Junior Karate and Adult Karate
As students progress in karate, they will attempt to move to the next level or "grade". Each grade is represented by different colored belts, starting with white and going through to black belt. Black belt is the sign of an accomplished student.
If students train hard they can achieve provisional black belt in 4 to 5 years. There are also many degrees of black belt, ranging up to 10th Dan, which only a handful of people have ever achieved. In Unsu Kai Karate, black belt is only awarded to students aged 13 or older.
Students are graded on their technique, attitude, progression and also the performance of formal exercises such as Kata. The times listed here are only a guideline, as each person progresses through karate at their own pace.
For more in depth information about grading, and to set a date for your first grading (white belt/black tip) talk to your branch instructor.
Grade Colour Minimum Classes Since Kata Technique Set
10th Kyu White N/A N/A N/A
9th Kyu-Ho White/Black Tip 6 Lessons N/A Tier I
9th Kyu Yellow 6 Lessons First Kata Tier I
8th Kyu-Ho Yellow/Black Tip 10 Lessons N/A Tier I
8th Kyu Orange 12 Lessons Heian Tier I
7th Kyu Red 22 Lessons Gekisai Tier I
6th Kyu Green 28 Lessons Saifa Tier II
5th Kyu Blue 32 Lessons Saifa Tier II
4th Kyu Purple 40 Lessons Bassai (Dai) Tier II
3rd Kyu Brown 48 Lessons Meikyo Tier III
2nd Kyu Brown + 1 Black Tip 48 Lessons Sanseiryu Tier III
1st Kyu Brown + 2 Black Tips 48 Lessons Seiunchin Tier III
Shodan-Ho Provisional Black 60 Lessons Tensho/Seipai Extra Requirements
Shodan 1st Dan Black 100 Lessons Shisochin/Kanku-Dai Extra Requirements
Nidan 2nd Dan Black 200 Lessons Gankaku/Wanshu Extra Requirements
Sandan 3rd Dan Black 300 Lessons Gojushiho-Sho/Kanku-Sho Extra Requirements
Yondan 4th Dan Black 400 Lessons Kururunfa/Seisan Extra Requirements
Godan 5th Dan Black 500 Lessons Unsu Nil
Rokudan 6th Dan Black 600 Lessons Suparimpei Nil
Our Sidekicks program has a different grading format. In order to keep our youngest students actively engaged, the program has lots of stepping stones along the way. This gives the children a sense of pride and achievement, while allowing us to space out the curriculum so that it's not too challenging for young kids.
Every Sidekicks student has a workbook that shows them how many classes they have done, and what level they're at. If a child participates in class and is well behaved, they get a sticker for their workbook at the end of each session.
Every 5 lessons, the child receives a tip on their belt.
Every 10 lessons, they attempt the next sidekicks grade.
All sidekicks belts are white with a colored stripe through the centre. They follow the same order as the junior karate system, stopping at white belt/purple stripe. The students then move on to a yellow belt with a white stripe, then orange with a white stripe.
The sidekicks curriculum takes 9 terms to complete, then students graduate on to junior karate. However, many students graduate to junior karate early as they get older and their skills develop.
When a child graduates to junior karate, they are re-graded in the Junior system as a white, yellow, orange or red belt, depending on their progress in Sidekicks.
Refer to the workbook for more information.