Martial Arts

Shotokan Karate Belt Color Levels In Order

The epic journey of a shotokan karate master to find peace, discipline and of course backdoor kicking starts off with a white belt. This belt represents the young shotokan karate student’s experience therefore it is never washed. After much sweat, blood and dirt the belts color will change representing new levels achieved in this order yellow, orange, red, green, purple, blue, brown and ultimately black. Okay you got me that is not really how it works spoils sport pff… Okay I will explain to you the shotokan karate belt color levels in order.

Shotokan Karate Belts

White Belt (Tenth Kyu)

The shotokan karate white belt color represent the birth of a student, seeking knowledge of the art. The seed that lies under the snow finding its path to sprout and begin a new life.

The white belt is the first level, to surpass this level one must learn :

Kihon syllabus for shotokan karate white belt level (10th kyu) 

  • Ready stance (heiko dachi)
  • Bow (Rei)
  • The front stance also called Zenkutsu dachi being able to move forward, backwards and also turn (all moves must be executed from this stance)
  • A straight punch (oi zuki)
  • Upward block (age uke)
  • Inside forearm block (uchi ude uke)
  • Outside forearm block (soto ude uke)
  • Down Block (gedan barai)
  • Front snap kick (mae geri keage)

Kumite– This is a tradition sparring drill designed to quicken your reflex where 2 people face each other and depending on the kumite one person will be attacking and another blocking.

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Gohon Kumite (Five step sparring)

How to do gohon kumite part 1 instructions

The attacker will perform a straight punch aimed at the head while moving forward with the front stance repeatedly for 5 times. The defender has to block all these attacks with an upward block while moving backwards five times in the last block the defender must also counter that attack by performing a straight punch just after blocking the last upward straight punch and yell Kiai !

How to do gohon kumite part 2 instructions

The attacker will perform a straight punch while moving forward repeatedly for 5 times. The defender will block the straight punch by the outside forearm block while moving backwards and finishing it off by countering the last attack with a straight punch and yell Kiai !

Kata- This is a set of predetermined moves. The purpose of this exercise is really debatable and gets criticized by many martial artist. I personally see the kata as a meditation and fitness exercise.

Taikyoku Shodan Kata (Ultimate Training Kata)

How To do Taikyoku Shodan Kata step by step instructions (all moves are in the front stance)

Shotokan Karate Belt Color Levels In Order
You may train for a long time, but if you merely move your hands and feet and jump up and down like a puppet, learning Karate is not very different from learning a dance. You will never have reached the heart of the matter; you will have failed to grasp the quintessence of Karate.” – Gichin Funakoshi
  1. Ready stance
  2. Turn left 90 degrees while performing a low downward block
  3. Step forward while performing a middle straight punch
  4. Turn right 180 degrees while performing a low downward block
  5. Move forward while performing a middle lunge punch
  6. Turn left 90 degrees while performing a low downward block
  7. Step forward while executing a middle lunge punch
  8. Move forward while executing a middle lunge punch
  9. Step forward while performing a middle lunge punch and yell Kiai !
  10. Turn left 270 degrees while performing a low downward block
  11. Move forward while performing a middle lunge punch
  12. Turn right 180 degrees while performing a low downward block
  13. Step forward while executing a middle lunge punch
  14. Turn left 90 degrees while performing a low downward block
  15. Move forward while executing a middle lunge punch
  16. Step forward while doing a middle lunge punch
  17. Move forward while executing a middle lunge punch and yell Kiai !
  18. Turn left 270 degrees while performing a low downward block
  19. Move forward while doing a middle lunge punch
  20. Turn right 180 degrees while performing a low downward block
  21. Step forward while performing a middle lunge punch
  22. Return to ready stance

Yellow Belt (Ninth Kyu)

The shotokan karate yellow belt color represents his first ray of knowledge given to the student by his master, it represents the first ray of light on the seed to be able to start sprouting.

The yellow belt is the second level, to surpass this level one must learn :

Kihon syllabus for shotokan karate yellow belt level (9th kyu)

  • Back stance (kokutsu dachi)
  • Side stance (kiba dachi)
  • A straight punch (oi zuki) – (execution standards higher than previous levels)
  • Upward block (age uke) – (execution standards higher than previous levels)
  • Inside forearm block (uchi ude uke) – (execution standards higher than previous levels)
  • Outside forearm block (soto ude uke) – (execution standards higher than previous levels)
  • Down Block (gedan barai) – (execution standards higher than previous levels)
  • Knife hand block (shuto uke)
  • Front snap kick (mae geri keage) – (execution standards higher than previous levels)
  • Front thrust kick (mae geri kekomi)
  • Side snap kick (yoko geri keage)
  • Side thrust kick (yoko geri kekomi)

Kumite – Gohon Kumite, performed to a higher standard than previous levels

Heian Shodan Kata (Peaceful Mind First Level)

How to do Heian Shodan Kata step by step instructions

  1. Ready stance
  2. (Front stance) Turn left 90 degrees while performing a low downward block
  3. (Front stance) Move forward while performing a middle lunge punch
  4. (Front stance) Turn right 180 degrees while performing a low downward block then move the right arm circles into a downward hammer fist while moving your front leg slightly back
  5. (Front stance) Step forward while executing a middle lunge punch
  6. (Front stance) Turn left 90 degrees while performing a low downward block
  7. (Front stance) Step forward while performing a rising block
  8. (Front stance) Step forward while executing a rising block
  9. (Front stance) Step forward while performing a rising block and yell Kiai !
  10. (Front stance) Turn left 270 degrees while performing a left low downward block
  11. (Front stance) Move forward while performing a middle lunge punch
  12. (Front stance) Turn right 180 degrees while performing a low downward block
  13. (Front stance) Step forward while performing a left middle lunge punch
  14. (Front stance) Turn left 90 degrees while performing a low downward block
  15. (Front stance) Step forward while executing a middle lunge punch
  16. (Front stance) Move forward while executing a middle lunge punch
  17. (Front stance) Step forward while performing a middle lunge punch and yell Kiai !
  18. (Back stance) Turn left 270 degrees while performing a middle knife hand guarding block
  19. (Back stance) Turn right 45 degrees while performing a middle knife hand guarding block
  20. (Back stance) Turn right 135 degrees while performing a middle knife hand guarding block
  21. (Back stance) Turn left 45 degrees while performing a middle knife hand guarding block
  22. Bring left foot back to right foot, return to ready stance

Orange Belt (Eight Kyu)

The shotokan karate orange belt color represents the wearer’s mind and body growing, The sun’s increasing power in order to grow the crops.

