Junior Judo Grading System

Only registered Technical Board Dan Grades of the International Bushido Association (IBA) are permitted to assess and grade members of Andover’s Junior Judo Club. This normally happens up to twice a year.

New students wear a WHITE BELT and proceed through to the grades by the grading system.   These are achieved by learning techniques such as throws, hold-downs, arm locks, strangles, chokes (all using the Japanese terminology).   The coloured belt signifies the grade that the Judoka is wearing  i.e.  white,  yellow, orange, green, blue, purplebrown and then the Dan grades.

The wearing of belts helps everyone know what level each person is at. The lower Kyu wearers (green, blue and purple) in the club will be careful and more gentle with the higher Kyus and help them with their techniques.

The belts system helps ensure that everyone is kept safe and students can easily spot which other students are of an appropriate level to train with. For example, during practise sessions, the orange belts might work together to practise the techniques they need for their green belt.

Grade Name Belt Colour
9e Kyu Ku-kyū From white to white with
3 mons
8e Kyu Hachi-kyū From yellow to yellow with
3 mons
7e Kyu Shichi-kyū From orange to orange with
3 mons
6e Kyu Roku-kyū From green to green with
3 mons
5e Kyu Go-kyū From blue to blue with
3 mons
4e Kyu Yon-kyū From purple to purple with
3 mons
3e Kyu San-kyū brown
2e Kyu Ni-kyū brown
1e Kyu Ik-kyū brown

Between White and Black are the “Kyu” grades, which count downwards to Brown. Each time your child is successfully graded, they will either receive one or two mons, or jump up to the next grade.

Promotion within the Mon grades is based on technical knowledge and understanding, together with Japanese terminology and supplementary knowledge. There is no contest requirement in the Mon grade syllabus.

Note: The Mon system only applies to children between 6 and 13 years old. Children aged 13 to 16 are classed as ‘Intermediate’ and graded on each Kyu.

The Mon system helps to make the steps between belts smaller and ensure that your child progresses regularly and gets that positive feeling from getting “graded up”. These partial grades are indicated with “stripes” which are sewn onto the end of the child’s belt. Your child may be “White Belt, 2 Yellow stripes” for example, which would mean that they are very close to getting their Yellow belt.

IBA’s grading system provides a very visible indication of progression. Your child will be able to desire and achieve the coloured belts (or stripes) quite quickly and quite regularly. This provides goals to strive for, and rewards for their hard work and dedication.

It’s a great tool to help give your child a sense of progression and achievement. Having a good understanding of the grading system structure (and of course the requirements for the grades) is one way you as a parent can help keep your child enthusiastic about Judo.