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.
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.
Grading FeesWe 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.
Once you have been awarded your grade, you will be informed and in recognition of your achievement we will hold a presentation ceremony at the end of the training session. The student will receive their belt during the presentation and an electronic certificate will be emailed within a few days.
Successful applicants will then be shared, with your permission, on our Facebook page and Kyudokan website.
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.