The Orange belt is the third level. In this level you focus on improving the techniques you have already learned, with the addition of a new kata.

Heian Nidan Kata (Peaceful Mind Second Level)

Shotokan Karate Kihon
‘Train with both heart and soul without worrying about theory. Very often a person who lacks the quality of deadly seriousness will take refuge in theory.’-Gichin Funakoshi (founder of Shotokan Karate)

How to do Heian Nidan Kata step by step instructions

  1. Ready stance
  2. (Back stance) Turn left 90 degrees while performing a double forearm block
  3. (Back stance) Right upper cut and left side punch
  4. (Back stance) Turn right 180 degrees while performing a double forearm block
  5. (Back stance) Left upper cut and right side punch
  6. (Crane stance) Turn right 90 degrees while performing a right back fist and a right side kick
  7. (Back stance) Turn left 180 degrees while performing a middle knife hand guarding block
  8. (Back stance) Step forward while performing a middle knife hand guarding block
  9. (Back stance) Step forward while performing a middle knife hand guarding block
  10. (Front stance) Step forward while performing a spear hand and yell Kiai !
  11. (Back stance) Turn left 270 degrees while performing a middle knife hand guarding block
  12. (Back stance) Turn right 45 degrees while performing a middle knife hand guarding block
  13. (Back stance) Turn 135 degrees while performing a middle knife hand guarding block
  14. (Back stance) Turn left 45 degrees while performing a middle knife hand guarding block
  15. (Front stance) Turn left 90 degrees while performing a right outside block
  16. (Front stance) Turn right 45 degrees while performing a right front kick and left middle punch
  17. (Front stance) Left outside block than front kick and middle punch
  18. (Front stance) Step forward while performing a double assisted forearm block
  19. (Front stance) Turn left 270 degrees while performing a low downward block
  20. (Front stance) Turn right 45 degrees, step forward while performing a rising block
  21. (Front stance) Turn right 135 degrees while performing a low downward block
  22. (Front stance) Turn left 45 degrees while performing a rising block and yell Kiai !
  23. Bring left foot back, return to ready stance

Red Belt (Seventh Kyu)

The shotokan karate red belt color represents danger the student is becoming strong both in mind and body, it represents the powerful heat the sun emits and the crop is absorbing that power to grow.

The Red Belt is the fourth level, to surpass this level one must improve the skills he previously learned and add the following :

Kihon syllabus for shotokan karate red belt level (7th kyu)

  • Double punch  (ni zuki)
  • Rising block / reverse punch (age uke / gyaku zuki)
  • Outside block / reverse punch (ude uke / gyaku zuki)
  • Inside block / reverse punch (uchi uke / gyaku zuki)
  • Down block / reverse punch (gedan barai / gyaku zuki)
  • Knife hand block / spear hand thrust (shuto uke / nukite)
  • Roundhouse kick (mawashi geri)
  • Back kick (ushiro geri)

Sanbon Kumite (Three Step Sparring)

How to do sanbon kumite part 1 instructions

The attacker will perform:

  1. (Front stance) Move forward straight punch to the face
  2. (Front stance) Move forward straight punch to the chest
  3. (Front stance) Front kick attack

The defender will guard these by:

  1. (Front stance) Move back and upward block
  2. (Front stance) Move back and outside forearm block
  3. (Front stance) Move back and down block, immediately after counter with a straight punch to the chest yell Kiai !

How to do sanbon kumite part 2 instructions

The attacker will perform:

  1. (Front stance) Move forward straight punch to the face
  2. (Front stance) Move forward straight punch to the chest
  3. (Front stance) Front kick attack

The defender will guard these by:

  1. (Front stance) Move back and upward block
  2. (Front stance) Move back and inside forearm block,
  3. (Front stance) With the same hand you blocked with do a down block and move back
  4. (Front stance) Immediately do a punch to the face and a punch to the chest yell Kiai !

Heian Sandan Kata (Peaceful Mind Third Level)

How to do Heian Sandan Kata step by step instructions

  1. Ready position
  2. (Back stance) Turn left 90 degrees and step forward while performing a middle inside block
  3. (Informal-attention stance) Bring right foot to left while performing a downward block and a middle inside block
  4. (Informal-attention stance) Do a downward block and a middle inside block
  5. (Back stance) Turn right 180 degrees while performing a right middle inside block
  6. (Informal-attention stance) Bring left foot to right while performing a downward block and a middle inside block
  7. (Informal-attention stance) Do a downward block and a middle inside block
  8. (Back stance) Turn left 90 degrees while performing a middle augmented forearm block
  9. (Front stance) Step forward while performing a middle pressing block and a middle spear-hand thrust
  10. (Side stance) Turn left 270 degrees while performing a middle bottom-fist strike
  11. (Front stance) Turn left 90 degrees while performing a middle lunge punch and yell Kiai !
  12. (Informal-attention stance) Turn left 180 degrees on the right foot and slowly go in the informal-attention stance
  13. (Informal-attention stance) perform a middle crescent-kick block
  14. (Side stance) With the kicking foot step forward while performing a middle block attack from the side with the elbow
  15. (Side stance) Upper back-fist strike
  16. (Side stance) Turn right 90 degrees while performing a middle crescent-kick block
  17. (Side stance) With the kicking foot step forward while performing a middle block attack from the side with the elbow
  18. (Side stance) Upper back-fist strike
  19. (Side stance) Turn right 90 degrees while performing a middle crescent-kick block
  20. (Side stance) With the kicking foot step forward while performing a middle block attack from the side with the elbow
  21. (Side stance) Upper back-fist strike
  22. (Side stance) Extend your hand slowly as if you are blocking a middle punch
  23. (Front stance) Turn right 90 degrees while performing a middle lunge punch
  24. (Side stance) Turn 180 degrees on right foot, and punch over left shoulder
  25. (Side stance) Extend your arm straight then pull and punch over right shoulder at the same time and yell Kiai !
  26. Go into ready position

Green Belt Sixth Kyu

The shotokan karate green belt color represents the maturing student much like the crop now becoming a recognisable plant.

