Our Syllabus

Our full syllabus is made available to all our students so they are fully aware of what they need to work on in full detail. The below is an idea of what we work on and introduce at each grade. This is a high level overview to help you understand what we teach and how we introduce it at various levels.

We have a very traditional grading syllabus, with 10 grades between starting with us and 1st Dan (black belt). We also then have a defined timeframe between the additional black belts (Dan Grades), which are pretty standard among most martial arts styles and clubs. These are outlined below.

GradeBelt ColourMinimum timeframe for Grading (since last belt)Total Minimum TimeframeMinimum Age
8th KyuYellowN/A3 MonthsN/A
7th KyuOrangeThree Months6 MonthsN/A
6th KyuGreenThree Months9 MonthsN/A
5th KyuBlueThree Months12 MonthsN/A
4th KyuPurpleSix Months1.5 Years N/A
3rd KyuBrownSix Months2.0 YearsN/A
2nd KyuBrown & Black12 Months3.0 YearsN/A
1st KyuBlack & Red12 Months4 YearsN/A
1st DanBlack (1 Tabs)12 Months5 Years16 years old
2nd DanBlack (2 Tabs)2 Years7 years18 years old
3rd DanBlack (3 Tabs)3 Years10 years21 years old
4th DanBlack (4 Tabs)4 Years14 years25 years old
5th DanBlack (5 Tabs)5 Years19 years30 years old

In addition to the above grades, we have the below that are used in special circumstances. A main part of these, is the utalisation of junior Shodan grades. We are associated with the BCKA (British Combat Karate Association) and in turn the EKF (English Karate Federation / Olympic Karate Committee). Neither organisation recognise juniors (under 16’s) as Dan Grades. The recommendation, that we follow, is to utalise the junior Shodan grade. at the other end of the syllabus, we also have a 9th kyu white and yellow belt. This is a belt awarded to our younger students as an encouragement when they are not quite ready for their full yellow belt. This is awarded in class so does not require a grading.

The other key belt we use is the grey belt. This is awarded to anyone who joins the club with previous experience. This allows the instructor team to instantly recognise you’re previous training, challenge you as best they can and allows other students to understand you have trained previously, without creating any misconceptions about ability or understanding. When ready, students with previous experience will be invited to grade, and placed at a relevant point within our syllabus.

GradeBelt ColourMinimum Age
9th KyuYellow & WhiteN/A
N/AGreyN/A
Junior Shodan (Level 1)Black10 years old
Junior Shodan (Level 2)Black12 years old
Junior Shodan (Level 3)Black14 years old

New Starter

As a new starter you’ll be nervous, not sure what to expect and will feel out of you’re depth. don’t panic, we’ve all been there, ALL OF US, trust me, its a natural feeling. so when you first start with us, don’t expect to get everything right the first time. In the same vein, don’t expect to get shouted at or treat like a lesser person. We are not that type of club.

Beginner Grades – Yellow (8th Kyu) & Orange (7th Kyu)

While we don’t hold any students back or hide any part of the syllabus from them, we focus on building a strong foundation at these grades. Gradings focus on Kihon (basic techniques), the use of stances, combination techniques and a small amount of Kata (predetermined form). while these will be a big focus in classes for these grades, we still teach and practice more complicated techniques.

Beginner Grades – Green (6th Kyu) & Blue (5th Kyu)

The focus remains on basic techniques, with a heavier focus on Kata and practical combinations. We also expect students at this stage to have an understanding of Bunkai (practical application of Kata) and be able to demonstrate and explain basic self defense application. We also introduce kumite (sparring) at a relevant level of intensity for each student.

Intermediate Grade – Purple (4th Kyu)

By the time our students reach Purple belt, they should be able to complete three of our syllabus’ Kata, demonstrate the Bunkai for parts of each, be adept with all the clubs Kihon and be able to use these techniques in a practical manor. This should include the ability to utalise joint locks, throws and demonstrate good self defense awareness.

Intermediate Grades – Brown (3rd & 2nd Kyu)

Practice is key at this point (as it is through most of you’re martial arts career) for Kihon and Kata (thats already been learnt. We then introduce a more keen focus on grappling (stood up), ground fighting (how to stay safe if you are on the floor and get up safely), throws and takedowns and more intense kumite application.

Advanced Grade – Brown (1st Kyu)

The grading for 1st kyu is the same as our Black Belt grading, the expectations are just a little less. This is a long, difficult grading that visits all areas of our syllabus.

Beginner Grade – 1st Dan Blackbelt

When you understand why you’re first black belt is a beginner grade, you will truly be a black belt.