Karate Grading

Next grading will be held in: March 2020

What to prepare for Karate grading?

Consider grading day to be just another training.

The first half of the class will be dedicated to warming-up and going through grading techniques and etiquette. It is important to arrive early, as you may not be admitted to grade by the examiner if you arrive late.

For beginners, make sure you bring your white uniform, the Karate Gi as regular gym clothes are not accepted for grading. You will also need to submit a completed physical copy of the JKA Shotokan Ireland Membership Form to the examiners before grading. This will allow you to receive the JKA membership booklet which will open the door to train in any JKA dojos and seminars in the world, including the headquarters in Japan.

And lastly, get plenty of rest before the grading and bring your best self on the day.

Registration form for next grading

To register for your next grading, please fill in the short sign-up form below to indicate your participation. If you are grading for the first time (white belt/10th kyu) or recently made a switch to JKA from a different association, you will also need to fill up the Membership Form and bring the physical form to the grading.

What are the Karate ranks?

Like many traditional martial arts, Karate recognises the skills progression of the student through the ranking system called Kyu, meaning “Class” in Japanese. A new student joining the Dojo will be given a white belt and classified as 10th Kyu. In order to progress through the ranks, students have to go through the Grading system and get assessed by examination panel.

After 1st Kyu, you will obtain the black belt and the ranks change to Dan, meaning “Step“. Once you attain your first black belt, it is widely considered that is when your real training begins, hence it is called Shodan, or “the first step”.

UCD Karate Grading Schedule

Winter grading

The first grading of the academic year is usually held around Nov/Dec as students would get a sufficient 3-4 months of training for the first belt.

Spring grading

Usually held in April for members who have regularly attended trainings for the period of January – April, coinciding with Semester 2 in UCD.

Summer grading

For members who regularly attend summer training, we hold a special summer grading in July/August, depending on the amount of graders.

Kyu Grading Syllabus

UCD Karate follows the grading syllabus of the Japan Karate Association (JKA) and the JKA Shotokan Ireland program. Refer to your programme below and make sure to ask your instructor or senior members as many questions as you can before your actual grading.

JKA Kyu Grading Syllabus

10th to 9th Kyu

Direction Technique Count
Forward Chudan Jun-zuki 3 times
Forward Jodan Age-uke 3 times
Forward Chudan Soto-uke 3 times
Forward Mae-geri 3 times
  • Kata: Kihon – (Count 20 – 8 & 16)
  • Kumite: Sanbon Kumite – Jodan/ Chudan

9th to 8th Kyu

Direction Technique Count
Forward Chudan Jun-zuki 3 times
Forward Jodan Age-uke 3 times
Forward Chudan Soto-uke 3 times
Forward Gedan-barai 3 times
Forward Shuto-uke 3 times
Forward Mae-geri 3 times
  • Kata: Heian Shodan – (Count 21 – 9 & 17)
  • Kumite: Gohon Kumite – Jodan/ Chudan

* Examiners look predominantly for correct basic form

8th to 7th Kyu

Direction Technique Count
Forward Chudan Jun-zuki 3 times
Forward Jodan Age-uke 3 times
Forward Chudan Soto-uke 3 times
Forward Gedan-barai 3 times
Forward Shuto-uke 3 times
Forward Mae-geri 3 times
Forward Yoko Ke-age (Kibadachi) left/right 3 times
  • Kata: Heian Nidan – (Count 26 – 11 & 26)
  • Kumite: Gohon Kumite – Jodan/ Chudan

7th to 6th Kyu

Direction Technique Count
Forward Chudan Jun-zuki 3 times
Backward Jodan Age-uke + Gyaku-zuki 3 times
Forward Chudan Soto-uke + Gyaku-zuki 3 times
Backward Chudan Uchi-uke 3 times
Forward Shuto-uke 3 times
Forward Mae-geri 3 times
Forward Yoko Ke-age (Kibadachi) left/right 3 times
Forward Yoko Ke-komi (Kibadachi) left/right 3 times
  • Kata: Heian Sandan – (Count 20 – 10 & 20)
  • Kumite: Kihon Ippon Kumite – Jodan/ Chudan left/ right

