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 club, 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 and combination techniques as well as kata, sparring and impact training.
Gradings are held six times a year, usually on a Sunday. Our regular venue is Lopping Hall but this occasionally changes. Everyone is notified by email of an impending grading well in advance. We occasionally hold master classes for those keen to grade but in need of more practice.
For those keen to grade, regular attendance and home practice is important. We have video tutorials on YouTube for each belt. These are unlisted so just ask for the link.
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 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.