The green belt is the fifth level, to surpass this level one must improve the skills he previously learned and add the following :

Sanbon Kumite (Three Step Sparring)

How to do sanbon kumite part 3 instructions

The attacker will perform:

  1. (Front stance) Move forward straight punch to the face
  2. (Front stance) Move forward straight punch to the chest
  3. (Front stance) Front kick attack

The defender will guard these by

  1. (Back stance) Move back and double forearm block
  2. (Back stance) Move back and double assisted block
  3. (Back stance) Move back and Scooping block immediately shift weight on front leg(Front stance) and reverse punch yell kiai !

How to do sanbon kumite part 4 instructions

Shotokan Karate kumite
‘If he practices three times, I must practice six times.’- O’Sensei Shoshin Nagamine

The attacker will perform:

  1. (Front stance) Move forward straight punch to the face
  2. (Front stance) Move forward straight punch to the chest
  3. (Front stance) Front kick attack

The defender will guard these by :

  1. (Side stance) Move back and mountain block
  2. (Side stance) Move back and block with the palm of the hand
  3. (Side stance) Move back and downward block counter with elbow strike and yell Kiai !

How to do sanbon kumite part 5 instructions

The attacker will perform:

  1. (Front stance) Move forward straight punch to the face
  2. (Front stance) Move forward straight punch to the chest
  3. (Front stance) Front kick attack

The defender will guard these by :

  1. (Front stance) Spin and rising block
  2. (Front stance) Spin and inside block
  3. (Front stance) Spin and downward block and immediately reverse punch and yell Kiai !

Heian Yondan Kata (Peaceful Mind Fourth Level)

How to do Heian Yondan Kata step by step instructions

  1. Ready position
  2. (Back stance) Turn left 90 degrees and perform a very slow double knife block
  3. (Back stance) Turn right 180 degrees and perform a very slow double knife block
  4. (Front stance) Turn left 90 degrees while performing a downward x-block
  5. (Back stance) Step forward while performing a middle augmented block
  6. Bring left foot to the right knee simuntainlesly bring right fist back onto the hip while the left fist on top of right fist immediately do a upper back-fist strike with a leg side snap kick
  7. (Front stance) Turn left 90 degrees while performing a elbow strike into your palm
  8. Bring left foot to the right knee simuntainlesly bring right fist back onto the hip while the left fist on top of right fist immediately do a upper back-fist strike with a leg side snap kick
  9. (Front stance) Turn left 90 degrees while performing a elbow strike into your palm
  10. Feet in place, left downward knife-hand block, simultaneously bring right arm up to right upper level knife-hand rising block
  11. (Front stance) Turn left 90 degrees while performing a rising knife-hand block and a right upper knife-hand strike at the same time
  12. Perform a middle front snap-kick
  13. (Cross stance) Step forward while performing a vertical back-fist strike and yell Kiai !
  14. (Back stance) Slowly turn left 225 degrees while performing a cross arms in front of the upper chest then middle reverse wedge block immediately front snap kick
  15. (Front stance) Step forward while performing a right lunge punch and then left reverse punch
  16. (Back stance) Slowly turn left 90 degrees while performing a cross arms in front of the upper chest then middle reverse wedge block immediately front snap kick
  17. (Front stance) Step forward while performing a right lunge punch and then left reverse punch
  18. (Back stance) Turn left 45 degrees while performing a middle augmented block
  19. (Back stance) Step forward while performing a middle augmented block
  20. (Back stance) Step forward while performing a middle augmented block
  21. (Front stance) Transfer weight forward stretch out both hand as if you are grabbing an opponent by the head then perform a rising knee strike and pull down your hands at the same time while yelling Kiai !
  22. (Back stance) Turn 180 degrees left while performing a middle knife-hand block
  23. (Back stance)Step forward while performing a middle knife-hand block
  24. Pull right foot back into ready position

Violet Belt Fifth Kyu

The shotokan karate violet belt color represents the student becoming an advanced student starting to understand the meaning of the black belt, it represents the dawn of day and following up with a new day.

The violet belt is the sixth level, to surpass this level one must improve the skills he previously learned and add the following :

Kihon syllabus for shotokan karate violet belt level (5th kyu)

  • Triple punch (sanbon zuki)
  • Rising block / double punch (age uke / ni zuki)
  • Outside block / double punch (ude uke / ni zuki)
  • Inside block / double punch (uchi uke / ni zuki)
  • Down block / double punch (gedan barai / ni zuki)
  • Knife hand block / step up / snap kick front leg / spear hand thrust (shuto uke / mae ashi / mae geri keage / nukite)
  • Front snap kick / roundhouse kick (mae geri keage / mawashi geri)
  • Outside block / elbow strike (ude uke / empi uchi)
  • Front snap kick / front thrust kick (mae geri keage / mae geri kekomi)
  • Front snap kick / side thrust kick (mae geri keage / yoko geri kekomi)
  • Roundhouse kick / back kick (mawashi geri / ushiro geri)
  • Side thrust kick / back kick (yoko geri kekomi / ushiro geri)
  • Side snap kick / side thrust kick (yoko geri keage / yoko geri kekomi)
  • Front snap kick / roundhouse kick / side thrust kick / back kick (mae geri keage / mawashi geri / yoko geri kekomi / ushiro geri)
  • Front snap kick / lunge punch (mae geri keage / oi zuki)
  • Reverse punch / front snap kick (gyaku zuki / mae geri keage)
  • Front snap kick / side snap kick (mae geri keage / yoko geri kekomi)

Ippon kumite (one step sparring)

How to do ippon kumite jodan part 1 instructions

The attacker will perform an upper level lunge punch, while the defender will block with a rising block and immediately a reverse punch and yell Kiai !

How to do ippon kumite chudan part 1 instructions

The attacker will perform a middle level lunge punch, while the defender will block with an outside block and immediately a reverse punch and yell Kiai !

How to do ippon kumite mae geri part 1 instructions

The attacker will perform a middle level front snap kick, while the defender will block with a downward sweeping block and immediately a reverse punch and yell Kiai !

How to do ippon kumite mawashi part 1 instructions

The attacker will perform a upper level roundhouse kick, while the defender will block with an inside forearm block and immediately a reverse punch and yell Kiai !

How to do ippon kumite yoko geri part 1 instructions

The attacker will perform a middle level side thrust kick, while the defender will block with an outside forearm block and immediately a reverse punch and yell Kiai !

How to do ippon kumite ushiro part 1 instructions

The attacker will perform a middle level back kick, while the defender will block with an outside forearm block and immediately a reverse punch and yell Kiai !

