A students progression in Karate is formally recognised by their grade which can be seen by the colour of the belt they wear around their Karate suit (gi).

Grades and Belts

Students who are new to Karate wear a white belt indicating that they don’t yet hold a grade. From white belt students progress through the Kyu grades, starting with 9th Kyu up to 1st Kyu. With each Kyu grading passed students are awarded a different coloured belt (red, yellow, etc).

After the Kyu grades are the Dan grades, beginning with 1st Dan and progressing upwards (2nd Dan, 3rd Dan, etc). Students who have achieved a Dan grade are awarded a black belt.

Achieving Grades

For a Club Member to achieve a grade they must attend a formal grading organised or recognised by Stour Karate.

Gradings will always be taken by a Dan grade instructor who is at least 2 grades higher than the students they are grading.

During a grading students must demonstrate that they are proficient in the required techniques and Katas for the grade they are hoping to pass, as described in Stour Karate’s Grading Syllabus.

The level of proficiency expected, as well as the number and complexity of techniques and Katas required increases as students progress through the grades.

Equally important to a students technical ability is their attitude in gradings, their level of concentration, discipline and respect for etiquette.

Time Between Gradings

Students require a minimum of 3 months between gradings up to 4th Kyu and a minimum of 6 months between gradings up to 1st Kyu.

Students require a minimum of: 1 year between 1st Kyu and 1st Dan gradings, 2 years between 1st Dan and 2nd Dan, 3 years between 2nd and 3rd Dan and so on.

Stour Karate aims to run 3 gradings a year approximately 4 months apart. Please see the Stour Karate calendar for the dates, times and locations of upcomming gradings.

Cadet Dan Grades

Students who achieve Dan grades before they are 16 will be awarded a Cadet Dan Grade.

A Cadet Dan grade must drop a grade when they reach 16 and then retake their last Cadet Dan grading as a Senior.