 3 applications of Unshu Kata
  • IMPROVEMENT
  • Improvements of all Basics and Previous Kata
  • SPARRING
  • Demonstrates control and combinations
  • STATE OF MIND
  • Always listens to instructions and maintains a positive attitude. (This milestone is already being achieved from the previous grade pass, but is continually monitored, if the student’s attitude is not consistent then this milestone will need to be earnt again).
  • MAINTAINING STADARD
  • This milestone is already being achieved from the previous grade pass, but is continually monitored, if the student’s standard goes backwards then this milestone will need to be earnt again
  • STUDY
  • Practice outside of the dojo
  • Attendance Guide for preparation to take grade:
  • Minimum: 4 months / 24 sessions
  • Typical: 8 months / 48 sessions
  • 73rd KYU – BROWN BELT (One White Stripe)
    New KATA
  • Naifanchi - "Fighting on Home Ground" The student must demonstrate they have a satisfactory understanding of the kata with no mistakes in feet or hand movement
  • Watch Kata Videos Here.
  • YAKUSUKO KUMITE
  • Demonstrate 3 applications of Saifa Kata
  • IMPROVEMENT
  • Improvements of all Basics and Previous Kata
  • SPARRING
  • Demonstrates control and combinations
  • STATE OF MIND
  • Always listens to instructions and maintains a positive attitude. (This milestone is already being achieved from the previous grade pass, but is continually monitored, if the student’s attitude is not consistent then this milestone will need to be earnt again).
  • MAINTAINING STADARD
  • This milestone is already being achieved from the previous grade pass, but is continually monitored, if the student’s standard goes backwards then this milestone will need to be earnt again
  • STUDY
  • Practice outside of the dojo
  • Attendance Guide for preparation to take grade:
  • Minimum: 4 months / 24 sessions
  • Typical: 8 months / 48 sessions
  • 82nd KYU – BROWN BELT (Two White Stripe)
    New KATA
  • Sanseiru - "Thirty-Six Hands" The student must demonstrate they have a satisfactory understanding of the kata with no mistakes in feet or hand movement
  • Watch Kata Videos Here.
  • YAKUSUKO KUMITE
  • Demonstrate 3 applications of Naifanchi Kata
  • IMPROVEMENT
  • Improvements of all Basics and Previous Kata
  • SPARRING
  • Demonstrates control and combinations
  • STATE OF MIND
  • Always listens to instructions and maintains a positive attitude. (This milestone is already being achieved from the previous grade pass, but is continually monitored, if the student’s attitude is not consistent then this milestone will need to be earnt again).
  • MAINTAINING STADARD
  • This milestone is already being achieved from the previous grade pass, but is continually monitored, if the student’s standard goes backwards then this milestone will need to be earnt again
  • STUDY
  • Practice outside of the dojo
  • Attendance Guide for preparation to take grade:
  • Minimum: 6 months / 36 sessions
  • Typical: 12 months / 72 sessions
  • 91st KYU – BROWN BELT
    New KATA
  • Niseishi - "Twenty-Four (Hands)" The student must demonstrate they have a satisfactory understanding of the kata with no mistakes in feet or hand movement
  • Watch Kata Videos Here.
  • YAKUSUKO KUMITE
  • Demonstrate 3 applications of Sanseiru Kata
  • IMPROVEMENT
  • Improvements of all Basics and Previous Kata
  • SPARRING
  • Demonstrates control, combinations and strategy
  • STATE OF MIND
  • Always listens to instructions and maintains a positive attitude. (This milestone is already being achieved from the previous grade pass, but is continually monitored, if the student’s attitude is not consistent then this milestone will need to be earnt again).
  • MAINTAINING STADARD
  • This milestone is already being achieved from the previous grade pass, but is continually monitored, if the student’s standard goes backwards then this milestone will need to be earnt again
  • STUDY
  • Practice outside of the dojo
  • Attendance Guide for preparation to take grade:
