Belt System & Gradings

Belt System & Gradings

Taking a formal grading and being awarded your next belt is one of the most rewarding parts of practising a martial art. At Kazoku we believe that each grade should be a challenge, and gradings are neither too frequent nor a given. Students are entered for grading when they are individually ready. The early grades cover simpler techniques, but will still be a challenge for those new to martial arts.

Grades lead on naturally, following a smooth learning curve that leads the student from one step to the next, from beginner to black belt, and beyond.

 Junior students train for a number of “intermediate” belts in between the full-colour belts so that the syllabus is split into manageable chunks. Adults progress through the coloured belts below.

Photo of coloured belts

Red Belt

In your first few weeks or months you will wear a red belt, before taking your first grading. 

White Belt (7th kyu)

Introduction – At white belt you learn the basics of stance and coordination. Juniors also train for yellow-stripe belt. 

Yellow Belt (6th kyu)

Basics – At yellow belt you learn a range of simple blocks, locks, and throws. Juniors then take the orange-stripe belt.

Orange Belt (5th kyu)

Follow-on – Orange belt starts to introduce slightly more technical moves. Juniors then take the green-stripe belt.

Green Belt (4th kyu)

Application – Consistency of good technique, with effective blocks, throws and finishes. Juniors take orange belt and green-stripe belt before progressing to full green belt.

Blue Belt (3rd kyu)

Understanding – Techniques are well executed, with a deeper understanding of why they work, and you are able to adjust techniques accordingly if necessary. Juniors train for blue-stripe belt before taking blue belt.

Purple Belt (2nd kyu)

Accuracy – Crisp, clean and accurate demonstration of blocks, kicks, and some more advanced throws. Juniors also take purple-stripe belt before purple belt.

Brown Belt (1st kyu)

Effectiveness – You understand all techniques and can perform them accurately, demonstrating the ability to effectively use the techniques in a street self-defence situation. Juniors also take brown-stripe belt.

Black Belt (1st dan)

Dedication – The achievement of Black Belt requires you to take a mental step forward -to believe in yourself, to trust your instructor, to continue training when it seems impossible. You must have both drive and humility, with a commitment to diligent training and the pursuit of excellence. Black belt is not the end – just the end of the beginning.

Juniors take black stripe belt and then their junior black belt.