The ESA’s grade system is based on the traditional ‘Shotokan’ Kyu grade system of nine Kyu grades from beginner to Shodan (1st Dan black belt). In line with many other Associations, a junior grade system (based on tags) has been introduced.

Only persons with a valid licence / record book who has completed the required training period may present for examination.

Children's Belt / Grading Structure

Kodomo

Main Colour

Stripe

 

1st  Tokyu

White

Orange

Kihon

2nd Tokyu

White

Red

Kihon + Kata

3rd Tokyu

White

Yellow

Kata + Kumite

9th Kodomo

Orange

Kihon, Kata, Kumite

1st Tokyu

Orange

White

Kihon

2nd Tokyu

Orange

Black

Kihon + Kata

3rd Tokyu

Orange

Red

Kata + Kumite

8th Kodomo

Red

Kihon, Kata. Kumite

1st Tokyu

Red

white

Kihon

2nd Tokyu

Red

Black

Kihon + Kata

3rd Tokyu

Red

Yellow

Kata + Kumite

7th Kodomo

Yellow

Kihon, Kata, Kumite

1st Tokyu

Yellow

white

Kihon

2nd Tokyu

Yellow

Black

Kihon + Kata

3rd Tokyu

Yellow

Green

Kata + Kumite

6th Kodomo

Green

Kihon, Kata, Kumite

1st Tokyu

Green

white

Kihon

2nd Tokyu

Green

Black

Kihon + Kata

3rd Tokyu

Green

Blue

Kata + Kumite

5th Kodomo

Blue

Kihon, Kata, Kumite

1st Tokyu

Blue

White

Kihon

2nd Tokyu

Blue

Black

Kihon + Kata

3rd Tokyu

Blue

Purple

Kata + Kumite

4th Kodomo

Purple

Kihon, Kata, Kumite

1st Tokyu

Purple

White

Kihon

2nd Tokyu

Purple

Black

Kihon + Kata

3rd Tokyu

Purple

Brown

Kata + Kumite

3rd Kodomo

Brown

Kihon, Kata, Kumite

2nd Kodomo

Brown

White

Kihon, Kata, Kumite

1st Kodomo

Brown

Red

Kihon, Kata, Kumite

Cadet Black Belt

Black

Red

Kihon, Kata, Kumite

Children’s Grade Examinations

A simplified grading syllabus exists to encourage young children to progress with their training in karate. To differentiate it from adult Kyu grades these are referred to as Kodomo Tokyu (Child Grade) and distinctive belt system is use to signify progress through these grades. Grading rules are:-

· The systems is compulsory for children up to the age of 12 years but may be extended to 15 years where there is a special need.

· Waiting time between each Kodomo Tokyu is a minimum 2 month based on a minimum 2 hours training per week

· Belts will have a base colour with a single contrasting lengthwise coloured stripe

· The 1st Tokyu of each series will be awarded for successful demonstration of Kihon Only

· The 2nd Tokyu of each series will be awarded for successful demonstration of Kihon + Kata

· The 3rd Tokyu of each series will be awarded for successful demonstration of Kata + Kumite

· Full Kodomo grade will be awarded for successful demonstration of Kihon + Kata + Kumite

· The club instructor will select the level that the student is to be examined at based on their ability

· The examiner will determine the grade awarded based on their performance

· There is no requirement for students taking Cadet Black belts to attend ESA Black and Brown belt course prior to grading

· Cadet Black belts may be taken within the Club by a National Examiner (see examiners list)

· The waiting time from 1st Kodomo to 1st Cadet Black Belt will be 6 months

Kyu Grade Insignia.

Each Kyu grade is represented by a differently coloured belt, in ascending order as follows:

Grade Belt Grade Belt
Novice White 5th Kyu Purple
9th Kyu Orange 4th Kyu Purple with lengthwise white stripe
8th Kyu Red 3rd Kyu Brown
7th Kyu Yellow 2nd Kyu Brown with 1 lengthwise white stripe
6th Kyu Green 1st Kyu Brown with 2 lengthwise white stripe

Kyu Grade Examinations.

Waiting time between each Kyu grade is a minimum of 3 months training based upon a minimum 3 hours of training per week.

Waiting time for 1st Kyu taking Shodan is a minimum of 6 months training.

All 1st Kyu examination must be taken on an association Black & Brown Belt course.

For 1st Kyu to be eligible to grade to Shodan a minimum of 2 association Black & Brown Belt courses must be trained on during the 12 month period prior to the examination.

Cadet Black Belts

· Junior or Cadet Black Belt grades may be awarded to student under the age of 16 years using the association Cadet Grading Syllabus

· These grades may be taken within their own club under a National Grading Examiner

· The highest level of Cadet Black Belt permitted is 2nd degree

· The waiting time between 1st Kodomo and 1st Cadet Black Belt is 6 months based on a minimum of 2 hours training per week

· The recognised Insignia for all Cadet Black Belt is a Black Belt with a thin red stripe running the length of the belt

· At 16 years a Cadet Black Belt may apply through their instructor for upgrading to senior 1st Dan by completing the appropriate form. This request will be considered by the Technical Committee using established criteria and will either be ratified or referred for physical re-assessment

· The upgrade to Shodan will be registered with the Karate England and time scale for progress to 2nd Dan and above start from this registration in accordance with Karate England Rules

Dan Grade Examinations.

Dan Grades may only be awarded to student over the age of 16 years

Persons taking Dan grades must notify the Dan Grade Administration Officer, on the appropriate form, a minimum of 28 days prior to the examination.

Dan Grade Examinations are only conducted on specified courses.

There is a requirement at all levels for qualifying courses to be attended, to ensure the criterion is met, the advice of your Instructor or the Dan Grade Administration Officer should be sought.

Waiting Times for Dan Grade Examinations.

  Minimum training time Minimum Age
(International Rules)
Shodan - 16 years
Shodan to Nidan 2 years 18 years
Nidan to Sandan 3 years 21 years
Sandan to Yondan 4 years 25 years
Yondan to Godan 5 years 30 years



Only grades awarded by approved examiners of the ESA will be recognised.