  • Minimum: 6 months / 48 sessions
  • Typical: 12 months / 96 sessions
  • 10Shodan Ho (Junior 1st Dan - BLACK BELT)
    New KATA
  • Tensho - "Universal Hand (Rotating Palms)" The student must demonstrate they have a satisfactory understanding of the kata with no mistakes in feet or hand movement
  • Watch Kata Videos Here.
  • YAKUSUKO KUMITE
  • Demonstrate 3 applications of Niseishi & Tensho Katas'
  • IMPROVEMENT
  • Improvements of all Basics and Previous Kata
  • SPARRING
  • Demonstrates control, combinations and strategy
  • STATE OF MIND
  • Always listens to instructions and maintains a positive attitude. (This milestone is already being achieved from the previous grade pass, but is continually monitored, if the student’s attitude is not consistent then this milestone will need to be earnt again).
  • MAINTAINING STADARD
  • This milestone is already being achieved from the previous grade pass, but is continually monitored, if the student’s standard goes backwards then this milestone will need to be earnt again
  • STUDY
  • Practice outside of the dojo
  • Attendance Guide for preparation to take grade:
  • Minimum: 12 months / 96 sessions
  • Typical: 20 months / 160 sessions
  • Shodan Ho (Provisional 1st dan black belt) ranking carries with it a number of formal and informal responsibilities, not the least of which is to lead by example in classes. These responsibilities demand not only physical skills and knowledge, but a level of personal maturity and experience not usually possessed by those below the age of 12. (Exceptions may apply).
    11Shodan (1st Dan - BLACK BELT)
    New KATA
  • Tensho - "Universal Hand (Rotating Palms)"The student must demonstrate they have a satisfactory understanding of the kata with no mistakes in feet or hand movement
  • Watch Kata Videos Here.
  • YAKUSUKO KUMITE
  • Demonstrate 3 applications of Niseishi & Tensho Katas'
  • IMPROVEMENT
  • Improvements of all Basics and Previous Kata
  • FIGHTING(note the change from Sparring, to Fighting).
  • Demonstrates control, combinations and strategy
  • STATE OF MIND
  • Always listens to instructions and maintains a positive attitude. (This milestone is already being achieved from the previous grade pass, but is continually monitored, if the student’s attitude is not consistent then this milestone will need to be earnt again).
  • MAINTAINING STADARD
  • This milestone is already being achieved from the previous grade pass, but is continually monitored, if the student’s standard goes backwards then this milestone will need to be earnt again
  • STUDY
  • Practice outside of the dojo
  • Attendance Guide for preparation to take grade:
  • Minimum: 12 months / 96 sessions
  • Typical: 20 months / 160 sessions
  • Students holding ranks of Shodan (1st dan black belt) and higher are expected to lead any example in classes. These responsibilities demand not just the physical skills and knowledge, but the application of Kyudokan Karate principles to daily life, which requires a level of personal maturity and experience not usually possessed by those below the age of 16. (Exceptions may apply).
    12Nidan (2nd Dan - BLACK BELT)
    New KATA
  • Seiunchin - "The Calm in the Storm" The student must demonstrate they have a satisfactory understanding of the kata with no mistakes in feet or hand movement
  • Watch Kata Videos Here.
  • YAKUSUKO KUMITE
  • Demonstrate 3 applications of Seiunchin Kata
  • IMPROVEMENT
  • Improvements of all Basics and Previous Kata
  • FIGHTING
  • Demonstrates control, combinations and strategy
  • STATE OF MIND
  • Always listens to instructions and maintains a positive attitude
  • Asks Constructive Questions
  • MAINTAINING STADARD
  • This milestone is already being achieved from the previous grade pass, but is continually monitored, if the student’s standard goes backwards then this milestone will need to be earnt again
  • STUDY
  • Practice outside of the dojo
  • Study of "The Book of Five Rings" (translated by Thomas Cleary)

