Grading Syllabus


There are for sure many instructors out there who would like to develop or already have developed their own grading syllabus. Also there are many students of Karate who are interested in what kind of techniques and what kata they will be studying for their next grades or even a couple of years down the road.

As there are so many different examples of a Karate grading syllabus, this section can only offer a suggested template for study. As a model syllabus I have used the official grading requirements of Seishin Shotokan Karate, Inc. which is modeled after and almost identical to the official grading syllabus of the Shotokan Karate International Federation (S.K.I.F.) run by Master Hirokazu Kanazawa (10th Dan).

Click on the links below to access the relevant grading syllabus and levels of kata:

Grading Syllabus

Kata levels (Basic & Intermediate)

Kata levels (Advanced)

As an extra note it is worthy of mention to say that a grading syllabus is only a guide to the kinds of techniques that should be understood and demonstrated at each rank level. There are many additional things that a student will be taught and that a student is expected to learn, such as etiquette and appropriate behavior inside and outside the dojo, stretching and warm-up routines, some basic Karate background knowledge plus an understanding of the terminology and language used in the lessons. Nobody is expected to master all of these things for each grading but everybody is expected to make an effort to learn them and to constantly try their best in class. By practicing these good habits and following the strict discipline that Karate can provide, a student will progress much faster.

Finally the recommended waiting period between each rank level is as follows:

From 10th kyu to 4th kyu (White Belt to Second Purple Belt) the waiting period is a minimum of 3 months for each rank.

From 4th kyu to 1st Dan (Second Purple Belt to 1st Degree Black Belt) the waiting period is a minimum of 6 months. These waiting periods are based on training an average of two or three times a week.

At Black Belt level the waiting period increases dramatically beginning at two years between 1st & 2nd Dan and adding another year to the previous waiting time for each level, i.e. 3 years from 2nd to 3rd Dan, 4 years from 3rd to 4th Dan and so on. Now you can see that the path of Karate is for life!

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