Karate is broken down into units known as kyu grades (belts) . For children under 16, the kyu grades are further divided into mon grades. The minimum recommended time between gradings is 12 weeks.
To achieve a new belt, you must pass a grading. For this you must:
have an up to date licence. You can do this here.
have a minimum of 24 attendance stamps (except beginners applying for their first grading)
know your syllabus
To achieve each grade, you must pass an examination that covers basic karate movements, pair work and kata. The content of the exam is set out in the syllabus.
You can download these here:
Gradings up to and including 4th kyu (purple belt) are held at clubs and during some courses. There's usually one examiner (one of our senior instructors). They cost £10 and, if successful, belts can be bought
Senior gradings (brown belt and above) are held in front of a panel of three examiners. They are usually held during or after certain courses.
You should speak to your Sensei before attempting any grading as they will help prepare you and recommend when you are ready to grade. You must have an up to date licence to grade.
Dan gradings (black belt) are held twice a year, examined by a panel of three senior black belts. In addition to the physical grading, candidates must complete a 15 minute written exam. If successful, an additional £20 fee is required to ensure dan grades are appropriately registered.
There are time and age restrictions for dan gradings. Successful candidates for shodan (1st Dan) under the age of 16 will be awarded a junior black belt. Nidan (2nd Dan) candidates must be a minimum of 18 years old.
The minimum amount of time between successful dan grades is an additional year per level, i.e. 2 years between 1st and 2nd dan; 3 years between 2nd and 3rd dan.