 Not the actual ippon kumite that I wrote about but so that you get the idea how this works (couldn’t find a video) 

Heian Godan Kata (Peaceful Mind Fifth Level)

How to do Heian Godan Kata step by step instructions

  1. Ready position
  2. (Back stance) Turn left 90 degrees while performing a middle inside block
  3. (Back stance) Stay in place and perform a middle reverse punch
  4. (Informal attention stance) Turn right 90 degrees while performing slowly a middle hook punch
  5. (Back stance) Turn right 90 degrees while performing a middle inside block
  6. (Back stance) Stay in place and perform a left middle reverse punch
  7. (Informal attention stance) Turn right 90 degrees while performing slowly a middle hook punch
  8. (Back stance) Step forward while performing a middle augmented block
  9. (Front stance) Step forward and bring both fists to right hip and then downward x-block
  10. (Front stance) Stay in place and bring crossed fists to chest and then upper x-block with open hands
  11. (Front stance) Stay in place while twisting hips right 45 degrees while the wrists remain touching and rotate palms to face each other and then pull hands to the hips while the wrists remain touching
  12. (Front stance) Stay in place and perform a middle hammer-fist strike
  13. (Front stance) Move forward while performing a middle lunge punch and yell Kiai !
  14. (Side stance) Turn left 270 degrees while performing a downward block
  15. (Side stance) Stay in place and perform slowly a middle vertical knife hand block
  16. (Side stance) Turn left 90 degrees while performing a middle crescent kick
  17. (Side stance) Turn left 90 degrees while performing a middle elbow strike into your palm
  18. (Cross stance) Get your left foot behind your right while performing a middle augmented block
  19. Turn left 90 degrees and straighten right leg while also extending left leg forward for about one foot in length so that the toes are touching the ground than punch straight up behind head with your right fist while the left fist remains in contact with the right elbow
  20. (Cross stance) Get your right leg rapidly to left immediately jump off left foot while drawing your knees and turn left 90 degrees in the air in order to land in the cross stance than draw both fists to belt during jump and then downward x-block on landing
  21. (Front stance) Turn right 90 degrees while performing a middle augmented block
  22. (Front stance) Turn left 180 degrees while performing a downward palm-heel strike and at the same time a left upper sweeping block
  23. (Back stance) Distribute weight to the back while performing a downward block at the same time perform a right upper inside block behind the head
  24. (Informal attention stance) Turn right 90 degrees into the informal attention stance
  25. (Front stance) Turn left 90 degrees while performing a downward palm-heel strike, at the same time perform an upper sweeping block
  26. (Back stance) Distribute weight to the back while performing a downward block at the same time perform a right upper inside block behind the head
  27. Pull right foot back into ready position, facing same direction as start

Blue Belt Forth Kyu

The shotokan karate blue belt color represents the calmness the student has achieved through training which will help him better assess the situation and improve both mentally and physically much like the plant further growing to the blue sky.

The blue belt is the seventh level, to surpass this level one must improve the skills he previously learned and learn this new kata.

Tekki Shodan Kata (Iron Horse Riding First Level)

How to do Tekki Shodan Kata step by step instructions

  1. Ready position
  2. Bring both feet together and cross your hands in front of your body fingers straight and pointing downwards the left hand needs to be on top
  3. Face the right shoulder bend your knees and cross the left foot over the right make sure that the right foot is flat on the ground and the left foot is on the ball of the foot
  4. Rise the right knee to the torso level at the same time cross your arms in a knife hand position with the left hand on top finish the kick and as you land down in the side stance execute a backhand block with your right hand
  5. Execute an elbow smash with your left hand while bringing your right hand on the elbow
  6. Face left and Bring the hands in a cup and saucer position left fist on top simultaneously
  7. Execute a low downward block with your left hand
  8. Execute a middle/low level hook punch with your right hand
  9. Move your right leg over the left leg with the right leg on the ball of the foot while the left foot is flat
  10. Swing your left leg forward while at the same time changing your direction to look forward landing down in the side stance and instantly execute a middle level inside block with your right hand.
  11. Do an outside block with your left hand coming up by the head while performing a downward block with the right hand
  12. Execute an upper level backfist with the left hand and place the right wrist underneath the left elbow with your right arm in hook punch position
  13. Look over the left shoulder and dodge a sweep by pulling your left leg to your right knee land in the side stance and sweep the arms to the left hold the right wrist under the left elbow than turn the left wrist over so that the palm is now facing away from your body
  14. Look over to the right and dodge a sweep by pulling your left leg to your right knee land in the side stance and sweep the arms to the right placing the left wrist under the right elbow then turn the left wrist over so that the palm is now facing the body than face left and bring your hands to the cup and saucer position
  15. Execute a middle level double punch and yell Kiai ! Make sure the left arm is straight while the right arm is in a hook punch position
  16. Bring the left arm underneath the right armpit and slowly do a middle level backhand block with the left hand
  17. Execute a middle level elbow strike with your right hand while bringing your left hand on the elbow
  18. Go in the cup and saucer position while facing your right side simultaneously
  19. Do a lower level downward block with the right hand
  20. Execute a middle/low level hook punch with your left hand
  21. Move your left leg over the right leg with the left leg on the ball of the foot while the right foot is flat
  22. Swing your right leg forward while at the same time changing your direction to look forward landing down in the side stance and instantly execute a middle level inside block with your left hand.
  23. Do an outside block with your right hand coming up by the head while performing a downward block with the left hand
  24. Execute an upper level backfist with the right hand and place the left wrist underneath the right elbow with your left arm in hook punch position
  25. Look over the right shoulder and dodge a sweep by pulling your right leg to your left knee land in the side stance and sweep the arms to the right hold the left wrist under the right elbow than turn the right wrist over so that the palm is now facing away from your body
  26. Look over to the left and dodge a sweep by pulling your right leg to your left knee land in the side stance and sweep the arms to the left placing the right wrist under the left elbow then turn the right wrist over so that the palm is now facing the body than face right and bring your hands to the cup and saucer position
  27. Execute a middle level double punch and yell Kiai ! Make sure the right arm is straight while the left arm is in a hook punch position
  28. Bring your feet together and cross your hands in front of your body fingers are straight, together and pointing downwards with your left hand on top of the right hand
  29. Go in the ready stance

Brown Belt Third Kyu

The shotokan karate brown belt color represents that the student is now an advanced student his skills have improved greatly from the start of his shotokan karate path much like the seed is now ripening and becoming a fruit.

