American Shotokan Karate Alliance (ASKA) Home Page

About ASKA

Membership

Calendar of Events


ASKA Merchandise

ASKA News

Karate FAQ

Recent Rank Results


Contact ASKA

Privacy Policy

Links

Sitemap

ASKA RANKING STANDARDS
QUICK LINKS:
General Physical Standards for Regular Rank
Standard Term For Training And Age Considerations
Belt Colors

Ranking is defined as the evaluation of an individual's progress toward the attainment of human perfection through the practice of karate.

This evaluation is not solely based upon the physical techniques of karate, but encompasses the entire human being: physical, psychological and spiritual development. Increases in rank are awarded in proportion to an individual's degree of development toward the karate goals of perfection.

There are three types of ranking:

  1. Regular Rank. The stage of progress of the human character as reached through physical and spiritual practice of karate.
  2. Recommended Rank. The state of progress of the human character as reached through both an individual's continued practice as well as one's total contribution and service to the development of karate.
  3. Honorary Rank. An award of rank as a result either directly or indirectly of one's service and support of the development of karate.

General Physical Standards for Regular Rank
***Click on the rank level to see specific examination criteria for that rank.***

Hachi (8th) Kyu
This is the ability level wherein the individual is able to perform and apply the most simple external actions and techniques.

Shichi (7th) Kyu, Roku (6th) Kyu, Go (5th) Kyu, & Yon (4th) Kyu
Each of these levels requires an increased stage of development of both technical and mental skills.

San (3rd) Kyu & Ni (2nd) Kyu
Must have the general ability to compete under the ASKA competition rules with controlled, simple, and effective techniques.

Ik (1st) Kyu
At this point, the individual must be capable of executing all fundamental body movements and techniques with proper application. This includes all hand and leg techniques.
 


Sho (1st) Dan
Physically, a first-degree black belt is a person who knows all the basic body movements and techniques, and who can apply those movements and techniques with enough extended force to neutralize an opponent of equal size, weight, and strength.

Ni (2nd) Dan
This is the level at which the student has not only mastered the basics, but also has internalized them. This means that the student is now able to perform the techniques more spontaneously, and with more speed, power, and grace.

San (3rd) Dan
This is the "stepping out" ranking because it is much farther distant from nidan than nidan is from shodan. The sandan candidate is expected to have a clear understanding of all the underlying principles of all techniques and body movements.

Yon (4th) Dan
This is generally considered the first teaching level of karate. That is, a person who attains yondan should be able to independently produce shodans, taking students from white belt to black belt without any outside help.

Go (5th) Dan
This is generally acknowledged as the "entry-level master" ranking. People attaining godan have probably been practicing steadily for at least 25 years and have a very deep understanding of their art and, based upon their training, of themselves.

Roku (6th) Dan
This level indicates that the person attaining it has performed advanced research that is of universal benefit to all karate students.

Shichi (7th) Dan
Sometimes "nanadan," this level indicates that the person attaining it has done extensive testing of his rokudan research and has applied it widely in actual application.

Hachi (8th) Dan
This is reserved for people who have completed advanced research in a new and previously unknown area of karate technique, theory, or teaching.

Ku (9th) Dan
This level is normally reserved for those very few individuals who have dedicated their entire lives to karate-do in an extraordinary way. A person attaining kudan is thought to be the living embodiment of the very best qualities a human being can develop through dedication to karate-do.

Ju (10th) Dan
This is usually reserved for the head of the style, although it is sometimes awarded to people who have achieved a level of respect accorded only to heads of styles. In many organizations, judan is awarded only in honor of the death of the person receiving it.

Standard Term For Training And Age Considerations
 

RANK MINIMUM TIME MINIMUM
AGE
8 Kyu More than 3 months practice None
7 Kyu More than 3 months practice after receiving 8th kyu None
6 Kyu More than 3 months practice after receiving 7th kyu None
5 Kyu More than 3 months practice after receiving 6th kyu None
4 Kyu More than 3 months practice after receiving 5th kyu None
3 Kyu More than 3 months practice after receiving 4th kyu None
2 Kyu More than 3 months practice after receiving 3rd kyu None
1 Kyu More than 3 months practice after receiving 2nd kyu None

1st Dan More than 1 year after receiving 1st kyu 16*
*In certain circumstances, Junior Shodan, Junior Nidan and Junior Sandan may be awarded to individuals under the age of 16. Junior Shodan may be examined for regular Shodan ranking at the age of 16. Junior Nidan and Junior Sandan rankings are automatically converted to regular Shodan ranking at the age of 16.
2nd Dan More than 2 years after 1st Dan 18
3rd Dan More than 3 years after 2nd Dan 21
4th Dan More than 4 years after 3rd Dan 25
5th Dan More than 5 years after 4th Dan 30
6th Dan More than 6 years after 5th Dan 35
7th Dan More than 7 years after 6th Dan 40
8th Dan More than 8 years after 7th Dan 50
9th Dan More than 9 years after 8th Dan 60
10th Dan More than 10 years after 9th Dan 70

Belt Colors
The official belt colors used for ranking designation in the American Shotokan Karate Alliance are as follows:

RANK COLOR
9th Kyu Gold
8th Kyu Yellow
7th Kyu Orange
6th Kyu Blue
5th Kyu Green
4th Kyu Purple
3rd-1st Kyu Brown
All Dan ranks Black

(Note: Clubs that were accustomed to using other belt colors for 9th Kyu through 4th Kyu rankings prior to joining ASKA may continue to use their own system if they wish.)