Generally, karate clubs use a system of coloured belts to reflect an individual student’s level of progress. Prior to achieving the first of the black belt (Dan grade) levels (shodan) there are ten kyu grades, pronounced “que” grades, progressing from an ungraded student up to 1st kyu.
The colours we use are as illustrated. The black bar, referred to as a ‘tab’, on the belt is achieved by a couple of turns of black PVC Electrical Tape. Generally this is only put on the end opposite the one with the manufacturer’s label.
Junior Grades (Up to 12 years of age)
To encourage the learning of our younger members (broadly, up to 12 years of age) we have adopted a supplementary tab system based on that used by the IOGKF World Chief Instructor, Nakamura Sensei, in his Canadian Shudokan Family Karate Centre dojo.
For grading attempts, students are expected to show proficiency in Basics (Kihon), Kata and ‘age and grade appropriate’ light sparring (randori) as well as a knowledge of terminology and history. Subject to the final decision of Sensei Marrable, before being allowed to grade students need to have earned a number of coloured tabs that demonstrate they have achieved the requirements. The club will provide the tab for student’s obi.
Good kata, requires good basics and the basic elements of timing, awareness and movement that are important for randori. The following tabs will be awarded.
Note: Failure to maintain a standard can result in loss of a tab.
Karate cannot be learned without physically doing it and repeating each technique over and over again.
Once a student has attended 10 training sessions since the last grading they will be awarded a blue tab.
When they have reached half way between 10 and the required number of attendances for the next grade they will receive a second blue tab. When they have completed the attendance requirement they receive the third blue tab.
When ready to attempt a grading the belt will generally have these tabs.
Note. Sensei may vary the required number of attendances at his discretion. For example, from time to time sensei gives tips for training at home. If he sees evidence that improvement is occurring because of training outside the dojo he may take that into account.
The syllabus we follow can be found here.