The brown belt is the eight level, to surpass this level one must improve the skills he previously learned and add the following :

Kihon syllabus for shotokan karate brown belt level (3rd kyu)

  • Free style stance (all of the new techniques are in this stance)

    Shotokan Karate green belt
    “If you face just one opponent, and you doubt yourself, you’re out-numbered.”
    — Dan Millman
  • Jab  (kizama zuki)
  • Back fist strike (uraken uchi)
  • Reverse punch (gyaku zuki)
  • Lunge punch  (oi zuki)
  • Lunging reverse punch (oi gyaku zuki)
  • Jab / lunge punch (kizama zuki / oi zuki)
  • Jab / reverse punch (kizama zuki / gyaku zuki)
  • Lunge punch / half step / reverse punch (kizama zuki / half step / gyaku zuki)
  • Jab / lunge punch / half step / reverse punch (kizama zuki / oi zuki / half step / gyaku zuki)
  • Any punch combination (any zuki combination)
  • Reverse punch / round house kick (gyaku zuki / mawashi geri)
  • Front snap kick / lunge punch (mae geri keage / oi zuki)
  • Reverse punch / front snap kick (gyaku zuki / mae geri keage)
  • Reverse punch / side thrust kick (gyaku zuki / yoko geri kekomi)
  • Back kick / reverse punch (ushiro geri / gyaku zuki)
  • Any kick combination (geri combination)
  • Front snap kick / side snap kick / back kick (mae geri keage / yoko geri keage / ushiro geri) (from the ready position)

Jyu Ippon Kumite (one step sparring) (all moves are in free style stance)

How to do Jyu Ippon Kumite part 1 instructions

The attacker will perform a upper level jab, while the defender will block with a sweeping block and immediately a reverse punch and yell Kiai !

How to do Jyu Ippon Kumite part 2 instructions

The attacker will perform an upper level reverse punch, while the defender will block with a sweeping palm block and immediately a reverse punch and yell Kiai !

How to do Jyu Ippon Kumite part 3 instructions

The attacker will perform an upper level lunge punch, while the defender will block with a sweeping palm block and immediately a reverse punch and yell Kiai !

How to do Jyu Ippon Kumite part 4 instructions

The attacker will perform a middle level jab, while the defender will block with a sweeping palm block and immediately a reverse punch and yell Kiai !

How to do Jyu Ippon Kumite part 5 instructions

The attacker will perform a middle level reverse punch, while the defender will block with a sweeping palm block and immediately a reverse punch and yell Kiai !

How to do Jyu Ippon Kumite part 6 instructions

The attacker will perform a middle level lunge punch, while the defender will block with a sweeping palm block and immediately a reverse punch and yell Kiai !

How to do Jyu Ippon Kumite part 7 instructions

The attacker will perform a middle level front snap kick, while the defender will block with a downward inside forearm block and immediately a reverse punch and yell Kiai !

How to do Jyu Ippon Kumite part 8 instructions

The attacker will perform a upper level round house kick, while the defender will block with a outside forearm block and immediately a reverse punch and yell Kiai !

How to do Jyu Ippon Kumite part 9 instructions

The attacker will perform a middle level side thrust kick, while the defender will block with a inside forearm block and immediately a reverse punch and yell Kiai !

How to do Jyu Ippon Kumite part 10 instructions

The attacker will perform a middle level back kick, while the defender will block with a inside forearm block and immediately a reverse punch and yell Kiai !

Not the actual Jyu Ippon Kumite that I wrote about but so that you get the idea how this works (couldn’t find a video) 

Bassai Dai Kata (To Penetrate a Fortress – Big)

How to do Bassai Dai Kata step by step instructions

  1. Ready position
  2. Pull your right leg to your left leg and make your right hand in a fist while covering it with your left hand the hands need to be 45 degrees aiming from the the body to the floor
  3. Draw your hands back while rising your right knee stamp foot while executing an inside block with your right hand while being assisted with your left hand and land in the cross stance (uchi uke)
  4. Turn 180 degrees counter clockwise and execute a left inside block right after another inside block with your right hand
  5. Turn 180 degrees clockwise and execute an outer block with your left hand immediately after execute an inside block with your right hand
  6. Draw the right foot back, and pivot 90 degrees clockwise on the left foot while bending both knees with the right hand preparing for an outer block while the left hand is stretched out open hand and fingers together
  7. Move forward with your right foot while executing an outer block and immediately after an inside block
  8. Shift your left foot into the parallel stance (heiko dachi) to face the front and than move your hands in a cup and saucer position with the left fist on top than slowly perform a tate shuto with your left hand
  9. Straight punch with your right hand
  10. Pull the punch to your chest execute an inside block with that arm (without using the left arm) while twisting your hips to the left side and slightly bending your knees.
  11. Twist the hip back in the forward position and straight punch with your left hand
  12. Pull the punch to your chest execute an inside block with that arm (without using the right arm) while twisting your hips to the right side and slightly bending your knees.
  13. Move forward in the back stance while performing a knife hand block with your right hand
  14. Step forward in the back stance and perform another knife hand block with your left hand
  15. Move forward in the back stance and perform another knife hand block with your right hand
  16. Step back in the back stance while performing another knife hand block with your left hand
  17. Back foot shifts to the right so that you get in the front stance while the right hand is extended outwards with the first two fingers of your left hand touching your right hands pulse.
  18. Rise your knee while still keeping your arms up high
  19. Execute a side kick pulling you hands to your hip in a cup and saucer position and yelling Kiai !
  20. With the leg still up pull it back to knee position turn head 180 degrees land in the back stance while performing a knife hand block with your left hand
  21. Step forward in the back stance and perform another knife hand block with your right hand
  22. Move your right leg back to the left while bringing your hands to your hips
  23. Bring your fists together and slowly raise your hands to the front
  24. Rise your fists to head level with your palms facing the front
  25. Pull both your arms outward while lift your right knee at the same time
  26. Than stomp forward while double striking the body (hasami uchi)
  27. Slightly move the right leg forward and strike the body
  28. Turn 180 degrees counter clockwise on the right foot execute a right nukite and with your left hand protect your right ear
  29. Pull back your right fist into jodan uchi uke while extending your left fist into gedan barai at the same time move the left foot up to bring the feet together
  30. Do a hook kick with your right foot and land in the side stance while at the same time performing a lower block (gedan barai)
  31. Bring your left hand underneath your right hand while turning your head 180 degrees and execute a haishu
  32. Kick your left palm with a crescent kick (mikazuki geri)
  33. Stamp the floor landing in the side stance and perform an elbow strike on your left palm
  34. Execute a lower block with your right hand starting from the bicep of the left hand
  35. Execute a lower block with your left hand starting from the bicep of the right hand
  36. Twist your hips clockwise while pulling both you hands in a cup and saucer position on the left hip
  37. Execute yama tsuki with the left fist in jodan while the right fist is in chudan
  38. Pull your right foot back to your left foot and pull both fists to the right hip in the heisuko dachi stance with the left fist on top
  39. Rise your left knee up then stamp the floor landing in the front stance immediately execute a yama zuki with your right fist to jodan and your left fist to chudan
  40. Pull your left foot back to your right foot and pull both fists to the left hip in the heisuko dachi stance with the right fist on top
  41. Rise your right knee up then stamp the floor landing in the front stance immediately execute a yama zuki with your left fist to jodan and your right fist to chudan
  42. Turn on the right foot while shifting your left foot so that your body rotates 270° into zenkutsu dachi with both your feet in the same line while turning swing the right arm out from the side and execute a low uchi uki with the palm facing upwards
  43. Shift your weight to your right leg and twist your hips while swinging the left arm to block a kick
  44. Swing the left arm out from the side and execute a low uchi uki with the palm facing upwards
  45. Move your left foot half a step towards your right execute a right knife hand block (shuto uke) while focusing your face on the other side then turn clockwise on your left foot and shift your right foot 90° clockwise into the back stance kokutsu dachi
  46. Pull your right foot just behind your left heel and shift your left foot forward in a 45° degree angle into the back stance executing a left knife hand block while yelling Kiai !
  47. Go back in ready position

