A grading is an examination of all aspects of karate, for example, kihon (basics), kata, kumite, and so on. Each candidate must achieve the minimum level required for the particular grade attempted in each of the categories listed. It is not acceptable to be proficient in one area while lacking in others – e.g. strong in kumite and weak in kata.
Dojo etiquette, manner and attendance are also taken into account.
Most students will grade in their local dojo until they reach 3rd or 2nd Kyu. After that they have to attend one of the regional grading weekend events organised by the EGKA to gain their next grade.
General Grading Rules
Each candidate must be an up-to-date licensed member of their dojo and EGKA.
All candidates who are eligible to grade will be invited to test at the discretion of their dojo head instructor or Sensei Ernie Molyneux, the Chief Instructor of England.
For a 1st Kyu or dan (black belt) grading, the registration fee and the grading fee must be paid directly to EGKA with the completed registration form. These examinations can only take place at a national EGKA gasshuku, with Sensei Ernie
The minimum age for Senior Shodan (1st degree black belt) is 18 years. Students eligible for black belt testing under 18 years of age will be awarded Junior Shodan.
The Junior Shodan is split into three age categories with appropriate syllabus (please see your instructor for details): 10-13 years or Junior level (Ka-kyu), 14-15 years or
Intermediate level (Chu-kyu), 16-17 years or Advanced level (Jo-kyu).
Juniors may progress through the categories until they are 18 years old when they must retest to Senior (adult) Shodan to progress further. They may, at the discretion of the Chief Instructor, test for Senior Nidan one year later in exceptional cases.
Minimum Time and Attendance Requirements
Grading candidates will be chosen by your sensei according to your technical abilities, attitude, manners, etiquette, class attendance and period of training and age. In addition, senior grades from 2nd Kyu upwards, are expected to attend national and
international courses as part of their training requirements towards their next grading.
The following are the minimum requirements for both attendance and period of training. In addition to these minimum requirements, it is mandatory for the student to show improvement from their last grading. Time and classes by themselves is not sufficient.
10th Kyu- 4th Kyu – between each grade continuous attendance between 3/4 months or 24/32 classes.
3rd – 1st Kyu - between each grade continuous attendance between 6/12 months or 48 classes including 2 national courses per annum.
Senior Shodan – minimum age 18 years old, 12 months from 1st Kyu, time in
training minimum 5 years
Junior Shodan is split into three age categories with appropriate syllabus (please see
your instructor for details): 10-13 years (minimum training time 5 years) or Junior
level (Ka-kyu), 14-15 years or Intermediate level (Chu-kyu), 16-17 years or
Advanced level (Jo-kyu).
Nidan – minimum age 20 years old, 2 years from Shodan, time in training minimum
Sandan – minimum age 23 years old, 3 years from Nidan, time in training minimum
Yondan – minimum age 27 years old, 4 years from Sandan, time in training
minimum 13 years.