Grading

Belt colors and ranks reflect each student's experience and skill level. Ranks up to black belt are called "Kyu" or junior ranks, and start with 12 Kyu and end with 1 Kyu. Black belt ranks start with 1st Dan and advance to 10th Dan. Each Kyu or Dan up to 3rd Dan includes a letter grade of A, B, or C based on the student's proficiency.

The First Test

The grade to be achieved on a student's first test depends in part on the student's age.
School Year/ageFirst Test(after 6 months of training)Second Test (after 6 months to 1 year of training)
Nursery School12 Kyu B11 Kyu C
Kindergarten12 Kyu B11 Kyu B
Elementary 1st Grade11 Kyu B10 Kyu B
Elementary 2nd Grade10 Kyu C9 Kyu C
Elementary 3rd Grade10 Kyu B9 Kyu B
Elementary 4th Grade10 Kyu A9 Kyu A
Elementary 5th Grade9 Kyu C8 Kyu C
Elementary 6th Grade9 Kyu B8 Kyu B
Middle School 7th Grade9 Kyu B8 Kyu A
Middle School 8th Grade8 Kyu C7 Kyu C
Middle School 9th Grade8 Kyu C7 Kyu B
High School8 Kyu B7 Kyu A
Adult (age 16 and over)7 Kyu B6 Kyu B
Testing up to 1st Dan (black belt) may take place every six months.

Black Belt (Dan) Grading Standard

A black belt (Dan) grade requires a minimum number of years of training in Seigokan Goju-Ryu, depending on the student's age. A student with a middle school 2nd Dan may advance to Adult 1st Dan at age 16.
GradeYears required and minimum rankSchool year or age/years of experience in Seigokan
Child 1st DanChild 1st Kyu holderElementary school/More than 5 years in Seigokan
Child 2nd DanChild 1st Dan holderMiddle school/More than 2 years in Seigokan
Adult 1st DanAdult 1st Kyu holder or Child 2nd Dan holderAge 16 or over/More than 3 years in Seigokan
2 Dan2 years after 1st Dan issuedOver age 18/more than 5 years in Seigokan
3 Dan* Special terms4 years after 2nd Dan issued*3 years after 2nd Dan issuedOver age 22/more than 10 years in Seigokan*Over age 30/more than 7 years in Seigokan or over age 23/more than 15 years in Seigokan
4 Dan* Special terms4 years after 3rd Dan issued*3 years after 3rd Dan issuedOver age 26/more than 12 years in Seigokan*Over age 35/more than 12 years in Seigokan or over age 27/more than 19 years in Seigokan
5 Dan5 years after 4th Dan issuedOver age 31/more than 15 years in Seigokan
6 Dan7 years after 5th Dan issuedOver age 38/more than 22 years in Seigokan
7 Dan8 years after 6th Dan issuedOver age 46/more than 30 years in Seigokan
8 Dan10 years after 7th Dan issuedOver age 56/more than 40 years in Seigokan(requires recommendation by the directors)
9 Dan(requires recommendation by the directors)
10 Dan(requires recommendation by the directors)

Seigokan Grading Minimum Requirements

In Seigokan testing, examiners are looking for proper form, concentration, speed, power, and balance.
GradeKata# of KatasYakusoku Kumite (set sparring)Jiyu Kumite (free sparring)
White/YellowChildKihon Tsuki-No Kata or Gekisai 1 or 212Not required
AdultKihon Tsuki-No Kata or Gekisai 1 or 212Required
GreenChildKihon Tsuki-No Kata or Gekisai12Not required
AdultKihon Tsuki-No Kata or Gekisai12Required
Brown (currently 4th Kyu)ChildAny kata14Not required
AdultSanchin and another kata24Required
Brown (3rd Kyu-2nd Kyu)ChildAny kata24Not required
AdultSanchin and another kata24Required
Black (currently 1st Kyu)ChildUke-no-kata and another kata25Not required
AdultUke-no-kata and another kata25Required
Black (currently 1st Dan)ChildUke-no-kata and another kata25Not required
AdultUke-no-kata and any other kata2more than 5Required
Black (currently 2nd Dan)ChildUke-no-kata and any other kata25Required
AdultUke-no-kata and any other kata2more than 5Required
3rd DanAdultUke-no-kata and any other kata2more than 5Required
4th - 5th DanAdultUke-no-kata and any Goju-ryu kata (except Kihon Tsuki-no, Gekisai 1 and 2, Sanchin, and Tensho)*(requires analysis of at least two applications of the kata)2more than 5Required
6th - 7th Dan Uke-no-kata and two other katas (except Kihon Tsuki-no, Gekisai 1 and 2, Sanchin, and Tensho)*(requires analysis of at least three applications of the kata)3Not requiredNot required

Seigokan USA Goju-Ryu Belt Colors

White, no stripes - All students begin here

White, 1 stripe - 12th or 11th Kyu [nursery school or kindergarten students]
White, 2 stripes - 10th Kyu

Yellow, no stripes - 9th Kyu

Yellow, 1 stripe - 8th Kyu

Yellow, 2 stripes - 7th Kyu

Green, no stripes - 6th Kyu

Green, 1 stripe - 5th Kyu

Green, 2 stripes - 4th Kyu

Brown, no stripes - 3rd Kyu

Brown, 1 stripe - 2nd Kyu

Brown, 2 stripes - 1st Kyu

Black, no stripes - 1st Dan - 10th Dan