The syllabus used in all our clubs is designed to give students the knowledge of simple, effective, proven techniques to defend themselves against a variety of attacks. Students will work with a partner to practise a demonstrated technique and as their skills and the number of techniques they have learnt grow, they will find what works best for them suiting their physical attributes.
Juniors are usually taught separately from the adults and the syllabus they use has been adjusted from that of the adults as some of the techniques are considered too dangerous due to the lack of maturity.
Kyu Grades - The Belts
The coloured belts are the student grades referred to as Kyu Grades.
The student will start at the novice white belt and progress through to the Brown belt where they will then be able to be assessed for the Dan grades (Black Belts.) Each belt has a minimum timescale before a student will be eligible to take a grading (Other factors are considered also, see gradings). Of course a student can take as long as they want before they grade, although a nudge from the Sensei to encourage you to take the next grading is always a challenge and helps to focus the mind!
The adult syllabus booklet can be downloaded from the download section.
Adult Kyu Grades Timescales
This is the shortest time that a student who has done regular training that the club Sensei will consider them to grade. The club Sensei must ensure the student can demonstrate they know the syllabus well and may make them miss that grading so they are better prepared for the grading after.
- White to Yellow belt - 4 months
- Yellow to Orange belt - 4 months
- Orange to Green belt - 8 months
- Green to Blue belt - 4 months
- Blue to Purple belt - 4 months
- Purple to Brown belt - 8 months
- Brown belt to 1st Dan Black belt - 12 months
Kyu gradings are held approximately every 4 months where all students invited to grade will meet. The student has to meet certain criteria before they can grade, these are:-
- The required minimum timescale has elapsed
- Has attended the required number of sessions
- Has trained regularly
- Has been invited by their Sensei to grade
- Is fit enough to take the grading
- Has up to date insurance and membership
All students of the same grade will perform the techniques from the syllabus. Senior instructors will assess the group to ensure they have understood and practised the move, and that they can demonstrate the techniques to the best of there ability. This way it ensures that the teaching is consistent and is to the high standards required.
The student - after performing the syllabus techniques - will be asked to perform defences from a selection of called random attacks. The number and difficulty will depend on the grade of the student. These should be practised in class as part of the syllabus to give the student confidence at the grading. The random attack sheets are available from the downloads section.
The grading is not meant to be intimidating, but a chance for the student to show their skills to other members of their club, although, ask most students who grade and there will be a certain amount of nerves involved also...
Black Belt - Dan Grades
The Dan grades are considered expert grades, although this is not to say that they "know it all". It means they have learnt the basics (kyu grades), given that the basics are a very powerful self defence on there own it just means that there is a vast amount to learn in ju jitsu and now they can really start to learn. To earn the Black Belt takes a lot of commitment, practise and sweat, the syllabus is tough but once earned makes the Black Belt all that much more special.
In order to qualify for the Black Belt the student must:-
1st Dan (Shodan)
- Completed 1 years training at Brown Belt ( minimum of 48 attendances)
- Passed a level 5 weapons kata assessment (see weapons and Ko Budo section)
- Passed a pre grading test of the yellow to Brown syllabus
- Passed an anatomy examination, this is a written exam with an expected 90% pass mark
As well as being fit to grade, and possess an up-to-date insurance and membership, the student's instructor will also write a Curriculum Vitae detailing the support and assistance the student has given to the club and association.
2nd Dan and beyond
For all subsequent grades a similar pattern is in place with the student passing further grades of weapons assessments and anatomy tests including contributing something back to the club since the last grading.
1st / 2nd Dan are also expected to attend two gradings per year and be expected to take the place of an injured / missing partner. This is to ensure that syllabus standards are being maintained. Missing this requirement could result in a delay to Dan grade in the future.
Dan grade timescales table
Dan grade beyond 1st Dan are by invitation only, and a minimum amount of time must have passed since the student's last grading before they are eligible.
- 2nd Dan - at least 2 years
- 3rd Dan - at least 3 years
- 4th Dan - at least 4 years
- 5th Dan & Above - minimum of 1 year per grade and by invitation only
Dan grade Belts
The Dan grade belts are:
- 1st Dan Shodan
- 2nd Dan Nidan
- 3rd Dan Sandan
- 4th Dan Yondan
- 5th Dan Godan
- 6th Dan Rokudan
- 7th Dan Sichidan
- 8th Dan Hachidan
- 9th Dan Kudan
- 10th Dan Judan
The Dan gradings are held once a year seperately from the Kyu grades normally November/December. They are for those invited to attend having met the criteria. The gradings are done at a closed event, only examiners and those grading allowed to enter, although family and friends are able to attend the ceremony at the end of the grading.