The belt system allows a gradual, step-by-step, and systematic presentation of our comprehensive curriculum. We believe our belt system will enable our students to achieve success without getting overwhelmed. It also determines the appropriate level you need to be in an official sports competition. Exceptional students with outstanding work ethics, and skills with outstanding competition accomplishments can sometimes be accelerated in the promotion of the ranks; ask our Silvera Karate instructors for more details.

The purpose of the belt test is for students to demonstrate their skills and knowledge of martial arts and be reviewed by expert judges. Promotion of rank and a new belt is given when a student successfully passes the test.

Eligibility for Belt Promotion

Eligibility for belt promotion is determined by Sensei’s assessment of each student’s experience and training progress. Consideration for belt promotion is based on student’s

  1. Outstanding attendance & work ethics and following the dojo rules 
  2. Outstanding physical skills as well as knowledge of the art
  3. Outstanding results in shiai (tournaments); both in form and sparring 
Guidelines for Testing
  1. Between each kyu rank, students should be practicing for at least three months on a regular basis, and they must participate in shiai (tournaments), such as any local tournament and dojo seminars. Students may take longer if they wish. A test fee must be paid prior to the testing date.
  2. Between Sankyu and Shodan, students should be practicing for at least six months on a regular basis. Students may take longer if they wish. You should also be participating in federation tournaments. 
  3. All techniques used in Kihon and Kata are mandatory. All techniques used in Kumite, Bunkai, and Jutsu are chosen by the student. As students go up in rank, techniques should become more complex and should demonstrate ability in all applications. Techniques should be done quickly - without pauses to "think". All techniques are done both ways on the right and the left side.
  4. Variations in a number of ground techniques (ne waza) and standing techniques (tachi waza) can be approved previously for testing.  

Progress is indicated by rank & belt color

There are no hard and fast rules which dictate how long a student must practice before achieving any particular rank. With perseverance, an acceptable attitude, and steady improvement, a dedicated student might be ready to receive the rank of a brown belt (3rd kyu) after about two years, and a black belt (1st degree) after about three years of constant training. 
The student must demonstrate a working knowledge of the five phases of training: basics (kihon), forms (kata), sparring (kumite), application (bunkai), and jutsu (techniques and strategies used in real combat). A student's rank should never be cause for disparagement by others or self-deprecation any more than it should be cause for inordinate pride. The ideal evaluation should embrace the student's total gain in technique and self-mastery.
Students who want to be graded should practice each basic technique and kata at least five times each day outside of regular class for two weeks prior to grading, except it is advisable to keep the last day prior to examination free for relaxation.
Please be clean, well-groomed, dressed in clean gi good condition, and ready to go at least 15 minutes prior to the scheduled start time of the kyu test. Usually, there is a brief but intense practice prior to the kyu test.

Kihon (Basic techniques): 


  • Age-uke (rising block-front stance)
  • Soto-uke (middle inside block-front stance)
  • Uchi-uke (middle outside block-front stance)
  • Gedan-barai (down block-front stance)
  • Shuto-uke (knife hand block-back stance)
  • Oi-zuki (lunge punch-front stance)
  • Gyaku-zuki (reverse punch-front stance)
  • Enpi-uchi (elbow)


  • Mai-geri (front kick-front stance)
  • Mawashi-geri (round kick-front stance)
  • Yoko-geri kekomi (side thrust kick-horse stance)
  • Yoko-geri keage (side snap kick-horse stance)
  • Ura-mawashi geri (round hook kick-front stance)
  • Ushiro-geri (back kick)
  • Ushiro-mawashi geri (back roundhouse kick)
  • Mikazuki-geri (crescent kick (inside to outside). Also called soto mikazuki geri)
  • Kakato otoshi-geri (rising kick to head with leg fully extended)


  • Ukemi waza - rolling and falling
  • Tori gaeshi waza - escaping techniques
  • Kansetsu waza - joint locking techniques
  • Nage waza - throwing techniques
  • Ne waza - ground techniques
  • Tachi waza - standing techniques
  • Suwari Waza - seated techniques
  • Kyusho jutsu - Pressure Point Tactics
  • Katame waza - grappling techniques
  • Iai jutsu - sword drawing art
  • Tanto jutsu - knife arts
  • Shiatsu - finger pressure massage
  • Breathing and meditation techniques

Important Points:

  1. Strong Spirit, and a clear mind, shows through eyes. Kiai!
  2. Low stance. Hips go in.
  3. Strong standing leg. The heel stays down.
  4. No power in shoulders. Strong pulling hand. 
  5. Proper breathing

Rank Rank Name  Link Required Kata Belt Color
10th Kyu Yu kyu

beginner - no testing

9th Kyu Ku kyu

Heian Shodan

8th Kyu Hachi kyu Heian Nidan
7th Kyu Nana kyu Heian Sandan
6th Kyu Roku kyu Heian Yondan
5th Kyu Go kyu Heian Godan
4th Kyu Shi kyu

Tekki Shodan

3rd Kyu San kyu

Basai Dai

2nd Kyu Ni kyu

Kanku Dai

1st Kyu Ik kyu

Jion or Empi

1st Dan Shodan Any SENTEI Kata
2nd Dan Nidan Any JIYU Kata
3rd Dan Sandan Any JIYU Kata 
Ages 5-17:
Novice = 7th kyu and under
Intermediate = 6th kyu - 3rd kyu
Advanced = 2nd kyu and up
Beginner = 1 year of training and under
Novice = 1 - 2 years
Intermediate = 2 - 3 years
Advanced = 3 years and up


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