Gwent Junior Karate follows the traditional method of using coloured belts to indicate student progress throughout their training. Judo was the first Martial Art to use this system, then Sensei Gichin Funakoshi adopted it in the early part of the 20th century for Shotokan.
Because children experience growth spurts as they mature we at Gwent Junior Karate have introduced two levels of grade depending on the member’s age. All students under 11 years old are called Minors and are awarded striped belts when they are graded. Students who are 11 years or over are called Juniors and are awarded full colour belts. In addition to this there are also three coloured cloth bands in between each belt (these are sewn onto the end of the belt). This system helps us maintain a high technical level of training within the Club and provides additional motivation to our members.
When our members achieve their green belt they are allowed to learn Bo Katas using a short Jo or long Bo staff (depending on their size).
If they reach the required level, our members can be graded up to three times a year (approximately every 4 months). However, when they attain their blue belt, the most they can be graded is twice a year until they reach brown belt and 3 bands.
On average, if a member trains twice a week, it takes a minimum of 1 year from the time they achieve their brown belt and 3 bands until they are considered for their Junior or Minor Black Belt.
The system of Junior couloured belts and bands is as follows:
White Belt or 7th Kyu (where it all starts).
Junior Red Belt or 6th Kyu.
Junior Yellow Belt or 5th Kyu.
Junior Orange Belt or 4th Kyu.
Junior Green Belt or 3rd Kyu.
Junior Blue Belt or 2nd Kyu.
Junior Brown Belt or 1st Kyu.
Junior Black Belt or 1st Dan (your reward for years of hard work and dedication).
Minor grades follow the same colour sequence of belts and bands but use striped belts like these below to show the age difference: