Kyokushin Karate has a belt grading system similar to others in existence. The belt assigned to each student upon commencing training is a white belt. With each successful grading attempt, the student is awarded a Kyu ranking, and either a stripe on his current belt or a new belt colour altogether.
The corresponding Kyu and belt colours are as follows:
- 10th Kyu – Orange Belt(3 month);
- 9th Kyu – Orange belt with Blue Stripe(3 month);
- 8th Kyu – Blue Belt (4 month);
- 7th Kyu – Blue Belt with Yellow Stripe(3 month);
- 6th Kyu – Yellow Belt (3 month);
- 5th Kyu – Yellow belt with Green Stripe(6 month);
- 4th Kyu – Green Belt (6 month);
- 3rd Kyu – Green Belt with Brown Stripe(6 month);
- 2nd Kyu -Brown Belt (6 month);
- 1st Kyu – Brown Belt with Black Stripe(1 year).
Grading to 1st Kyu can take up to 5 years of training. Once a student has attained his 1st Kyu ranking (the highest of the “beginner grades”), he may apply for DAN grading: the rigorous process of attaining a first-Degree Black belt also referred to as 1st DAN or ShoDan, after 1 year trainings with 1st Kyu Belt.
This usually consists of a 2-8 hour grading with all required elements of the grading syllabus completed including:
- Kihon (basics),
- Ido Geiko (moving basics),
- Sanbon and Ippon Kumite (three and one step sparring),
- Kata ( predescribed series of movements / forms),
- Kata-Bunkai(practical applications.)
- Goshinjitsu (self defence),
- Tameshiwari (board, tile or brick breaking)
- Kumite (contact free fighting).
In the Kyokushinkaikan the Shodan(1st Dan) Kumite consists of 10-20 rounds full contact fighting, and getting knocked down is not unusual. These tests are far more strenuous than the testing procedures for Shodan for many other Karate styles. Critics assert that no one ever fights 20 people in a row in self defence, the test, while difficult, is somewhat pointless. The defence for this type of test is that while no-one realistically fights that many opponents in a row in a real fight situation, it is a test for stamina, technique, spirit and determination. As such the test is not there to test for a realistic situation, but to test the grading fighter to the outmost of his abilities, and beyond.
- The Promotion Test will take into consideration physical ability, age, training consistency, improvement since last grading (if applicable) and prior experience. In addition to the following, students are asked to execute Kihon (basics), Ido-geiko (moving-basics) and have a thorough working knowledge of Kyokushin terminology, philosophy and history as appropriate for their rank. The following are based on the Karate Kyokushinkaikan Technical Syllabus and are ideals to aspire to. All or some of the techniques mentioned may be asked of you. Promotion test is just one step on the road ahead.
- The decision to award or decline a Dan grade remains the sole responsibility of the Sokyokushin Kyokushin Karate Fernando Dojo.
Please click on the links below to access the relevant grading syllabus: