Gaining your black belt and beyond

Below, Students receiving their kyu grade certificates directly from the Hombu (Headquarters Dojo) in Japan signed by the grandmaster

One of the questions I often asked by new beginners is "How long will it take me to

get my Black Belt?"

This is an excellent question as it shows that new students want to master the art they

are studying, solets look at the grading system employed in our school.

When I grade people I look at three seperate criteria...

Firstly: Can the student do the technique correctly?

Secondly: Does the student understand the art they are studying?

Thirdly: Does the student turn up for training on a regular basis?

Apart from this if the  student has a good attitude to learning they will be

well on their way to black belt.

In our school all students start at white belt (10th Kyu) and at 9th Kyu they then move

up to wearing a green belt. You then stayat green belt all the way to 1st Kyu, and then

move to Black Belt. So only three colours in our system, but nine grades to black belt.

Instead of coloured belts we use stars to denote grade that are positioned over the badge.

To get to 1st Kyu in our system should on average take approximately two-three years as long as the above three Criteria are met.

Once the student gets their 1st Kyu then begin the study for their Black Belt (Shodan), which will take on average 6-12 months.

If you pass the Shodan Black belt test you will be given your coveted Black Belt and your badge colour will change as well as you

being issued a Black Belt Certificate direct from the Hombu Dojo (Headquarters Training Hall) in Japan.

Of course there are grades above black belt because technically the 1st dan (Shodan Black Belt) is actually the first level of black

belt with the word "Shodan" meaning "Initial Step.

Once you get your black belt you will start the study for your Nidan (Second Dan). The belts and badge colours then move forward

as follows...

Below and to the left is the badge system which changes as you make your way through the grades, To  the right Centre are two student received their Shodan black belt certificate direct from Japan.