Belt Requirements

The belt rank structure is divided into two categories, kyu ranks and dan ranks.

  • Kyu ranks rise from the lowest – 10th kyu, to the highest rank – 1st kyu.
  • Dan ranks progress from 1st dan (shodan) upwards.

The UC Karate Club belt system is inline below. Each link leads to the description of the requirements you are expected to meet if you are of the rank named.

In addition there is a plus/minus system within each kyu. For example, a 7- is below a 7, and a 7 is below a 7+, which is below a 6-. (Think of a 7+ as a very strong 7 and a 7- as a weaker 7.)

The kyu examinations (aka. belt testing) occur at the end of a semester, and during ~1-2 class periods, depending on the number of people testing. On the day(s) of the exam, students are expected to arrive early and warm up on their own. The committee of judges includes the Head Instructor, a panel of senior Black Belts, and a caller. Participants are evaluated on their proficiency, knowledge, effectiveness of techniques, spirit, and class participation. Promotions can be stressful and therefore are a good test of how one performs under pressure.

There is no set time period to advance through the ranks.

Advancement depends upon the individual’s dedication and effort, and it becomes increasingly more difficult as the student progresses. Some time after a student has practiced diligently for a number of years and has achieved the rank of 1+, Sensei Abe may ask him or her to take the examination for Black Belt.