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Grading and Kata

Judo uses a progression system to promote participants who have attained specific skill and knowledge proficiencies.  This progression is tracked using different colours of belts. The progression system is divided in two:

  • Kyu Grades (White to Brown)
  • Dan Ranks (Black)

The Kyu grades are White, White-Yellow, Yellow, Yellow-Orange, Orange, Orange-Green, Green, Green-Blue, Blue, Blue-Brown & Brown.  These levels are designed to progressively learn the judo techniques and culture.  The Kyu grades are defined in the Kyu Grading Syllabus and are managed by the clubs throughout Canada.

The Dan ranks include the 10 degrees of the Black belt: Shodan, Nidan, Sandan, Yondan, Godan, Rokudan, Shichidan, Hachidan, Kudan & Judan.  These levels are designed to perfect judo techniques and to help develop the culture.  The Dan ranks are defined in the Dan Grading Syllabus and are managed by the Provincial/Territorial Grading Boards as well as Judo Canada’s Grading Board.

Please see Grading Process for an explanation of the steps involved in the grading process. 

Here are some relevant documents:

2013Syllabus_EN_Jan2014Update(valid as of January 1st, 2013)

National Kyu Grading

Grading Syllabus Forms – see all forms updated in section Download

Grading Application guide – see: guide


If you are interested in judging Kata events, know that Judo Canada uses the same Kata Evaluation rules as the International Judo Federation.  Judo Canada also offers training and evaluation clinics for potential Kata judges.  To register for a national level Kata evaluators training and certification you have to register with Judo Canada via form available here:




Canadian judoka graded to a Dan Grade by Judo Canada, may request recognition and a diploma from foreign organizations.  For $100 fee Judo Canada offers assistance in obtaining the following certificates:

*Be aware that the Kodokan standards for Dan Grades are different that Judo Canada’s and not all grades granted by Judo Canada will be recognized by the Kodokan Institute.  Your application for Kodokan recognition will be reviewed by the Kodokan designated representative in Canada  and only once these are approved, they will be processed by Judo Canada office.  Kodokan certification fees must be paid to Judo Canada at the time of application.  Kodokan fees will be refunded to the candidates whose application are refused by the Kodokan.  Judo Canada fees are non-refundable.