Rank and Grading

Coloured belts and rank are not a traditional part of Karate. They were introduced with the westernisation of Karate with the aim of providing tangible goals and thereby popularising Karate. IOGKFNZ oversees grading at IOGKFNZ affilliated dojos to provide consistent grading in-line with the IOGKF.

The rank and belt system in IOGKF Goju Ryu is shown in the table below. A beginner first grades to 10th kyu (white belt) and works towards 1st kyu.

Rank Belt Colour
Ungraded White
10th kyu White with tab
9th kyu Blue
8th kyu Blue with tab
7th kyu Yellow
6th kyu Yellow with tab
5th kyu Green
4th kyu Green with tab
3rd kyu Brown
2nd kyu Brown with tab
1st kyu Brown with 2 tabs

After 1st kyu, the next grading is a black belt. These begin at 1st dan (shodan) and work up.

A goju-ryu black belt takes approximately 5-6 years to obtain with regular training, but this can vary by the individual.

A black belt will often have the owner’s name written on it in japanese. It does not indicate the level/degree of the black belt.