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Gradings are based on a carefully structured syllabus that clearly defines what needs to be learned and performed for each grade of belt. Karate is about developing the mind as well as the body; consequently our syllabus places equal emphasis on a student’s knowledge and understanding of terminology and applications as well as physical technique and ability. After all the educated brain is potentially the most powerful of weapons!

Coloured belt (Kyu) gradings are held at the club every three months with candidates being required to meet the club syllabus requirements. Black belt (Dan) gradings are held twice a year and candidates are required to demonstrate they meet the requirements of the Shindo-Kai Dan grading syllabus in front of an independent panel of Club and Association Chief Instructors.  


In order to successfully achieve a grade the candidate must:

  • Have obtained sufficient experience through sufficient training during the grading intervals.
  • Passed the applicable pre-grading assessment as defined in the syllabus including kata performance, terminology and applications (Bunkai).
  • Successfully demonstrate the applicable Kihon, Kata & Kumite requirements as defined in the syllabus.


NOTE: The above minimum grading intervals are based on students training twice per week. For students who only train less than twice per week the waiting period is extended to 6 months for white belt tags and 9 months for coloured belts.

Students will only be allowed to grade provided they:

  • Have first passed the applicable pre-grading assessments (Refer to separate sheet).
  • Have attended at least 50% of the training sessions.
  • Are ready to start on time.
  • Are wearing a clean and ironed all white karate Gi (suit).
  • Have paid the correct grading fee and are up to date with training fees.
  • Have a valid licence.
  • Have the necessary protective equipment (where sparring is required).

Students who wish to attain senior grade status (3rd Kyu and above) are expected to attend association courses and have regular competition experience, unless their age or fitness prevents them from doing so.

The instructor reserves the right to defer a grading if a student is not deemed ready.

To successfully pass a grading the student must demonstrate the required level of competency. When assessing a student for the next belt the grading panel take into account for the following aspects:

  • Knowledge and understanding
  • Technique (Form)
  • Effort
  • Focus
  • Commitment

Grades are awarded on a pass or 1st class pass basis depending on overall performance.

Students are assessed on an individual basis; for example it is not always possible, or correct to compare the performance of two students of the same grade if they differ in age, build, gender or physical ability.

If a student fails a grading the assessor will provide a full explanation behind the decision and an action plan for improvement. Remember, the true indicator of progression is based on a student’s ability, not grade!  Students & parents are requested to support this ethos and not judge the progress of themselves / their child against the progress of others.

Students who join us from another club will be assessed to determine their equivalent grade (Note: this may result in a return to a previous belt colour so as to ensure the student’s progress through the ranks is not stalled until the required standard is achieved).