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 and more.

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.

The cost of the grade will be charged to the student’s account and we would ask you to pay for the grade asap or give Kyudokan permission to automatically charge the fee to your account.

 

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

Grade requirement To be able to count from 1 – 10 in Japanese

Stances Basic Karate Stances. The basic stances or feet positions are very important and continuous practice will improve muscle memory.

Punches Upper, Middle and Lower punches are practiced with speed and power. Ten of each are required at all three levels.

Blocks Upper, Middle, Lower.

Kicks Front and roundhouse kick are practiced with speed and power. Ten of each are required/

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 coordination. Repetition is the secret to success. This is your first milestone/

28th KYU – YELLOW BELT

All requirements of your previous grade, PLUS:

Grade requirement Candidate to be familiar with the dojo rules.

Basic Combination Moving in a forward stance the student will be asked to demonstrate lunge and reverse punch.

Kata Pinan (Nidan) - "Peaceful Mind"
The student must demonstrate they have a satisfactory understanding of the kata with no mistakes in feet or hand movement.

For kata training videos CLICK HERE.

37th KYU – ORANGE BELT

All requirements of your previous grades, PLUS:

Grade requirement Candidate to be familiar with Japanese terminology.

KickingThe student must demonstrate a basic understanding of front kick, roundhouse kick, side kick, front leg kick.

Combinations Combination techniques involve the student showing fluidity in moving with power and a combination of blocks and punches. Moving in a forward stance the student will be asked to demonstrate hand techniques used in a combination of upper, middle and lower blocks and punches. Moving forward and backwards a number of times showing strength, coordination and spirit is required. The student must practice all blocks and punches and in any order to be confident enough to demonstrate their understanding of basic combination techniques.

Sparring Orange belt is the first grade where sparring is demonstrated. Protective equipment must be worn when sparring and a satisfactory level of control must be adhered to. The student must demonstrate basic combinations used in offensive and defensive positions.

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.

For kata training videos CLICK HERE.

46th KYU – GREEN BELT

All requirements of your previous grades, PLUS:

Combinations The student must demonstrate all blocks, punches and kicks in any order and be confident enough to demonstrate their understanding of basic combination techniques.

Sparring The student must demonstrate a good number of combinations used in offensive and defensive positions.

Kata Sanchin - "Three Battles"
The student must demonstrate they have a satisfactory understanding of the kata with no mistakes in feet or hand movement.

For kata training videos CLICK HERE.

55th KYU – BLUE BELT

All requirements of your previous grades, PLUS:

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.

For kata training videos CLICK HERE.

64th KYU – PURPLE BELT

All requirements of your previous grades, PLUS:

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.

For kata training videos CLICK HERE.

Applications Applications will be demonstrated by the instructor detailing how they are applied. The student must show they understand and be able to demonstrate.

73rd KYU – BROWN BELT (One White Stripe)

All requirements of your previous grades, PLUS:

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.

For kata training videos CLICK HERE.

Applications Applications will be demonstrated by the instructor detailing how they are applied. The student must show they understand and be able to demonstrate.

Sparring The student must demonstrate a good number of combinations used in offensive and defensive positions. The student must be able to demonstrate the use of applications they are familiar with from their study of applications.

82nd KYU – BROWN BELT (Two White Stripe)

All requirements of your previous grades, PLUS:

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.

For kata training videos CLICK HERE.

Applications Applications will be demonstrated by the instructor detailing how they are applied. The student must show they understand and be able to demonstrate.

Sparring The student must demonstrate a good number of combinations used in offensive and defensive positions. The student must be able to demonstrate the use of applications they are familiar with from their study of applications.

Study The student must now begin to study literature. The Book of Five Rings, translated by Thomas Cleary, is considered to epitomise the essence of Goju Ryu karate.

91st KYU – BROWN BELT

All requirements of your previous grades, PLUS:

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.

For kata training videos CLICK HERE.

Applications Applications will be demonstrated by the instructor detailing how they are applied. The student must show they understand and be able to demonstrate.

Sparring The student must demonstrate a good number of combinations used in offensive and defensive positions. The student must be able to demonstrate the use of applications they are familiar with from their study of applications.

Study The student must now begin to study literature. The Book of Five Rings, translated by Thomas Cleary, is considered to epitomise the essence of Goju Ryu karate.

101st Dan - BLACK BELT

While the black belt grade is a sense of personal achievement it must be remembered that it is just another milestone moving forward. It generally excepted that it is the number of years a student has been studying. It is better to consider the hours of study. It is similar to being a student. If you study ( homework ) an extra hour each day, progression and understanding will be attainable. PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT.

All requirements of your previous grades, PLUS:

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.

For kata training videos CLICK HERE.

Applications Applications will be demonstrated by the instructor detailing how they are applied. The student must show they understand and be able to demonstrate.

Sparring The student must demonstrate a good number of combinations used in offensive and defensive positions. The student must be able to demonstrate the use of applications they are familiar with from their study of applications.

Study The student must now begin to study literature. The Book of Five Rings, translated by Thomas Cleary, is considered to epitomise the essence of Goju Ryu karate.

112nd Dan - BLACK BELT

All requirements of your previous grades, PLUS:

Combinations as directed by instructor.

Applications Demonstrate a good understanding of bunkai.

Fighting As directed by instructor.

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.

For kata training videos CLICK HERE.

Applications Applications will be demonstrated by the instructor detailing how they are applied. The student must show they understand and be able to demonstrate.

Sparring The student must demonstrate a good number of combinations used in offensive and defensive positions. The student must be able to demonstrate the use of applications they are familiar with from their study of applications.

Study The student must now begin to study literature. The Book of Five Rings, translated by Thomas Cleary, is considered to epitomise the essence of Goju Ryu karate.

Fitness As directed by the instructor.

123rd Dan - BLACK BELT

All requirements of your previous grades, PLUS:

Kata Shisochin - "Fighting in Four Directions"
The student must demonstrate they have a satisfactory understanding of the kata with no mistakes in feet or hand movement.

For kata training videos CLICK HERE.

134th Dan - BLACK BELT

All requirements of your previous grades, PLUS:

Kata
Sepai - "Eighteen (Hands)"
Seisan - "Thirteen (Hands)"
Kururunfa - "Forever Peacefulness Stops to Smash"
The student must demonstrate they have a satisfactory understanding of the kata with no mistakes in feet or hand movement.

For kata training videos CLICK HERE.

145th Dan - BLACK BELT

All requirements of your previous grades, PLUS:

Kata Suparinpei - "One-Hundred-and-Eight (Hands)"
The student must demonstrate they have a satisfactory understanding of the kata with no mistakes in feet or hand movement.

For kata training videos CLICK HERE.

156th Dan - BLACK BELT

All requirements of your previous grades, PLUS:

Kata
Tanigawa no Tsuru - "Tanigawa Sensei's Crane"
Tsurute - "Hand of the Crane"
Ichikawa no Tsuru - "Ichikawa Sensei's Crane"
The student must demonstrate they have a satisfactory understanding of the kata with no mistakes in feet or hand movement.

For kata training videos CLICK HERE.

 

Grading Fees

The grading fees for 2021 are as follows:

9th Kyu - 4th Kyu (Red - Purple Belt): £20
3rd Kyu (Brown Belt with One Stripe): £30
2nd Kyu - 1st Kyu (Brown Belt with Two Stripes - Brown Belt): £35
1st Dan (Black Belt): £120 or £180 with personalised silk belt
2nd Dan and above (Black Belt): Free

 

 

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.