"A tree reaches past your embrace grows from one small seed."

Ranking System and Testing

The Sansei Goju-ryu Karate-do utilizes a ten Kuy (meaning boy) system, followed by a Dan (meaning man) system for ranking black belts up to tenth Dan. Given, that there is only one person at any time that holds a tenth Dan or ninth Dan in the system. The Kuy ranks start at ten working its way to one. The Dan system is just the opposite, starting at one up to ten. Traditionally the belts that were worn in association with the ranking system were: white, green, brown, and finally black. The modern belt system uses white, yellow, orange, green, blue, purple, brown, and finally black. It should be noted that the Dan ranks also have a teaching credential belt system for black belts wishing to pursue a teaching career.

The scope of this site will deal with the modern requirements of the first ten Kyus. In these Kyus one will be taught the basic knowledge necessary to test for a Shodan-ho, or introductory black belt. At this level one will exhibit basic knowledge of all techniques, history, and have solid fighting skills. Earning a Shodan-ho is a staging ground for entrance into the black belt community where one will learn advance techniques, hidden meanings of Kata, and strengthen their mental and spiritual being.

Testing is done once every four months, with no make-up tests. If a person should miss a test they would have to wait until the next testing. Earning one Kyu a test is expected, two Kyus exceptional, and three Kyus is rare to almost impossible. The rank testing consists of demonstrating basic techniques, movements combined with basic techniques, required and desired Katas, self-defense movements, and Kumite skills The board of examiners shall consist of martial artists san-dan and above.

The requirements for each level vary from one dojo to another, according to the sensei's standards, which reflect the degree of perfection, which he demands of himself. Although, the usual progression of a student, prepares them for advancement to the next level about every four months. The students are motivated by the ranking system, they see that the color of the belt changes as their abilities and accomplishments increase. To directly quote the Dojo:

It must be remembered by all those who study a Karate that a student's advancement from one rank level to the next is contingent as much upon his character development as upon his skills. Of course, the basic requirement for progression is faithful execution of the physical skill and techniques of each level, but far more is involved. The central theme of Karate do, the philosophy that is repeated to the student night after night, is "continuous self-improvement." Not only is he/she to work for greater physical health and for greater strength of body, but he must also work to become a better person. Novices in Karate are often surprised to hear that they are expected to read widely, to work toward the development of their minds as well as their bodies. Karateka are expected to set up goals for themselves and to give their all in working toward realization of those goals. Failure is inexcusable. The realization of one goal must be the father of the next. This is the Karatekas life cycle. The physical fighting of Karate is equivalent to the competition in life; Karate is in fact reality. It is symbolic of life.



10th Kyu White Belt "Beginner"

9th Kyu Yelow Belt with one  stripe

8th Kyu Yellow Belt

7th Kyu Orange Belt

6th Kyu Green Belt

5th Kyu Blue Belt

4th Kyu Purple Belt

3rd Kyu Brown belt (Sankyu)

2nd Kyu Brown belt (Nikuy)

1st Kyu Brown belt ( Ikyu)


All Black Belt members of the World Sansei Goju-Ryu and Kobudo Organization are promoted by a board of examiners or by the Shihan. The board is composed of teachers and assistant instructors who are ranked Sandan (Third degree Black Belt) or above. The board conducts three examinations per year. The examinations will be at the end of January, May, and September of each year.


All students planning to enter the examinations must have attended at least twenty hours of instruction. If the student(s) have not completed twenty hours of classes, applicants must meet with the chief instructor and receive permission to enter the examination. All students applying for the examination must file an application form one week before the examination date.

All applicant tuition must be up to date.

Exam Consists of:

Written Examination (Oral for children under seven)

Oral Examination (Asked questions by the board of Examiners)

Kihon (Basics) six techniques

Kihon Ido (Basics with movements) six techniques

Required Katas

Desired Katas

Self-Defense techniques (2) not required for children under seven

Jiyu-Kumite (Free fighting)


Required Kata Listing:


Fukyu-Gedan Kata - For no rank holders tenth Kyu

Gekisai #1 - For seventh, eighth, and ninth Kyu grade holders

Sanchin Kata - For fourth, fifth, and sixth Kyu grade holders

Saifa Kata - For second and third Kyu grade holders

Seinchin Kata - For first Kyu grade holders

Sanseiru - For Sho-Dan and Sho-Dan Ho grade holders


 Jr. Black Belt Requirements

Junior Black Belt Regulations

As of Jan. 1st 2002 Sansei Goju-Ryu has seen fit to officially sanction new changes to the belt rank of the junior black belts.  These changes are as follows:


1)    All rules that currently exist for the issuance of a black belt will still apply to the junior black belt.


2)   The level of karate required by the student to receive the black belt ranks will be set for now by the head instructor of the school which issued the rank.


3)   Students that are under 16 years of age will be able to receive the junior black belt.


4)        Students between 16 and 18 years of age will be able to receive up to a 1st dan black belt and under special circumstances that belt can be issued to a student 13 years and older depending on the discretion of the chief instructor of that school.


5)             All students under 18 years of age will fall under these additional requirements. No student under 18 years of age can be issued a rank that exceeds the 1st degree black belt.

b) demonstrate this by lining up behind any adult of the same rank or higher regardless of when the adult was promoted into the ran

No student under 18 years of age will be allowed regardless of their rank to be given responsibilities in a dojo that will exceed the responsibility of a 1st Dan black   belt with four additional restrictions. Unless Supervised by Senior Instructor.

a student under 16 years old will not test any person doing Karate

a student under 18 years old will not teach his or her own personal classes. Unless supervised by Senior Instructor

a student under 18 years old will not receive any waivers to hold any instructors, tournament and school charter certifications.

a student under 16 years old will not have or hold any responsibilities that are given to an adult or child holding a rank below that of a white belt student training in Sansei Goju-Ryu a student holding a black belt before the age of 18 years old will be expected to take the black belt exam of an equivalent or higher rank when they reach 18 years of age. However, the student has the option to take an upgrading interview to be taken no later than the end of the month of their 21 birthday. This interview will determine whether or not the student requires additional training or can be given the equivalent adult rank without further testing or training. This interview can only be given by the Chief Instructor.






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