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Grading Syllabus


The belt system in judo is categorized into Mon and Kyu grades for less experienced judokas and Dan grades for advanced practitioners. For Mon and Kyu grades, promotion is based on technical ability, knowledge of Japanese terminology, and supplementary knowledge, without a contest requirement. However, judokas are encouraged to participate in a recommended randori and contest program as outlined in the syllabus, achieving set levels for each color belt.

To achieve a Dan grade, judokas must demonstrate their superiority in examinations or certain competitions against peers of the same or higher grade, with promotion criteria becoming increasingly stringent at higher levels. Alternatively, they may opt for the Technical Dan Grade pathway, focusing on technical expertise and understanding according to rigorous criteria.


While Kyu grades focus on learning techniques, Dan grades emphasise their practical application. Promotion in Dan grades, noted by increasingly demanding competitive skills assessments or technical knowledge evaluations, does not alter the belt color until the 6th Dan is reached. Although a different color belt is awarded at this level, most continue to wear the black belt for regular practice, using the higher-grade belt only for ceremonial occasions. This distinction underscores the progressive and challenging nature of judo’s ranking system.

Dan grades

Although examinations are held in the United Kingdom for promotion up to 5th dan, the dan grades beyond that are only awarded through the Board of Directors of the BJA.


Kyu grades

Before you progress to Dan Grades you must first progress through the Kyu Grade syllabus.


Mon grades

For juniors the grading system is Mon Grades, and they are detailed below.

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