Bunkai

From this level and beyond you will need to be able to perform bunkai. Bunkai is the ability to analyze a kata by disassembling each move and and truly understanding their purpose in the kata

Brown Belt Second Kyu

The shotokan karate brown belt second kyu does not change color from the previous level belt. This does not mean that it isn’t a significant level up in the shotokan karate community.

The brown belt (Second Kyu) is the ninth level, to surpass this level one must improve the skills he previously learned and add this kata

Jion Kata (Love and Goodness)

How to do Jion Kata step by step instructions

  1. Ready position
  2. Pull left leg to the right while right hand is in fist position being covered by the left hand a few inches away from your face
  3. Step back in front stance and execute an inside block
  4. Step forward in the front stance 45 degrees anticlockwise hands coming out from the hips crossing each other as they rise spread them shoulder length both fisted and in a 45 degree angle
  5. Front kick and land forward in the front stance execute three punches right punch left punch and again a right punch
  6. Turn 90 degrees clockwise hands coming out from the hips crossing each other as they rise spread them shoulder length both fisted and in a 45 degree angle
  7. Front kick and land forward in the front stance execute three punches left punch right punch and again a left punch
  8. Pull left leg almost to the right instantly mark move left leg forward again and execute a rising block and a reverse punch immediately after
  9. Mark and move forward in front stance instantly execute a rising block followed by a reverse punch
  10. Mark and move forward in front stance instantly execute a rising block
  11. Step forward punch mid level and yell Kiai !
  12. Pivot on the right foot anticlockwise to face the right direction from the starting point into manji uke in the back stance
  13. Execute a cross punch with your right hand while simultaneously adjusting your stance into a side stance
  14. Left hand goes underneath the right arm twist and simultaneously go back to manji uke facing the opposite direction
  15. Execute a cross punch with your left hand while simultaneously adjusting your stance into a side stance
  16. Step forward in the front stance while executing a downward block with your left hand
  17. Move forward in the back stance and execute a palm strike with the with your right hand
  18. Step forward in the back stance and execute a palm strike with the with your left hand
  19. Move forward again in the back stance and execute a palm strike with the with your right hand
  20. Pivot on the right foot to face the left direction from the starting point anticlockwise and execute a manji uke in the back stance
  21. Draw left hand back to the ribcage and execute a high level assisted block (morote uke) while bringing the right leg with the left leg
  22. Left hand goes underneath right hand while head is moving to the opposite side and execute a manji uke the right leg slides to that direction in order to get in the back stance
  23. Draw right hand back to the ribcage and execute a high level assisted block (morote uke) while bringing the left leg with the right leg
  24. Face forward legs together hands crossed and going downward spreading away from each other till they get in the ready position
  25. Draw the knee up while both hand are on the hips stomp landing in the cross stance and execute a cross block with the right hand on top of the left hand
  26. Move left leg back in the front stance and move your hands to the side
  27. Step forward and execute a double inside block
  28. Step forward and execute a high level cross block with the left hand on top
  29. Twist your left hand to guard your face and twist your right hand to an inside block
  30. Preper right hand for a backfist attack while the left hand goes forward fingers closed and execute a backfist with your right hand the left hand goes under the the elbow
  31. Pivot on the right foot anticlockwise to face the right direction from the starting point and execute an inside block
  32. Step forward and punch
  33. Turn 180 degrees pivoting on the left foot clockwise and execute an inside block
  34. Step forward and punch
  35. Pivot on the right foot anticlockwise going back to the starting position and execute a downward block
  36. Execute a crescent kick (mikazuki geri) while falling in stance execute a hammer strike and land in the horse stance
  37. Perform another crescent kick (mikazuki geri) while falling in stance execute a hammer strike and land in the horse stance
  38. Execute another crescent kick (mikazuki geri) while falling in stance execute a hammer strike and land in the horse stance
  39. Pivot on the right foot 180 degrees with your legs together slightly bend right hand guarding your face and left hand on hip looking to the left of your starting position
  40. Extend your left leg to go in the horse stance while extending your left hand forward fingers closed and a pulling motion with your right hand both slowly (as if you are drawing a bow)
  41. Left hand goes in a circular motion to cover your head while facing the other direction and the right hand on the hip
  42. Slightly drag forward while extending your right hand forward fingers closed and a pulling motion with your left hand both slowly (as if you are drawing a bow) and yell a longer Kiai !
  43. Close the kata as usual and end in the ready position

Brown Belt First Kyu

The shotokan karate brown belt first kyu does not change color again from the previous level belt. Again this does not mean that this belt is not a significant upgrade in level to the shotokan karate community. The title Dai-Sempai is given to you as you achieve this belt meaning that you are a great student the big brother of the class.

