Grading syllabus


The BJA grading syllabus is split into mon grades (ages 8-15), kyu grades (ages 14+) and dan grades (black belts). The mon and kyu syllabi are identical, except that the mon grades are split into three belts in each colour, whilst the kyu grades have only one. There is also a separate sho section for players aged 6-7 years.

The full syllabi for each can be found on the BJA website, however we have a simplified Samurai synopsis of key elements in this section and also club-produced videos for up to green belt. 

The club runs periodic sessions covering the mon and kyu syllabus from orange or green belt and above, with the lower and sho grades being covered in the beginner and intermediate sessions.

It is important to understand that the coaches decide when to grade players based on a range of considerations including competition experience (or other experience for veteran players) and training attitude. Details can be found in the "Info for new members" section elsewhere on this website. The coaches review all players periodically.

Once players reach brown belt, there are two paths to the black belts. The competitive route, for younger players, involves gaining points from wins against same or higher grade at competitions, or entering gradings where players can both score points and gain the grade on the day. In both cases, there is also a "competitive skills" element, involving demonstrating a variety of techniques, individual and in combinations, and kata. The technical route does not have the competition element but replaces it with a much more extensive skills element. The club runs annual courses and assessments on both pathways. There is a minimum time in grade requirement for each dan grade; the requirement is much higher for the technical grades.