What is the karate ranking system?

The ranking system used in Karate is most prominent in the lower coloured grades. In Goju-Ryu all students start as a white belt. The progression of ranks is then yellow, green, brown and black. There are then 10 degrees of black belt.

The ranking system is a very useful tool for organising students by skill level. This is helpful in dividing the class for more specialised training or for signalling to an opponent the degree of difficulty they should provide during sparring or contact drills. For example a black belt would spar a yellow belt just above their comfort zone to provide them with a challenge rather than at a black belt level that would not teach the yellow belt much at all.


How many belts are there to get to Black Belt?

There are 10 Kyu grades which have 4 belts (White, Yellow, Green, Brown) . When you start you are a White Belt which is 10th Kyu.

They are:

10th Kyu = White Belt
9th Kyu = Yellow Belt
8th Kyu = Yellow Belt + 1 green stripe
7th Kyu = Yellow Belt + 2 green stripes
6th Kyu = Green Belt
5th Kyu = Green Belt + 1 Brown Stripe
4th Kyu = Green Belt + 2 brown stripes
3rd Kyu = Brown Belt
2nd Kyu = Brown Belt + 1 Black Stripe
1st Kyu = Brown Belt + 2 black stripes
1st Dan = Black Belt

So there are 5 different coloured belts being White, Yellow, Green, Brown and then you get your Black Belt. Black Belts enter the Dan grading system and there are 10 Dan.



How long does it take to become a Black Belt?

The short answer to this is around 4-5 years however this is based on skill level and attendance to classes.


What does it mean to be a Black Belt?

A Black Belt is a master of basic techniques. It may take 4-5 years to become a Black Belt but it takes a life time of dedication, skill and training to be a martial artist.


Will I get a good workout in a karate class?

National Goju Karate classes are renowned as being one of the more intense karate dojos throughout Australia. If you are looking to learn effective karate or self-defence, if you want to lose weight, get fit or get more lean and muscular then you can expect all these results by putting your best effort into our classes. In saying this, National Goju Karate is not an aerobics class; there will be times when the instructors will be teaching and as a student you will be expected to listen and learn before practicing the techniques.

Do you train with contact?

At National Goju Karate you can expect physical contact to be made throughout drills, exercises and sparring. As a beginner this will be minimal and with light contact as your body is being conditioned and you are still learning the karate and self-defence techniques. As you grow in confidence you will naturally begin to want more physical contact to be included in your training to increase your conditioning and train to more realistic conditions.

This is a vital component to your self-defence and karate training. You are more than welcome to inform the instructor or your training partner throughout drills if you are uncomfortable with the level of contact you are receiving and they can reduce it to suit your comfort level.

Why do I need a gi and a belt?

The white canvas karate gi is an excellent training and conditioning tool. It is resistant to tearing, adds weight to your body and allows for partners to throw and place locks on you. The belt is required to keep the gi fitted to the body as well as providing a ranking system to the class.


What equipment do I need to start learning karate?

Initially you will only require comfortable clothing to train in; we recommend shorts and a t-shirt or singlet. Shoes are not required and all jewellery/accessories must be removed to train safely.

Once you have trained for more than a couple of weeks and decided that learning karate is right for you then you will require a karate gi and belt. These will be provided through National Goju Karate. To be included in any form of sparring, you will then require a mouth guard, shin and hand mitts, which can be purchased through your dojo.


What can I expect from a usual karate or self-defence class?

Karate classes always begin and end with a bowing ceremony to acknowledge the trainers and fellow students. Students are then taken through a vigorous warm up. At this point the instructor will take the class through karate training which can include working on self-defence and karate techniques, learning kata or sparring.