The syllabus

Scenes from a grading

The syllabus of the Shotokan Karate-do International Federation (SKIF) was devised by Chief Instructor Sensei Hirokazu Kanazawa, 10th Dan, as a guide for both students and instructors at each stage of their studies and practice of karate. It defines a series of grades and what the student has to be able to do to qualify for each of them. The grades are divided into two classes, kyu grades for junior students and dan grades for seniors. Increasing seniority is marked by the colour of the obi, the sash or belt worn by the students, and grades are numbered. In the kyu grades seniority is inversely related to the number of the grade, in the dan grades it is directly related; hence 1st Kyu is senior to 2nd, but 2nd Dan is senior to 1st Dan. All dan grades wear the black obi.

The syllabus is used in SKIF clubs throughout the world and therefore helps to maintain a consistent standard of teaching and performance. The syllabus defines the minimum technical requirement for a particular grade, but progress in karate demands a more general development of character and spirit than simply the ability to execute physical techniques. In a grading technical proficiency is the primary criterion, but other factors including regular attendance, good spirit, attitude, and attention to etiquette may also be taken into account at the sensei's discretion.

To be eligible for grading students must attend the mock grading and the pre-grading tests which are held some weeks before the grading. The sensei assesses the ability of each student on these occasions and decides which of them are ready to progress to the grading examination.

Younger children enter the system of mon gradings: these are awarded for technical ability demonstrated in individual areas of the opening grading syllabus and operate as stepping stones towards 9th Kyu. Mon gradings are attainable at mock grading, pre grading and grading tests at the discretion of the sensei.

Senior instructors, including some from the honbu dojo in Japan visit the Shi-Gaku-Kan regularly to teach and to examine students, a major benefit of our affiliation. The Shi-Gaku-Kan is the only karate school in the north-east of Scotland to receive and be instructed by such eminent martial artists.

The detailed syllabus for each grade to First dan can be obtained by selecting the relevant link below.

Ninth kyu
White belt
Fifth kyu
Blue belt
First kyu
Brown belt, double stripe
Eightth kyu
Yellow belt
Fourth kyu
Purple belt
First Dan
Black belt
Seventh kyu
Orange belt
Third kyu
Brown belt
Sixth kyu
Green belt
Second kyu
Brown belt, single stripe