SHOTOKAN KYU RANKING SYSTEM
very first moment that a student enters the dojo their
training will constantly be monitored by their sensei (teacher).
modern Shotokan karate system each student's progress is
measured strictly on their ability to retain, and
constantly improve upon, the quality of their basic
techniques and katas. Once a student reaches a specific
level of performance their sensei (teacher) will
afford them the opportunity to try for promotion by
taking part in a grading.
successfully passing their grading a student is awarded a
new "kyu" or "rank" which will
redefine their specific place within their dojo society.
Visually this is represented by the colour of the belt
that each student wears when ever they are in the dojo.
It would be fair to say that a qualified student should
be able, with an appropriate letter of introduction, to
enter into any Shotokan dojo in the world and feel
comfortable amongst students of a similar rank.
levels" in the modern Shotokan system and these
levels are awarded in the following order starting from
lowest (white belt - 10th kyu) to the highest (3rd brown
belt - 1st kyu) :
10th kyu -
9th kyu -
8th kyu -
7th kyu -
6th kyu -
point (6th kyu) a student has reached the half way mark
in the kyu belt system and would now be considered
the "highest of the low belts" where as at 5th
kyu (violet belt) the student would be considered the
"lowest of the high belts".
5th kyu -
4th kyu -
3rd kyu -
2nd kyu -
1st kyu -
average karate student has reached the rank of 1st kyu
they will in all likelihood have been studying the art of
Shotokan karate for approximately three to four years,
and should shortly be preparing to take their Sho Dan (1st Dan) or
"black belt" exam. It should be noted that in
reality all kyu ranks were originally considered white
belts relative to the black belt.
however, Shotokan as well as many other styles of karate,
employ the use of these coloured belts as a means of
making it easier for each student in the dojo to measure
their individual progress within the dojo society.
In the end,
the time that it takes to reach the rank of Sho Dan (1st Dan) will
differ for each individual student. The important thing
for you to remember is that it is the journey that
matters, not the time it takes to make the journey.
karate-do is meant to be practiced for your entire
lifetime, and I assure you the faster you try and go, the
more likely you are to miss the things that really
matter, and in doing so you will never truly comprehend
all that karate-do has to offer.
I wish you
a long life and a safe journey.
clouds - see the way.
objective of karate-do is to contribute to the evolution
human spirit through physical and mental training."