6th to 5th Kyu

Direction Technique Count
Forward Chudan Jun-zuki 3 times
Backward Jodan Age-uke + Gyaku-zuki 3 times
Forward Chudan Soto-uke + Gyaku-zuki 3 times
Backward Chudan Uchi-uke + Gyaku-zuki 3 times
Forward Shuto-uke 3 times
Forward Mae-geri 3 times
Forward Yoko Ke-age (Kibadachi) left/right 3 times
Forward Yoko Ke-komi (Kibadachi) left/right 3 times
  • Kata: Heian Yondan – (Count 27 – 13 & 25)
  • Kumite: Kihon Ippon Kumite – Jodan/ Chudan/ Mae-geri left/ right

* Examiners look for correct pivoting of the hips during renzoku-waza, and clear grasp of the hand techniques

5th to 4th Kyu

Direction Technique Count
Forward Chudan Jun-zuki 3 times
Backward Jodan Age-uke + Gyaku-zuki 3 times
Forward Chudan Soto-uke + Gyaku-zuki 3 times
Backward Chudan Uchi-uke + Gyaku-zuki 3 times
Forward Shuto-uke + Nukite (Kokutsu-dachi to Zenkutsu-dachi) 3 times
Forward Mae-geri 3 times
Forward Mawashi-geri 3 times
Forward Yoko Ke-age (Kibadachi) left/right 3 times
Forward Yoko Ke-komi (Kibadachi) left/right 3 times
  • Kata: Heian Godan – (Count 23 – 12 & 19)
  • Kumite: Kihon Ippon Kumite – Jodan/ Chudan/ Mae-geri left/ right

4th to 3rd Kyu

Direction Technique Count
Forward Sambon Renzuki 3 times
Backward Jodan Age-uke + Gyaku-zuki 3 times
Forward Chudan Soto-uke + Yoko Empi (Zenkutsu-dachi to Kiba-dachi) 3 times
Backward Chudan Uchi-uke + Gyaku-zuki 3 times
Forward Shuto-uke + Nukite (Kokutsu-dachi to Zenkutsu-dachi) 3 times
Forward Mae-geri 3 times
Forward Mawashi-geri 3 times
Forward Yoko Ke-age (Kibadachi) left/right 3 times
Forward Yoko Ke-komi (Kibadachi) left/right 3 times
  • Kata: Tekki Shodan – (Count 29 – 15 & 29)
  • Kumite: Kihon Ippon Kumite – Jodan/ Chudan/ Mae-geri/ Yoko Ke-komi left/ right

* Examiners are looking for appropriate degree of strength and sharpness of execution in each technique (Kihon, Kata and Kumite)

3rd to 2nd Kyu

Direction Technique Count
Forward Sambon Renzuki 3 times
Backward Jodan Age-uke + Gyaku-zuki 3 times
Forward Chudan Soto-uke + Yoko Empi (Zenkutsu-dachi to Kiba-dachi) 3 times
Backward Chudan Uchi-uke + Gyaku-zuki 3 times
Forward Shuto-uke + Nukite (Kokutsu-dachi to Zenkutsu-dachi) 3 times
Forward Mae-geri 3 times
Forward Mawashi-geri 3 times
Forward Yoko Ke-age (Kibadachi) left/right 3 times
Forward Yoko Ke-komi (Kibadachi) left/right 3 times
  • Kata: Sentei Kata(Bassai Dai, Kanku Dai, Jion, Empi) Student may choose from any of these.
  • Kumite: Jiyu Ippon Kumite (3 metre apart) — Jodan/Chudan/Maegeri/Yoko Kekomi/Mawashi-geri (right/one side)

2nd to 1st Kyu

Direction Technique Count
Forward Sambon Renzuki 3 times
Backward Jodan Age-uke + Gyaku-zuki 3 times
Forward Chudan Soto-uke + Yoko Empi (Zenkutsu-dachi to Kiba-dachi) 3 times
Backward Chudan Uchi-uke + Gyaku-zuki 3 times
Forward Shuto-uke + Nukite (Kokutsu-dachi to Zenkutsu-dachi) 3 times
Forward Mae-geri 3 times
Forward Mawashi-geri 3 times
Forward Yoko Ke-age (Kibadachi) left/right 3 times
Forward Yoko Ke-komi (Kibadachi) left/right 3 times
  • Kata: Sentei Kata(Bassai Dai, Kanku Dai, Jion, Empi) Student may choose from any of these.
  • Kumite: Jiyu Ippon Kumite (3 metre apart) — Jodan/Chudan/Maegeri/Yoko Kekomi/Mawashi-geri (right/one side)

* Examiners look for ease and naturalness of execution, for speedy and powerful kime, and for smooth, instantaneous, dynamic elasticity of delivery

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