Grading Structure
Kindy Karate Just for Kicks! Advanced GROWNUPS Black Belt +
White Stripe White Green White Shodanho
Yellow Stripe Yellow Purple Yellow Yudansha
Orange Stripe Orange Red Orange
Blue Stripe Blue Brown Blue
Green Stripe Green
Brown Stripe Purple
Black Stripe Red

Requirements for Karate Belt Grading (Ongoing Assessment):

Students’ development is progressively assessed during training. As with most modern martial arts, our karate school has a grading system to symbolise stages of learning. Students are individually advised when they are ready for grading. There are a few interrelated aspects that are emphasised upon for understanding when an Okukan karate member is ready for grading. These include training rhythm, technical aspects, and spirit and behaviour.

Technical Aspects:

During your training you will be learning practical aspects of Shitoryu Karatedo. Training will give you a level of expertise in stances, blocks, attacks, breathing, speed and power, body movement and shift, precision, readiness, rhythm, timing, concentration and sight, accuracy and balance. The learning of these aspects will be evidenced in your Kata (pattern) and Bunkai (self-defence application), and in Kihon (form practice) and Kumite (sparring) practice. You will also be required to learn terminology, theory and history. At advanced levels you will be required to learn philosophical principles of karate.

Spirit and Behaviour:

Training at OKUKAN means becoming a ‘Karateka’ (karate practitioner). This implies an appreciation of the ethics and traditions inherited over years of development of Karatedo, in addition to the technical aspects. Dojo Kun and Shitoryu Five Way Spirit are pivotal to understanding the Karateka’s code of conduct.

Training Period:

Although it is unlikely that all students will learn technical aspects at the same pace, students are expected to attend an average number of training sessions to be able to make progress.

Grading Guides

9th Kyu (white)

A 9th Kyu is granted a white karate belt. This is the first of the karate belt series that students get at the very beginning of training, along with a karate uniform. The white belt represents nothingness. It is the place where karate-ka experience ‘the spirit of first beginning’ which, as stated in Shitoryu’s Five Way Spirit, should never be forgotten (Ishi. Shochin wasureru nakare). In terms of natural evolution, the white belt would be a metaphor for an empty universe.

Grouwnups: 9th to 8th Kyu Grading Guide

Children 10 years+: 9th to 8th Kyu Grading Guide Children

Relevant terminology

8th Kyu (yellow)

An 8th Kyu is granted a yellow karate belt. It comes after white and before orange. Students begin to work on techniques with open hands (i.e. shuto) after having practiced to keep the fists closed (i.e. in tsuki OR hikite) and after white belt’s physical conditioning. It is also a special belt in that students begin to practice the sumo stance (shiko-dachi) and the cat stance (neko-ashi-dachi) which is one of the strengths of the Shitoryu style. The yellow belt represents the sun, and following psychology of colour, it represents hope. The universe is beginning to warm-up and it is not empty any longer.

Grownups: 8th to 7th Kyu Grading Guide

7th Kyu (orange)

A 7th Kyu is granted an orange belt. Here students are introduced to elbow strikes and begin to show fluid footwork for sparring. Kata at this level emphasize Shiko-dachi (sumo stance). An orange belt is now quite familiar with Dojo ritual and tends to concern her/himself with technical ability and speed. Orange represents fertile soil. The sun is now dependable.

Grownups: 7th to 6th Kyu Grading Guide

6th Kyu (blue)

Grownups: 6th to 5th Kyu Grading Guide

5th Kyu (green)

Grownups: 5th to 4th Kyu Grading Guide

4th Kyu (purple)

Advanced 10 years+ (grading guide coming soon)
Grownups (grading guide coming soon)

3rd Kyu (red)

Grownups: 4th to 3rd Kyu Grading Guide

2nd Kyu (brown)

Advanced 10 years+ (grading guide coming soon)
Grownups (grading guide coming soon)

1st Kyu (brown)

Advanced 10 years+ (grading guide coming soon)
Grownups (grading guide coming soon)

Shodan Ho (black)

Junior Shodan Ho, 14 years and under
Senior Shodan Ho

1st Dan (black)

2nd Dan (black)

3rd Dan (black)

4th Dan (black)