So what's with all the different coloured belts?

This concept was introduced to karate around 1935. The idea was taken from judo and originates back to 1883. Before then, karateka either had a black or white belt.

The coloured belt system is a good indicator of progression. In our Wado Ryu style, students start with a white belt then progress to red, yellow, orange, green, blue, purple, brown, brown with a white stripe, brown with a black stripe then finally black. We have a syllabus that students learn for each belt. You can find the syllabus inside the karate licence booklet or on our website Blog page.

To achieve the next belt up, students attend a grading where they are tested on their knowledge of the syllabus. The syllabus for each belt can include basic, pair, knife defence and combination techniques as well as kata, sparring and impact training.

Gradings are held six times a year, usually on a Sunday, just before school holidays. Our regular venue is Lopping Hall but this occasionally changes. In the weeks before a grading, master classes are held for each colour belt. These master classes are one hour long intensive sessions which have proven to be highly effective in preparing students for a grading. Everyone is notified by email of master class dates and times well in advance.

For those keen to grade, regular attendance and home practice is important. We also have video tutorials on our website and YouTube.

Before each grading, students are assessed for their suitability to grade. If a student isn't ready, then they are not allowed to take the grading. Sensei: "I've been on grading panels before where students have failed a grading and it's dreadful to witness their disappointment. It destroys a student's confidence and in fighting, confidence is a key element to winning." With six gradings a year at our club, the next grading is never too far away.

New belts are given out on the day and certificates about a week later. Grading fees vary depending on the belt. To take a grading, all students must have an up to date licence and clean, white karate suit with club badge.

Parents, family and friends are welcome to spectate except for at dan gradings. There are currently restrictions on numbers due to covid rules.



Red Belt (9th Kyu)

Basic Techniques: Junzuki, gyakuzuki, jodan uke, gedan barai, mawatte (all in zenkutsu dachi), hizageri, kingeri, 1-10 in Japanese. 

Yellow Belt (8th Kyu)

Basic Techniques: Yoko uraken, tettsui otos hi uchi, mawashi empi, uchi uke, soto uke (all in zenkutsu dachi), maegeri, mawashigeri plus previous.

Kata: Kihon

Impact Training: Nos 1 & 2.

Orange Belt (7th Kyu)

Basic Techniques: Uraken, furizuki, teisho (all in zenkutsu dachi), tobikomizuki & gyakuzuki, ashi barai (all in free fighting stance), surikomi maegeri, sokuto fumikomi hiza plus previous.

Renraku Waza (all in free fighting stance): 1. Surikomi maegeri, tobikomizuki, gyakuzuki, furizuki. 2. Sokuto fumikomi hiza, ukaken, teisho.

Kata: Pinan Nidan & Bunkai

Ippon Gumite: Nos 1 & 2

Impact Training: Nos 1, 3 & 4.

Green Belt (6th Kyu)

Basic Techniques: Ago empi uchi in zenkutsu dachi, nukite in zenkutsu dachi, shuto uke in mahamni neko ashi dachi, kote uke in shiko dachi, sokuto chudan, ushirogeri plus previous.

Renraku Waza (all in free fighting stance): 1. Sokuto chudan, gyakuzuki 2. Ushirogeri, gyakuzuki 3. Ago empi uchi, nukite, shuto uke.

Kata: Pinan Sandan & Bunkai plus previous kata.

Ippon Gumite: Nos 3 & 4.

Kumite: 1 min.

Impact Training: Nos 3, 5, 6 & 7.

Blue Belt (5th Kyu)

Basic Techniques: Harai uke, sasae uke (all in zenkutsu dachi), kakute in shomen neko ashi dachi, tobikomizuki in shizentai, gyaku mawashigeri, surikomi sokuto plus previous.

Renraku Waza (all in free fighting stance): 1. Maegeri, mawashigeri, sokuto, gyakuzuki. 2. Harai uke, sasae uke, kakute. 3. Tobikomizuki in shizentai, gyaku mawashigeri, gyakuzuki.

Kata: Pinan Shodan & Bunkai plus previous katas.

Ippon Gumite: Nos 5 & 6.

Kumite: 1.5 mins.

Impact Training: Nos 3, 8 & 9.

Purple Belt (4th Kyu)

Basic Techniques: Empi uraken, atoshi empi uchi (all in zenkutsu dachi), nagashizuki in shizentai, tobi nidan geri, ushiro mawashigeri, uchigeri fumikomi hiza.

Renraku Waza (all in free fighting stance): 1. Empi uraken, ushiro mawashigeri. 2. Uchigeri fumikomi hiza, nagashizuki, atoshi empi uchi. 3. Sokuto chudan (lead leg), uraken jodan.

