Kyu Grades

The Kyu Grade system is a distinctive feature of judo with promotion to different coloured belts based on technical ability, knowledge and understanding as well as supplementary knowledge of Japanese terminology. Although there is no contest requirement in the Kyu Grade system there is a progressively structured randori element based on open skills.

The Kyu Grade system is aimed at judoka 14 years and older as well as those who are between 14 and 17 years of age who already hold a Mon Grade and are converting to the next grading scheme. Judoka who are over the age of 18 will automatically start on the Kyu Grade system.

Judoka follow a progressive study of techniques detailed in the Kyu Grade syllabus and attempt promotion to the next grade at regular intervals. These promotions are called gradings. During a grading judoka are required to know the common English names and meaning of all Japanese terminology used for the grade they are being graded for. They are also required to practically demonstrate techniques required for that grading. Where appropriate they must also be able to discuss their reasons for their choice of technique, grip etc.

As judoka progress through the Kyu Grade system the practical situation and examination process in which they demonstrate the required techniques becomes more stringent and greater in depth. Gradings up to and including 4th Kyu are completed within the judoka’s own club by a British Judo licensed Coach. For judoka being graded to 3rd Kyu or higher, they have the option to be graded at their club or at an inter-club event, area promotion examination or at a Technical Training course.

With regular study and training, a judoka should be able to complete the Kyu Grade system in approximately 6-9 years. In some cases when the judoka is particularly dedicated they may complete the Kyu Grade system in 4-5 years.

There are 6 different grades contained within the Kyu system, which each grade requiring a different coloured belt. Judoka that have completed the Kyu Grade system are able to study and train for the coveted black belt available in the British Judo’s Dan Grade system.

Kyu belts