The brown belt (First Kyu) is the tenth level, to surpass this level one must improve the skills he previously learned and add this kata.

Kanku Dai Kata (To View the Sky – Big)

How to do Kanku Dai Kata step by step instructions

  1. Ready position
  2. Both hands pointing downwards at a 45 degree angle fingers together not fisted with the left hand on top of the right hand forming a triangle position
  3. Breath in and slowly start rising the hands up till you can see through the triangle gap and lean back slightly
  4. Break the hands from each other placing them on the side still high with palms facing outwards and circularly start lowering them down till they reach chest level lower your head to the level of the hands
  5. In a circular motion keep lowering them till they touch again the left hand hits with the palm while the right hand hits with the knife part of the hand
  6. Move your left leg the the left to go in a back stance and execute a backhand block
  7. Turn the hips and face the other side while still in the back stance and execute a backhand block
  8. Pull leg back to come in the ready stance while the left hand slowly comes underneath the right arm extended with the palm facing forward and the right arm on the hips
  9. Punch with the right arm and twist it to perform an inside block with the same hand twist legs as you perform the inside block
  10. Go back in the ready stance and punch with the left arm and twist it to perform an inside block with the same hand twist legs as you perform the inside block
  11. Execute a side kick simultaneously with a backfist behind you
  12. Land facing the same way you started the kata in a back stance while executing a knife hand block with your left hand
  13. Step forward again in the back stance while executing a knife hand block with your right hand
  14. Move forward in the back stance while executing a knife hand block with your left hand
  15. Step forward while performing a spear hand and yell Kiai !
  16. Look over the left shoulder pivot on your right leg anti clockwise 180 degrees landing in a back stance while your left hand execute a downward block while your right hand execute a rising block
  17. Shift your weight to the front stance and execute a knife neck strike with your right hand and guard your face with your left hand
  18. Execute a front kick when landing face the other side and execute a manji uke while landing in the back stance
  19. Shift weight on the front leg to go in the front stance and execute a palm heel with your right hand and protect your face with the left hand
  20. Pull your left leg backwards to go in the Renoji Dachi stance (L-shaped stance) while executing a downwards block
  21. Move your left leg forward to go back in the back stance while your left hand execute a downward block while your right hand execute a rising block
  22. Shift your weight to the front stance and execute a knife neck strike with your right hand and guard your face with your left hand
  23. Execute a front kick when landing face the other side and execute a manji uke while landing in the back stance
  24. Shift weight on the front leg to go in the front stance and execute a palm heel with your right hand and protect your face with the left hand
  25. Pull your left leg backwards to go in the Renoji Dachi stance (L-shaped stance) while executing a downwards block
  26. Execute a side kick with with a backfist on your left (right from the starting point) landing in the front stance while executing an elbow strike on your left hand palm with your right hand
  27. Face the opposite direction and execute a side kick with with a backfist (left from the starting point) landing in the front stance while executing an elbow strike on your right hand palm with your left hand
  28. Face the opposite direction twisting your hips and placing the weight on the back to get in the back stance execute a knife hand block with your left hand
  29. Step forward in the back stance and execute another knife hand block with your right hand
  30. Pivot on the left foot 180 degrees clockwise landing in the back stance and execute a knife hand block
  31. Step forward in the back stance and execute another knife hand block
  32. Pivot on the right foot anticlockwise 45 degrees landing in the front stance and executing a knife neck strike with your right hand while protecting your head with a left hand block
  33. Execute a kick forward while coming down execute a hammer fist in the cross stance
  34. Glide your left leg back in the front position while performing an inside block with your right hand than execute another punch with your left hand and another punch with your right hand
  35. Turn the opposite direction while rising your right knee and performing an outside block with your right hand and putting your left hand palm on the right hands forearm
  36. Drop down on the floor with your fingers touching the ground
  37. Turn around in the opposite direction in a long back stance while executing a lower block position
  38. Step forward in a back stance and execute a knife hand block
  39. Pivot on the right leg anticlockwise coming to your right (left of starting position) in a front stance while executing an inside block with your left hand followed by a reverse punch with the right hand
  40. Turn the opposite direction in the front stance and execute an inside block with your right hand followed by a reverse punch with your left hand and another punch with your right hand
  41. Draw the left leg halfway up hands in the cup and saucer position and execute a backfist and sidekick simultaneously on your right side land in the back stance facing the same direction you started the kata and execute a knife hand block
  42. Step forward in the front stance and execute a spear hand strike
  43. Twist the spear hand strike upwards and pivot on the right leg anticlockwise spin landing in the side stance and execute a backfist strike with your left hand  followed by a hammer strike with the same hand and another strike with the same hand
  44. Elbow strike with your right hand on your left hand’s palm
  45. Face the other side and place hands in the cup and saucer position and execute a downward strike
  46. Execute a crescent-kick with the left leg landing in the side stance and punch down with the left hand after landing while doing a rising block with your right hand simultaneously
  47. With the right hand punch down underneath the left fist
  48. Rise your legs straight and execute a high level double handed cross block (juji-uke) with the hands opened
  49. Left leg spins around clockwise till you are facing towards the starting point (looking the opposite way of when you started the kata) landing in the front stance hands still remain in the juji-uke position
  50. Draw hands closer to your body while closing the fingers to form a fist
  51. Execute a jumping double kick followed by a backfist landing in the front stance while in the air starting the backfist yell Kiai !
  52. Left leg spins around till you are in the kata starting position landing in the side stance and executing a low level double handed cross block (juji-uke)
  53. Left leg draws in followed by the usual ending sequence of a kata

Black Belt First Dan (Shodan)

The shotokan karate black belt represents the darkness beyond the sun needing seeking harder to find knowledge of the art. This also represent the full growth of the plant which is now spreading seeds. A black belt student has now become a teacher finding students to teach the art in order for the shotokan karate way to not perish. The title Sempai is given to you as you achieve this belt representing that you are now a senior in the class and expected to help out in the lesson.

One might think that once you have achieved the black belt there is nothing left to learn, boy they are so wrong the path has merely just started nine more levels are still waiting for you up there and they will not be as easy as the previous levels but don’t give up if others have done it why can’t you? These are the karate black belt levels and requirements to pass the shotokan karate black belt grading system.

