Imperial College Judo Club

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Grading Info

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The Judo Rank System

Judo created the system of ranks, now used in most other martial arts, that recognize a person's degree of knowledge, ability, and leadership. Judo ranks are identified by coloured belts, and ten degrees of advanced grades for black belts. Regular grading helps to develop your judo.


A grading is composed of two parts theory and competition. For the kyu grades (coloured belts) in theory section you will be expected to demonstrate certain judo techniques and answer questions on terminology and rules. Details of kyu grade theory available here. In the contest section you will typically get 2 or 3 fights with opponents of the same gender and of similar ability and weight. Promotion is based on the number of matches won, and ability of the opposition. Gradings are held on the last Sunday of each month locally at the Budokwai in Chelsea. Members are able to grade whenever they feel ready, however we usually grade as a club several times a year. To grade you will need a British Judo Association (BJA) licence. Application forms are available here.

Dan gradings are also composed of theory and competition sections, except this time the theory is tested on the 40 judo throws of the Gokyo-no-waza, about 20 Ne-waza techniques, Kata and combination and counter techniques. These are then scored and success depends on achieving a minimum total. The competition is based on a points system, with 100 points (10 ippons) required for 1st Dan. Alternatively there is the line-up available to those who win both of the fights in a grading. This is 3 fights in a row which must be won by Ippon, and with no rest between them!

Last Updated on Tuesday, 09 November 2010 10:06