Karate has a ranking system based on kyu and dan levels

Kyu refers to any level below black belt. There are nine kyus in the JKA system, with ninth kyu being the lowest and first kyu the highest.

Kyu belts are coloured belts. A beginner starts as ninth kyu (white belt) and progress to first kyu (brown belt).

Kyu belt tests are conducted three or four times a year.

The test looks at the three main areas of Karate training, those being kihon(basics), kata(form) and kumite (basic sparring).

Look at testing section for kyu test requirements.

The student demonstrates his ability in these three areas, and is compared to the JKA standard.

Students usually test in groups of three, not alone. Allowances may also be made for factors such as age or physical disability.

Tests are actually quite basic and look for a good foundation in basic movement.

Dan refers to black belt levels which go from 1to10 ,with 1 being the lowest.

Dan testing is usually held once or twice a year

Ranking system

Ninth kyu                  (九級)  White belt                     Beginner

Eighth kyu                (八級)  Yellow belt                    3 months

Seventh kyu             (七級)  Orange belt                   3 months

Sixth kyu                   (六級)  Green belt                    6 months

Fifth kyu                    (五級)  Blue belt                      senior instructor

Fourth kyu                 (四級)  Blue belt                      3 months

Third kyu                   (三級)  Brown belt                   6 months

Second kyu               (二級)  Brown belt                   3 months

First kyu                   (一級)  Brown belt                    6 months

The Shodan (first dan – 初段) test may be taken 6 months after first kyu.

There are ten dan ranks with first being the lowest and ten the highest

(tenth dan is usually only awarded posthumously to the most senior insructor)