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/age1st Test (after 6 months)2nd Test (after 1 year of training)
Nursery School12 Kyu B11 Kyu C
Kindergarten12 Kyu B11 Kyu B
1st Grade11 Kyu B10 Kyu B
2nd Grade10 Kyu C9 Kyu C
3rd Grade10 Kyu B9 Kyu B
4th Grade10 Kyu A9 Kyu A
5th Grade9 Kyu C8 Kyu C
6th Grade9 Kyu B8 Kyu B
7th Grade9 Kyu B8 Kyu A
8th Grade8 Kyu C7 Kyu C
9th Grade8 Kyu C7 Kyu B
High School8 Kyu B7 Kyu A
Adult (age 16+)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 and 10+ years in Seigokan; Over age 30 and 7+ years in Seigokan; over age 23 and 15+ years in Seigokan
4 Dan
Special terms
4 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 and 15+ years in Seigokan
6 Dan7 years after 5th Dan issuedOver age 38 and 22+ years in Seigokan
7 Dan8 years after 6th Dan issuedOver age 46 and 30+ years in Seigokan
8 Dan10 years after 7th Dan issuedOver age 56 and 40+ years in Seigokan (w/recommendation by the directors)
9 Dan(recommendation by the directors)
10 Dan(recommendation by the directors)


Seigokan Grading Minimum Requirements

Examiners are looking for proper form, concentration, speed, power, and balance.
GradeKata# of KatasYakusoku Kumite Jiyu Kumite
White/ YellowChildKihon Tsuki-No Kata or Gekisai 1 or 212N
AdultKihon Tsuki-No Kata or Gekisai 1 or 212Y
GreenChildKihon Tsuki-No Kata or Gekisai12N
AdultKihon Tsuki-No Kata or Gekisai12Y
Brown (currently 4th Kyu)ChildAny kata14N
AdultSanchin and another kata24Y
Brown (3rd Kyu-2nd Kyu)ChildAny kata24N
AdultSanchin and another kata24Y
Black (currently 1st Kyu)ChildUke-no-kata and another kata25N
AdultUke-no-kata and another kata25Y
Black (currently 1st Dan)ChildUke-no-kata and another kata25N
AdultUke-no-kata and any other kata2more than 5Y
Black (currently 2nd Dan)ChildUke-no-kata and any other kata25Y
AdultUke-no-kata and any other kata2more than 5Y
3rd DanAdultUke-no-kata and any other kata2more than 5Y
4th - 5th DanAdultUke-no-kata and any Goju-ryu kata (except Kihon Tsuki-no, Gekisai 1 and 2, Sanchin, and Tensho)*(and analysis of two kata applications)2more than 5Y
6th - 7th Dan Uke-no-kata and two other katas (except Kihon Tsuki-no, Gekisai 1 and 2, Sanchin, and Tensho)*(analysis of three kata applications)3Not requiredN


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