Kyu Grades

A grading shows a student’s level of competency in terms of their current techniques, and shows their ability, strength and determination to move on to develop more advanced techniques and skill-sets. Once a student has completed their minimum time, lesson requirements on a particular belt, and have gained a strong grasp of the technical requirements for their current grade, their instructor will book them in to attend a Regional Grading.

There are 10 levels, known as ‘kyu’ (belt) grades, before reaching the first black belt level, Shodan (1st Dan).

Beginners start at 10th kyu and work their way up to 1st kyu.

Progression through the kyu grades is indicated by either a change in belt colour or black tab on one end of your belt.

The kyu grades from lowest to highest are:


Shodan: First-degree (1st Dan) black belt

Each kyu grade has its own list of karate skills to learn before you’re ready to move up.

Earning a black belt doesn’t mean you’ve reached the end. It means you’ve seen how far the path leads and you’re willing to keep walking.

How long does it take to get your black belt?

As your journey through the Grading system is a personal one, there is no definitive answer for how long it takes a student to reach his or her Black belt. 

However, in Seido Karate, it generally takes about five to eight years of regular training to grade to first-degree black belt, known as Shodan (1st Dan).

Grading is by invitation only once students reach 1st kyu (Advanced brown belt).

After Shodan (1st Dan), there are another eight black belt grades to reach the highest level of Seido Karate.

Dan grade are: