Grading is a system whereby students can monitor their progress by undergoing examinations to progress to the next belt. KUGB Karateka will be eligible to grade providing they have fulfilled all technical requirements, hold a current KUGB licence and record book and have permission to grade from their senior club instructor, Sensei Michael O’Connor, 7thDan.
All HSKC gradings are held at Queens Park High School, Handbridge by the KUGB Chief Instructor, Sensei Andy Sherry 9thDan.
Students must train on average twice per week at a KUGB dojo, with an approved KUGB instructor.
Students who have demonstrated the required standard are awarded a coloured belt to denote their grade. Coloured Belt grades are known as Kyu grades and range from 9thKyu – White Belt to 1stKyu – Brown Belt with two white stripes. Students training at least twice per week and achieving the necessary level, may grade every 3 months up to 1stKyu.
Once 1stKyu is achieved, students must wait a further 6 months before being eligible to take Shodan (first level Black Belt). You should consult the senior club instructors to see if you are ready to grade. Not all students progress at the same rate, so it is important to grade only when you are ready. It is not uncommon for students to miss a grade.
Irrespective of skill or confidence levels, all students must have completed at least 26 hours training since their last grading in order to qualify for the next grading (16 hours in order to take their first grading).
Novices may grade after two months of training.
There must be a minimum of three monthly intervals between each grading from 9th Kyu to 1st Kyu.
It is possible for exceptional students to be graded directly to 8th Kyu, but this is at the discretion of the grading examiner.
A student may receive a ‘Temporary’ grade, which means that they are not quite up to the required standard. They will however wear the same coloured belt and train on the same syllabus as if they were a full grade.
Students who fail a Kyu grading may re-take their examination after three months.
The examiner may ask to see some or all of the Kihon, Kata and Kumite listed in the KUGB Syllabus. Candidates may be required to demonstrate material from previous gradings to ensure overall development – a brown belt for example may be asked to perform a Heian Kata.
Allowance will be made for candidates who are unable to perform certain techniques due to physical or other restrictions.
It must be emphasised that the KUGB Syllabus is intended as a guideline to prepare students for their gradings and that the most important factor is the examinee’s quality of performance.