Many people see the grading system as one of the major appeals of judo, a series of steps for the judoka to climb and an incentive for those who may have no ambitions towards Olympic competition but who want a measure of their own improvement.

All judokas are recognizable by the colours of their belts. When you have a grade, you can walk into any club and your ability will be acknowledged immediately. Once you have earned a grading you can continue to wear it until you feel ready to take the next on the scale.

When you start for the first time, you will wear a white belt. You will not have to take a test for it, and you will wear it throughout your beginners' period and until your first grading. Every four to six months a beginner can take an examination for a judo grade. The grades are:

Over 16 years, Kyu Grade:

6th Kyu (white belt), 5th Kyu (yellow), 4yh Kyu (orange), 3rd Kyu (green), 2nd Kyu (blue), 1st Kyu (brown), and now he/she takes a severe examination for his/her 1st Dan (black belt). A 1st Dan is shown certain things (for instance: resuscitation) not taught to lower grades. A 1st Dan is normally regarded as qualified to teach, to referee contests and extra skill and knowledges. The may all wear the black belt.

Explanation of the Grading System


1st Mon white belt + one
2nd Mon white belt + two
3rd Mon white belt + three
4th Mon yellow belt + one
5th Mon yellow belt + two
6th Mon yellow belt + three
7th Mon orange belt + one
8th Mon orange belt + two
9th Mon orange belt + three
10th Mon green belt + one
11th Mon green belt + two
12th Mon green belt + three
13th Mon blue belt + one
14th Mon blue belt + two
15th Mon blue belt + three
16th Mon brown belt + one
17th Mon brown belt + two
18th Mon brown belt + three

* red 1/2 inch wide bar sewn onto to one belt end

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6th Kyu white belt
5th Kyu yellow belt
4th Kyu orange belt
3rd Kyu green belt
2nd Kyu blue belt
1st Kyu brown belt

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1st Dan black belt
2nd Dan black belt
3rd Dan black belt
4th Dan black belt
5th Dan black belt
6th Dan red and white section (blocked) belt
7th Dan red and white section (blocked) belt
8th Dan red and white section (blocked) belt
9th Dan red (blocked) belt
10th Dan red (blocked) belt
11th Dan red (blocked) belt
12th Dan white (blocked0 belt

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