Kata: Pinan Yodan & Bunkai plus previous katas.

Ippon Gumite: nos 7 & 8.

Kumite: 1.5 mins.

Impact Training: Nos 3, 10, 11 & 12.

Brown Belt (3rd Kyu)

Basic Techniques: Jodan shuto uchi, gyako haito uchi, oba empi uchi, naga uke jodan (all in zenkutsu dachi), kakatogeri, tobi hizageri.

Renraku Waza (all in free fighting stance): 1. Kette tobikomizuki, step back, tobikomizuki, mawashigeri 2. Jodan shuto uchi, gyaku haito uchi, oba empi uchi. 3. Tobikomizuki jodan, gyakuzuki chudan, ashi barai, gyakuzuki gedan.

Kata: Pinan Godan & Bunkai plus previous katas.

Ippon Gumite: no 9.

Ohyo Gumite: no 1.

Kumite: 2 x 1 min.

Impact Training: Nos 1, 3 13 & 14.

Brown Belt (2nd Kyu)

Basic Techniques: Ippon ken, juji uke jodan and chudan (all in zenkutsu dachi),  mikazuki geri, uramawashigeri, tobi ushirogeri.

Renraku Waza (all in free fighting stance): 1. Nagashizuki, gyakuzuki, mawashigeri 2. Surikomi sokuto jodan, ushirogeri, gyakuzuki. 3. Maegeri, mawashigeri (same leg), uraken, gyakuzuki, mawashigeri.

Kata: Kushanku & Bunkai plus previous katas.

Ohyo Gumite: nos 2, 3 & 4.

Kumite: 2 x 2 mins.

 Impact Training: Nos 3, 15, 16, 17 & 18.

Brown Belt (1st Kyu)

Basic Techniques: Shitazuki, nihon nukite, ushiro empi uchi, hiraken (all in zenkutsu dachi), tobi sokuto jodan, tobi mawashigeri plus previous.

Renraku Waza (all in free fighting stance): 1. Sokuto chudan (lead leg), uraken, gyakuzuki, gyaku mawashigeri, shitazuki. 2. Tobikomizuki, gyakuzuki, gyaku mawashigeri, mawatte, uraken, gyakuzuki, ushirogeri, hiraken.

Ohyo Gumite: nos  5, 6 & 7.

Katas: Seishan, Naihanchi & Bunkai plus previous katas.

Kumite: 2 x 2 mins plus 2 on 1 for 1 min.

Impact Training: Nos 19, 20, B1 & B2.

Black Belt (1st Dan)

Interview prior to grading.

Renraku Waza (all in free fighting stance): 1. Hiraken jodan, gyaku haito uchi, mawashi empi uchi (push in on all 3), ushiro mawashi empi uchi, jodan shitazuki, teisho, gyaku nihon nukite. 2. Tobikomizuki, gyakuzuki, furizuki, atoshi empi uchi, ashi barai, ushiro sokuto fumikomi hiza.

Ohyo Gumite: nos 8, 9 & 10.

Katas: Bassai, Chinto, Jion & Bunkai plus previous katas.

Kumite: Minimum of 3 shiai.

Advanced Impact Training: Nos B1-6.

Ippon Gumite

  1. A (L) step forward, junzuki jodan. D (L) step back, soto uke in shomen neko ashi dachi, push in gyakuzuki.
  2. A (L) step forward, junzuki jodan. D (R) step back, uchi uke in shiko dachi, uraken chudan.
  3. A (L) step forward, junzuki jodan. D (L) step back, soto uke in shomen neko ashi dachi, grab wrist, mawashigeri chudan, gyakuzuki.
  4. A (L) step forward, junzuki jodan. D (R) step back, uchi uke in shiko dachi, grab arm, push in, waki gatame arm lock.
  5. A(L) maegeri chudan. D (L) step to left side, gedan barai in reverse cat stance, step to right, gyakuzuki.
  6. A (L) step forward junzuki chudan. D (L) half step back, naga uke jodan, uraken in shomen neko ashi dachi (together).
  7. A (L) step forward junzuki jodan. D (L) nagashizuki, gyakuzuki, hizageri,  ashi barai.
  8. A (L) step forward, junzuki jodan. D (L) half step back, left harai uke, step forward, shitazuki jodan
  9. A (L) mawashigeri. D (R) step back, harai uke, ushiro mawashigeri

