Conestoga Karate
Authentic Japanese Budo Training

Kyu Belt Ranking System
GradeBelt ColourMinimum time in grade before next testClasses
New Student
White
Two months
16
10th KyuYellowTwo months16
9th KyuOrangeTwo months16
8th KyuBlueTwo months16
7th KyuPurpleTwo months16
6th KyuGreenThree months24
5th KyuGreen White StripeThree months24
4th KyuGreen Black StripeThree months24
3rd KyuRedThree months24
2nd KyuRed White StripeThree months24
1st KyuRed Black StripeThree months24
3rd KyuBrown
Three months24
2nd KyuBrown White StripeThree months24
1st KyuBrown Black StripeFour months24
Kyu ranks are authorized by local instructor and Certificates are awarded from Hombu Dojo


Black Belt Ranking System
RankYears of trainingMinimum Age
Sho Dan Ho
One Year
 
Sho DanMinimum of three years16
Ni DanTwo years after Sho Dan18
San DanThree years after Ni Dan21
Yon DanFour Years after San Dan25
Go DanFive years after Yon Dan30
Roku DanSix years after Go Dan36
Nana DanSeven years after Roku Dan46
Hachi DanEight years after Nana Dan51
Years in rank requirements may be waived on a case by case basis.


Teaching Titles
TitleMinimum Required Rank
Shidoin-HoSan Dan
ShidoinYon Dan
Shihan DaiGo Dan
ShihanNana Dan
Instructors do not receive teaching titles by virtue of rank. Teaching titles are tested independently based on teaching status, knowledge and skills.


Soke (Head Master)Similar to Judan. Normally there is only one Judan per system or style but there are exceptions. If there are three Judan in a Ryu then one is called the Supreme Head Master. Soke is also called Grandmaster. Soke in Japanese means "Source-House".
Meijin and O-SenseiMeijin in Japanese means "Name-Person" and O-Sensei means "Great Teacher". These two titles are not very common and translated into English mean "Master of Masters".
Kaiso or Shiso (Founder)The founder of the Ryu (Style). His or her rank is beyond Judan (10 Degree) and usually wears a white belt that is double in size. Kaiso in Japanese means "To Open-Group".
Meikyo KaidanBasically, this is a head master way of saying "I have taught you everything that I know". Meikyo Kaidan is very rare.
SempaiStudents refer to their seniors as Sempai
Sho Dan (First Degree)All basic techniques have become conditioned reflexes. Kata have been repeated so often that he or she can go through them while carrying on a conversation. 1000 hours of training is a rule of thumb for the first dan. +40% for physical condition and mental attitude and up to +60% for previous training.
Ni Dan (Second Degree)A Ni Dan is a Sho Dan who no longer needs to impress people with the fact that he or she is a black belt.
San Dan (Third Degree)The San Dan has had several years experience as a black belt and is at his or her peek in fighting. He or she is usually involved in some form of instructor training program at this time. This is usually the minimum rank at which the "Okuden" (Advanced Teachings) are revealed.
Yon Dan (Forth Degree)Yon Dan is generally the minimum rank for an instructor.
Go Dan (Fifth Degree)Go Dan is the average rank of an instructor.
Roku Dan (Sixth Degree)Roku Dan are senior instructors. By this time he or she is in his 40's and has mastered all of the techniques of the Ryu (Style). He or she is not as fast as the Sandan, but much more dangerous. A Roku Dan is normally the head of the instruction department of a large dojo. This is the last rank where promotion is based on technical ability.
Shichi Dan (Seventh Degree)
Hachi Dan (Eighth Degree)
Ku Dan (Ninth Degree)
These ranks are Master Level. Dignity is the single most important characteristic of a Shichi Dan, Hachi Dan, and Ku Dan. White hair is the rule. A young Master is a contradition in terms. A Go Dan and Roku Dan can impress you with a technique, but a Shichi Dan to Ku Dan can impress you with a look.
Ju Dan (Tenth Degree)Normally, there is only one Ju Dan per system or style but there are many exceptions. A Ju Dan should be an inspiration to the Ryu (Style). An age between 60 to 80 is about right. He can sit in Seiza (Kneeling position) and lecture forever. In non-family Ryu there will be no further Ju Dan promotions after the death of the founder.