The School Of Shotokan Karate-Do (New Delhi, India)
SSK Shotokan Karate Tai Chi Credits Disclaimer

System Of Grading A Karateka

Shotokan Karate follows the Belt System to Grade and Rank a Karateka.

School of Shotokan Karate-Do awards a grade to a karateka only after clearing a test with above average performance under the strict vigilance of S.S.K. Board of Directors and Senior S.S.K. Members (thus increasing the validity of the conducted tests). The required standards that a karateka must attain to be awarded a certain grade is specified by the S.S.K. Board of Directors and is based on international standards.

Each grade obtained by a karateka is represented by the color of the belt awarded to him. One has to clear nine Kyu (grades) in order to be able to be worthy for a Black Belt test.

Belt System

Belt Color Grade/Rank Rank Description Min. Training

Junior Belts

White Belt with 1 Orange Stripe   Beginner  
White Belt KuKyu 9th Kyu 3 months
Yellow Belt HatchiKyu 8th Kyu 3 months
Orange Belt NanaKyu 7th Kyu 6 months
Green Belt RokKyu 6th Kyu 9 months
Purple Belt GoKyu 5thKyu 12 months
Blue Belt YonKyu 4th Kyu 15 months
Brown Belt with 3 White stripes SanKyu Third Degree Brown Belt 18 months
Brown Belt with 2 White stripes NiKyu Second Degree Brown Belt 24 months
Brown Belt with 1 White stripe IkKyu First Degree Brown Belt 27 months
Senior Belts
Black Belt Shodan 1st Degree Black Belt 36 months
Black Belt Nidan 2nd Degree Black Belt 1 yr after Shodan
Black Belt Sandan 3rd Degree Black Belt 2 yrs after Nidan
Black Belt Yondan 4th Degree Black Belt 3 yrs after Sandan
Black Belt Godan 5th Degree Black Belt 3yrs after Yondan
Black Belt Rokudan 6th Degree Black Belt  
Black Belt Shichidan 7th Degree Black Belt  
Black Belt Hachidan 8th Degree Black Belt  
Black Belt Kudan 9th Degree Black Belt  
Black Belt Judan 10th Degree Black Belt  
The Grading System also involves the use of Honorary Titles along with Belts and Ranks.
There are Titles that sometimes go hand in hand with the Rank but are not necessarily given at any specific Rank. Rank and Title are two separate items and should be treated as such. Just because a person attains the Rank of black belt (Shodan), it does not necessarily make him a good teacher.

Generally, titles are related to teaching status.

Please Note different styles of karate use different Titles.


Title Status Credentials or Min. Belt & Rank
Senpai Senior and/or Teacher's Assistant Shodan, Nidan & Sandan, Black Belt, Those senior to yourself
Sensei Teacher or instructor (A qualified black belt teacher) Sandan
Shihan Master, Teacher of Teachers, Professor-Senior Master 6th Dan or Higher
Kancho Highest Instructor of specific Ryu Ha or Kai Ha 10th Dan
Meijin Grandmaster, Gichin Funakoshi Founder
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14/07/2005 - 22/07/2011 - SSK Website is updated and has as new domainname schoolofshotokan the old domain is no longer operational.
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