Ohyo Gumite

  1. A (L) push forward junzuki jodan. D (R) pull back harai uke. A gyakuzuki chudan, ashi barai, gyakuzuki.
  2. A (L) surikomi maegeri. D (L) step back. A gyakuzuki jodan. D harai uke. A ashi barai, mawashigeri chudan.
  3. A (L) step forward junzuki jodan, gyakuzuki chudan. D(R) step back junzuki jodan. A slide in shiko dachi, lead arm across chest, hook leg & drop, uraken.
  4. A (L) mawashigeri gedan, slide in, grab leg & mawashigeri gedan to standing leg. D (L) raise left knee for 2nd kick.
  5. A (L) step forward gyakuzuki chudan. D (L) step back, uchi uke. A surikomi maegeri. D step back, sweeping gedan barai, gyaku haito uchi chudan, gyaku uraken jodan.
  6. A (L) push in junzuki jodan. D (R) lean to right, juji uke block and pull elbows to body, push in empi and waki gatame arm bar.
  7. A (L) gyaku furizuki. D (L) push in high guard to block, shuto uke to neck and hold, arm bar, hiza geri chudan
  8. A (L) right maegeri. D (L) slide to the right & catch the kick. Step forward ashi barai.
  9. A (L) mawashigeri. D (R) slide in & grab, ouchigari.
  10. A (L) right mawashigeri. D (R) Turn & drop to floor, hook kick to standing leg.


All impact training will include techniques and combinations, from the syllabus for a specific kyu grade and previous kyu grades, performed on focus mitts and kick shields.

List of techniques (Japanese)

  1. Junzuki, gyakuzuki.
  2. Mawashigeri.
  3. Junzuki, gyakuzuki, furizuki.
  4. Surikomi maegeri, uraken, teisho.
  5. Sokuto, gyakuzuki.
  6. Ushirogeri, gyakuzuki.
  7. Ago empi uchi, nukite, shuto uke.
  8. Maegeri, mawashigeri, sokuto, gyakuzuki.
  9. Tobikomizuki, gyaku mawashigeri, gyakuzuki.
  10. Empi, uraken, ushiro mawashigeri.
  11. Uchigeri fumikomi hiza, nagashizuki, atoshi empi uchi.
  12. Sokuto, uraken.
  13. Ketta tobikomizuki, tobikomizuki, mawashigeri.
  14. Shuto uchi, gyaku haito uchi, oba empi uchi.
  15. Nagashizuki, gyakuzuki, mawashigeri.
  16. Surikomi sokuto, ushirogeri, gyakuzuki.
  17. Maegeri, mawashigeri, uraken, gyakuzuki, mawashigeri.
  18. Junzuki, gyakuzuki, uramawashigeri.
  19. Sokuto, uraken, gyakuzuki, gyaku mawashigeri.
  20. Tobikomizuki, gyakuzuki, gyaku mawashigeri, uraken, gyakuzuki, ushirogeri, uraken.


List of techniques (English)

  1. Jab, cross punch.
  2. Roundhouse kick.
  3. Jab, cross, hook punch.
  4. Step front kick, back fist, open palm strike.
  5. Side kick, cross punch.
  6. Back kick, cross punch.
  7. Rising elbow strike, spear hand strike, knife hand strike.
  8. Front kick, roundhouse kick, side kick, cross punch.
  9. Snap punch, reverse roundhouse kick, cross punch.
  10. Elbow strike, back fist, back roundhouse kick.
  11. Inside stomping kick, snap punch, over elbow strike.
  12. Side kick, back fist.
  13. Snap punch and kick, snap punch, roundhouse kick.
  14. Knife hand strike, cross ridge hand strike, over elbow strike.
  15. Snap punch, cross punch, roundhouse kick.
  16. Step side kick, back kick, cross punch.
  17. Front kick, roundhouse kick, back fist, cross punch, roundhouse kick.
  18. Jab, cross punch, inverted roundhouse kick.
  19. Side kick, back fist, cross punch, reverse roundhouse kick (hook kick).
  20. Snap punch, cross punch, reverse roundhouse kick, back fist, cross punch, back kick, back fist.


List of black belt techniques

B1. Jab, cross, hook, spinning elbow, upper cut.

B2. Jab, cross, rear knee, over elbow.

B3. Jab, cross, front roundhouse, spinning hook (pyramids).

B4. Cross, front kick, flying knee.

B5. Jab, cross. On retreat (1 min).

B6. Jab, cross, hook. On retreat (1 min).


Grading levels

Yellow belt (8th kyu): 1, 2.

Orange belt (7th kyu): 1, 3, 4.

Green belt (6th kyu): 3, 5, 6, 7.

Blue belt (5th kyu): 3, 8, 9.

Purple belt (4th kyu): 3,10, 11, 12.

Brown belt (3rd kyu): 1, 3, 13, 14.

Brown belt (2nd kyu): 3, 15, 16, 17, 18.

Brown belt (1st kyu): B1, B2, 19, 20.

Black belt: any previous + B1-6.