The black belt (First Dan) is the eleventh level. In order to surpass this level one must have the minimum age of 22 years and improve the skills he previously learned and add:

Kihon syllabus for shotokan karate black belt level (1st dan)

  • Jab / half step / reverse punch  (kizama zuki / tai sabaki / gyaku zuki)
  • Lunge punch / half step / jab (oi zuki / half step / kizama zuki)
  • Lunge punch / half step / back fist (oi zuki / tai sabaki / uraken uchi)
  • Reverse punch / step forward / reverse punch (gyaku zuki / step forward / gyaku zuki)
  • Reverse punch / half step / back fist (gyaku zuki / tai sabaki / uraken uchi)
  • Front snap kick / lunge punch / half step / reverse punch (mae geri keage / oi zuki / tai sabaki / gyaku zuki)
  • Pencil focus test

Competitive Kumite

This type of kumite is different from the typical kumite. Competitive kumite is type of a sparring between karate members where the main aim is to hit your opponent first. There is a lot of controversies about this type of sparring as other martial artist say that a real fight does not matter who strikes first. Which to be honest they are right if your only sparring experience is this you are going to get shredded against a UFC fighter. But this is not supposed to replicate a fight that is what they fail to see. This type of sparring greatly improves your reflexes to dodge and block attacks as one strike you lose. I hope other martial artists reading this can understand this adding the competitive kumite to your sparring training regime can greatly improve your ability to dodge and block. If you would like to learn more about the rules of this kumite visit World Karate Federation (WKF)

Black Belt Second Dan (Nidan)

Once you achieve the shotokan karate nidan black belt you will be rewarded with a second golden line on your belt. This belt represents the twelfth level in the shotokan karate grading system. In order to surpass this level you have to improve all your previous skills train for at least two years in the 2nd dan black belt level start perfecting your bunkai for all the previous level kata’s and synchronized group katas. To be eligible for taking the exam the participant must be at least 26 years old.

Black Belt Third Dan (Sandan)

A third golden line will be awarded to you once you achieve the sandan shotokan karate black belt level. The title Sensei will be given to you meaning that you are now fully capable of controlling and teaching a class in the art of the shotokan karate way. This level represents the thirteenth level in the shotokan karate grading system. In order to surpass this level you have to improve all your previous skills train for at least three years in the 3rd dan black belt level. To be eligible for taking the exam the participant must be at least 30 years old.

Black Belt Fourth Dan (Yondan)

The fourth golden line will be added to your belt once the yondan black belt level is achieved. If you are over 60 years old when you are in the possession of this belt you will be awarded with the title of Shihan which is equivalent to a doctorate degree ( I am not certain that this title is equivalent to a doctorate degree as I could not find any reliable source but my sensei said it was.)(If you know a reliable source that says it is please let me know in the comment section down below). The yondan black belt represents the fourteenth level in the shotokan karate grading system. In order to surpass this level you will have to further perfect all the skills you have previously learned, undergo a question and answer session about the participants favourite kata and train for at least 4 years in the 4th dan black belt level. To be eligible for taking the exam the participant must be at least 35 years old. From this level and beyond examinations will have to be held at the Japan Karate Association only they are authorized to evaluate, grade and issue certification.

Black Belt Fifth Dan (Godan)

Achieving the godan black belt level will proof your worth for the fifth golden line on your belt. You will be bestone with title of Renshi meaning you are now officially a master in art of shotokan karate. The godan black belt represents the fifteenth level in the shotokan karate grading system. In order to surpass this level one must polish his skills even further train for at least 6 years in the 5th dan black belt and undergo a question and answer session about shotokan karate techniques and submit a report on the shotokan karate techniques on the examination date. To be eligible for taking this exam one must be at least 41 years of age.

Black Belt Sixth Dan (Rokudan)

The rokudan black belt will earn you the sixth golden line on your belt. The rokudan black belt represents the sixteenth level in the shotokan karate grading system. In order to surpass this level you will have to improve each move you have learned so far train for at least 7 years in the 6th dan black belt and be recommended by a Shihankai. Minimum age to take this examination is 50 years old.

Black Belt Seventh Dan (Shichidan)

Obtaining the shichidan black belt will grant you the seventh golden line on your belt and reward you with a new title Kyoshi. This title represents that you are now fully capable of teaching Sensei students, a teacher for the teachers. In order to surpass this level further polishing of the skills and knowledge will be required, training for at least 7 years in the 7th dan black belt be 57 years of age and recommended by a shihankai.

Black Belt Eight Dan (Hachidan)

The hachidan black belt, the eight golden line on your belt. In order to surpass this level you must catch the attention of the shihankai once again by contributing greatly to the shotokan committee this can be through making new schools, finding forgotten knowledge on the great art of shotokan karate you must be at least the age of 60 to be able to take the test.

Black Belt Ninth Dan (Kudan)

Owning the kudan black belt means you are now in the possession of nine golden lines on your black belt with this belt you are awarded with the title of Hanshi meaning you are now head of the masters in the shotokan karate community. In order to surpass this level one must do something really amazing in order to get the interest of the shihankai as surpassing the 9th dan black belt will bring you to the final belt.

Black Belt Tenth Dan (Jūdan)

Shotokan Karate Martial Arts
“It’s not about being better than the other. It’s about being better than you were yesterday.” -Author Unknown

Obtaining the jūdan black belt will grant you the tenth and final golden line on your belt you have achieved the highest belt in karate, you have dedicated your life to the art, you have impacted greatly the art and will be forever be remembered as a hero in the karate community.

Conclusion

This was the standard order of the shotokan karate belt color system not all dojo’s go by this exact system some make the exams harder while some have 12 year olds running around with high dan belts. If you have any questions or criticism feel free to drop a comment down below I would be more than happy to answer and learn from you guys. If you enjoyed the article make sure to smash (Sumasshu) that share button while yelling Kiai !  

Sources :
All images have been taken from pixabay or myself with a Creative Commons CC0 licence.
Videos are embedded so that the original creator will still gain the views and any monetization they have.

Summary
Shotokan Karate Belt Color Levels In Order
Article Name
Shotokan Karate Belt Color Levels In Order
Description
In-Depth breakdown of the 10 shotokan karate belt color levels and the 10 dan black belts including Titles, Videos, Katas for each belt [The Whole Shebang]
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Martial Arts Nerd
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One thought on “Shotokan Karate Belt Color Levels In Order

  1. Hello Sensei, I was wondering how many different schools of Shodokan there are.
    I really appreciate how you’ve broken down the belt requirements. Superb.
    I have a friend who is a 5th degree and is a Renshi with a thick red belt.
    Many Thanks Sensei.

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