Grading Formats

Generally, judoka are formally graded once a year at either a winter grading session or a spring grading session. Formal grading is done in front of the entire class. However, the head sensei may decide to examine a judoka individually in an informal grading session while the rest of the class continues separately.

During an examination students are required to demonstrate all the throws for the next belt level. The 40 basic throws are outlined by their grade in the throws page. All students will be tested on throws and hold-downs. Judoka that are approaching 13 years of age and beyond will also be required to demonstrate chokes and armlocks.

Judoka will also be required to demonstrate kaeshi waza which are counter techniques. These are demonstrated by having the person to be thrown initiate an attack and the person being graded will evade the initial attack and throw his/her partner. The counter technique must be a logical one to use for the particular throw they are countering.

Renraku waza is another requirement for most grades. Renraku waza are combination techniques. They are not combining of two techniques into one simoultaneuos technique. A combination is attempting to throw with one technique that it unseccessful, then immediately throwing with a defferent technique. The 2nd technique in the combination must be a logical throw, which means it needs to follow the flow of kuzushi (the way the uke's balance is broken).

The highest grade a sensei may promote a student to within the club is Ikkyu (brown belt). For shodan (black belt) grading, students who meet the requirements must be graded by the Provincial Grading Board.

Ranking System

There are 6 full kyu or mudansha grades and 10 dan or yudansha grades in Judo. A mudansha is a non-black belt holder and a yudansha is a black belt holder. For the grades below black belt, there are half belts denoting progress between the coloured belts. For instance, a yellow belt may be awarded a yellow-orange belt to show progress between the two belts. The chart below lays out the full grades starting with the beginning grades.

Grade
Belt/Dan Level
Colour(s)
Rokyu
White Belt (novice)
Gokyu
Yellow Belt
Yonkyu
Orange Belt
Sankyu
Green Belt
Nikkyu
Blue Belt
Ikkyu
Brown Belt
Shodan
1st Dan
Nidan
2nd Dan
Sandan
3rd Dan
Yondan
4th Dan
Godan
5th Dan
Rokudan
6th Dan
OR
Sichidan
7th Dan
OR
Hachidan
8th Dan
OR
Kyudan
9th Dan
OR
Judan
10th Dan
OR