    Attendance Guide for preparation to take grade:
  • As per students' progress.
  • 13Sandan (3rd Dan - BLACK BELT)
    New KATA
  • Shisochin - "Fighting in Four Directions"
  • Sepai - "eighteen hands"
  • YAKUSUKO KUMITE
  • Demonstrate 3 applications of Shisochin & Sepai Katas
  • IMPROVEMENT
  • Improvements of all Basics and Previous Kata
  • FIGHTING
  • Demonstrates control, combinations and strategy
  • STATE OF MIND
  • Always listens to instructions and maintains a positive attitude
  • Asks Constructive Questions
  • MAINTAINING STADARD
  • This milestone is already being achieved from the previous grade pass, but is continually monitored, if the student’s standard goes backwards then this milestone will need to be earnt again
  • STUDY
  • Practice outside of the dojo
  • Study of "The Book of Five Rings" (translated by Thomas Cleary)

    Attendance Guide for preparation to take grade:
  • As per students' progress.
  • 14Yodan (4th Dan - BLACK BELT)
    New KATA
  • Seisan - "Thirteen (Hands)"
  • Kururunfa - "Forever Peacefulness Stops to Smash
  • YAKUSUKO KUMITE
  • Demonstrate 3 applications of Shisochin & Sepai Katas
  • IMPROVEMENT
  • Improvements of all Basics and Previous Kata
  • FIGHTING
  • Demonstrates control, combinations and strategy
  • STATE OF MIND
  • Always listens to instructions and maintains a positive attitude
  • Asks Constructive Questions
  • MAINTAINING STADARD
  • This milestone is already being achieved from the previous grade pass, but is continually monitored, if the student’s standard goes backwards then this milestone will need to be earnt again
  • STUDY
  • Practice outside of the dojo
  • Study of "The Book of Five Rings" (translated by Thomas Cleary)
  • Bubishi
  • Attendance Guide for preparation to take grade:
  • As per students' progress.
  • 15Godan (5th Dan - BLACK BELT)
    New KATA
  • Suparinpei - "One-Hundred-and-Eight (Hands).
  • YAKUSUKO KUMITE
  • Demonstrate 3 applications of Suparinpei Kata
  • IMPROVEMENT
  • Improvements of all Basics and Previous Kata
  • FIGHTING
  • Demonstrates control, combinations and strategy
  • STATE OF MIND
  • Always listens to instructions and maintains a positive attitude
  • Asks Constructive Questions
  • MAINTAINING STADARD
  • This milestone is already being achieved from the previous grade pass, but is continually monitored, if the student’s standard goes backwards then this milestone will need to be earnt again
  • STUDY
  • Practice outside of the dojo
  • Study of "The Book of Five Rings" (translated by Thomas Cleary)
  • Bubishi
  • Attendance Guide for preparation to take grade:
  • As per students' progress.
  • 16Rokudan (6th Dan - BLACK BELT)
    New KATA
  • Tsurute - "Hand of the Crane".
  • YAKUSUKO KUMITE
  • Demonstrate 3 applications of Tsurute Kata
  • IMPROVEMENT
  • Improvements of all Basics and Previous Kata
  • FIGHTING
  • Demonstrates control, combinations and strategy
  • STATE OF MIND
  • Always listens to instructions and maintains a positive attitude
  • Asks Constructive Questions
  • MAINTAINING STADARD
  • This milestone is already being achieved from the previous grade pass, but is continually monitored, if the student’s standard goes backwards then this milestone will need to be earnt again
  • STUDY
  • Practice outside of the dojo
  • Study of "The Book of Five Rings" (translated by Thomas Cleary)
  • Bubishi
  • Attendance Guide for preparation to take grade:
  • As per students' progress.
  •  

    Grading Fees

    We do not charge for gradings, they are all part of the monthly fee. Students are assessed throughout their journey with us and are awarded their grades purely on merit, not on a financial basis. The only additional cost that students may wish to consider would be for when they achieve their 1st Dan, whereby we offer a personalised silk belt.

     

     

    Important points to remember

    You must book on to lessons, so that we can see you have been attending.

    It is not the amount of months since your last grade that counts, it is the amount of hours and your progress.

    Consistency is key, always try your hardest in every lesson, as that may be the lesson that the Sensei is assessing you in.

    DO NOT ask us for your grade..! When a student has completed the guideline criteria of enough hours of training, instead look at your app and see what milestones you need to work on and ask us about how to improve on them.

    For families, the lead member can see everyone’s belt page by selecting member and show at the top of the page.

    For parents although we will not be notifying the student of when the grade is being awarded, we do understand that you may want to be there when the grade is presented; so if you see that your child has achieved ALL the milestones, please feel free to contact us and we can let you know.

    In addition, if a parent wants to know how their child is getting along before we have assessed them, please feel free to contact us and we will assess them at the next opportunity and update the milestones on the app.

    Additional points of note:

    • Clean gi’s, red for children and white for adults must be worn.
    • All students must have up to date membership including insurance.

    Once you have been awarded your grade, you will be informed and in recognition of your achievement we will hold a presentation ceremony which parents, family members and friends are welcome along to celebrate the student’s success. The student will receive their certificate and belt during the presentation.

    Successful applicants will then be shared, with your permission, on our Facebook page and Kyudokan website.

    Grading is an extra cost to membership, and includes the examination fee, certificate and belt.

     

    Students transferring from another dojo

    Karateka who transfer to the KGKA from other Karate Associations may retain their current grade, but must re-grade within 12 months of the transfer and be assessed for their KGKA standard. They will be awarded an appropriate grade, which could be the same grade, a lower grade or the next grade up. They will then continue grading with the KGKA within the usual time scales.

    Karateka of 3rd Dan and above who wish to transfer to the KGKA will be advised by the Chief or Assistant Chief Instructor regarding their integration into the KGKA grading system.

    The examiner/s may ask to see some or all of the Kihon, Kata and Kumite listed in the KGKA Syllabus. Candidates may be required to demonstrate material from previous gradings to ensure overall development - a brown belt for example may be asked to perform a green belt kata.

    Allowance will be made for candidates who are unable to perform certain techniques due to physical or other restrictions.