In the Goju Ryu Style, much like most Karate styles and Japanese influenced arts, a system of grading is used to reflect the experience and ability of the Student. The requirement for each level differs in different schools and organisations, and even the colours of the belts and there order also differs.

Kyu grades are repersented by Colour belts, while Dan grades wear Black Belts.

Some schols use Red and White belts for higher Dan grades, typically from 5th or 7th Dan and up, with Red reserved for 9th Dan or 10th Dan or for the Head of the Style.

In a typical system, the order of Kyu belts is :

grading belts

In several styles, Brown belt category is divided into 3 grades ( San Kyu , Ni Kyu , Ik Kyu ).

Kyu belt students are also known as Mudansha , while Black Belt Students are known as Yudansha.

Sometimes, different Titles are used to represent the Yudansha Grades and levels of the Teachers. The term Sensei ( which means the teacher )is commonly refers to the Black Belt Karatekas. There are some other titles which represent higher level of proficiency. They include - Shihan , Kyoshi , Hanshi , Soke etc.


Black Belt & Above Ranking :

Min. Time Requirement
Shodan 3.5 years Sempai
Nidan 2 yrs. after Shodan Sempai
Sandan 3 yrs. after Nidan Sensei
Yo-Dan 4 yrs. aftr Sandan Sensei
Go-Dan 5 yrs. after Yo-dan Sensei/Shihan
Roku-Dan 6 yrs. after Go-dan Sensei/Shihan
Shichi-Dan 7 trs. after Roku-dan Kyoshi
Hachi-Dan 8 yrs. after Shichi-dan Kyoshi
Ku-Dan 10 yrs. after Hachi-dan Hanshi
Ju-Dan 10 yrs. after Ku-dan Hanshi


After 18 years of age, a junior Black Belt can appear for Senior Black Belt depending on the Master. He may become Senior Black Belt even without having appear again for any Gradings.