Kodokan Martial Arts Belt Systems:

Nearly all martial arts have a system whereby a student can progress in their style. It is measured by examination at set intervals. Below the black belts are Kyu grades, meaning level, and normally starts at white belt, 9th Kyu (KuKyu). Each style will have their own coloured belts to recognise this, but may differ from school to school. Thereby the best way to compare the level a student has attained is by their kyu grade, and not the colour of their belt. For example, a 5th Kyu student in Anshin Ryu Karate wears a Red Belt, while a student of Kamishin Ryu Karate wears Blue Belt. Furthermore, some martial artist start at a lower kyu grade than others, i.e. perhaps at 6th kyu instead of 9th kyu.

However, once the student becomes a Black Belt then only difference is in their Dan (meaning Grade) level. They progress upwards, such as 1st Dan, 2nd Dan, 3rd Dan and so on. This can be identified normally by either stripes across the end of their belt, or circles etc. Within this system titles are given, such as Kaicho (Master of the dojo), Soke (Master or founder of the system), and Shihan (5th Dan or higher); their are more of these titles and all are awarded.

Below are the belt systems for the schools of Karate and MAtayoshi Kobudo in Kodokan Martial Arts, and the minimum time a student needs to put in before attempting their next belt. The time between grades are based on the amount a student spends in the dojo. A lesson is between 1 to 1.5 hours depending on the class.

Anshin Ryu Karate Belt System

  • 9th Kyu (Ku Kyu) White Belt – novice new student
  • 8th Kyu (Hachi Kyu) Yellow Belt – 24 lessons (3 month) from last grade
  • 7th Kyu (Nana Kyu or Shichi Kyu) Orange Belt – 24 Lessons (3 months) from last grade
  • 6th Kyu (Rok Kyu) Green Belt – 24 Lessons (3 months) from last grade
  • 5th Kyu (Go Kyu) Red Belt – 24 Lessons (3 months) from last grade
  • 4th Kyu (Yon Kyu) Blue Belt Black Stripe – 24 Lessons (3 months) from last grade
  • 3rd Kyu (San Kyu) Purple Belt Black Stripe – 48 Lessons (6 months) from last grade
  • 2nd Kyu (Ni Kyu) Red Belt Black Stripe – 48 Lessons (6 months) from last grade
  • 1st Kyu (Ik Kyu) Brown Belt Black Stripe – 48 Lessons (6 months) from last grade
  • Junior Black Belt (Shodan-Ho) – 96 Lessons (1 year) from last grade
  • 1st Dan (Shodan) Black Belt 1 stripe – 96 Lessons (1 year) from last grade
  • 2nd Dan (Nidan) Black Belt 2 stripes – 192 Lessons (2 years) from last grade
  • 3rd Dan (Sandan) Black Belt 3 stripes – 288 Lessons (3 years) from last grade
  • 4th Dan (Yondan) Black Belt 4 stripes – 384 Lessons (4 years) from last grade
  • 5th Dan (Godan) Black Belt 5 stripes – 480 Lessons (5 years) from last grade

and so on.

Kamishin Ryu Karate Belt System

  • 9th Kyu (Ku Kyu) White Belt – novice new student
  • 8th Kyu (Hachi Kyu) Yellow Belt – 44 hours from last grade
  • 7th Kyu (Nana Kyu or Shichi Kyu) Orange Belt – 44 hours from last grade
  • 6th Kyu (Rok Kyu) Green Belt – 60 hours from last grade
  • 5th Kyu (Go Kyu) Blue Belt – 60 hours from last grade
  • 4th Kyu (Yon Kyu) Purple Belt – 70 hours from last grade
  • 3rd Kyu (San Kyu) Brown Belt 1st Stripe – 70 hours from last grade
  • 2nd Kyu (Ni Kyu) Brown Belt 2nd Stripe – 76 hours from last grade
  • 1st Kyu (Ik Kyu) Brown Belt 3rd Stripe – 80 hours from last grade
  • 1st Dan (Shodan) Black Belt 1 stripe – 12 months or 156 hours from last grade
  • 2nd Dan (Nidan) Black Belt 2 stripes – 2 years from last grade
  • 3rd Dan (Sandan) Black Belt 3 stripes – 3 years from last grade
  • 4th Dan (Yondan) Black Belt 4 stripes – 4 years from last grade
  • 5th Dan (Godan) Black Belt 5 stripes – 5 years from last grade

and so on.

Little Dragon's Belt System

  • 9th Mon (Ku Mon) White Belt – novice new student
  • 8th Mon (Hachi Mon) White Belt Yellow Stripe – 3 month from last grade
  • 7th Mon (Nana Mon or Shichi Mon) White Belt Orange Stripe – 3 months from last grade
  • 6th Mon (Rok Mon) White Belt Green Stripe – 3 months from last grade
  • 5th Mon (Go Mon) White Belt Red Stripe – 3 months from last grade
  • 4th Mon (Yon Mon) White Belt Blue Stripe – 3 months from last grade
  • 3rd Mon (San Mon) White Belt Purple Stripe – 3 months from last grade
  • 2nd Mon (Ni Mon) White Belt Brown Stripe – 3 months from last grade
  • 1st Mon (Ik Mon) White Belt Black Stripe – 3 months from last grade

Matayoshi Kobudo Kodokan International

  • 9th Kyu (Ku Kyu) White Belt – novice new student
  • 8th Kyu (Hachi Kyu) White Belt Black Stripe – 24 Lessons (3 months) from last grade
  • 7th Kyu (Nana Kyu or Shichi Kyu) Yellow Belt – 24 Lessons (3 months) from last grade
  • 6th Kyu (Rok Kyu) Yellow Belt Black Stripe – 24 Lessons (3 months) from last grade
  • 5th Kyu (Go Kyu) Green Belt – 24 Lessons (3 months) from last grade
  • 4th Kyu (Yon Kyu) Green Belt Black Stripe – 48 Lessons (6 months) from last grade
  • 3rd Kyu (San Kyu) Brown Belt – 48 Lessons (6 months) from last grade
  • 2nd Kyu (Ni Kyu) Brown Belt Black Stripe – 48 Lessons (6 months) from last grade
  • 1st Kyu (Ik Kyu) Brown Belt 2 Black Stripes – 48 Lessons (6 months) from last grade
  • 1st Dan (Shodan) Black Belt 1 stripe – 96 Lessons (12 months) from last grade
  • 2nd Dan (Nidan) Black Belt 2 stripes – 192 Lessons (2 years) from last grade
  • 3rd Dan (Sandan) Black Belt 3 stripes – 288 Lessons (3 years) from last grade