top of page
Martial Arts Class

Grading Information

Everything you need to know!

PLEASE NOTE WELL: gradings are not tests of memory, they are tests of skill. You will acquire the necessary skills with time served, repetition and practise. JKS Chester will not permit students to grade until they can demonstrate that they have skill in their grading syllabus. We expect students to earn their grades not buy them. There are plenty of other organisations where that is possible.


All beginners (white belts), without exception, will be expected to train for six months prior to taking their first grading. Other than your black belt, this first grading is the most important karate examination that you will have to face. After your first grading you may be permitted to grade once every 3 months (from orange to purple and white belt). Brown belts must train for at least 6 months prior to their next grading and those preparing for black belt must train for at least 12 months prior to taking their Shodan examination. In all cases you must have your instructors permission to grade. 

A grading is not a test of memory, a grading is a test of skill. Skills are acquired with time and repetition. 

Below you will find out about how we grade our students, where to be, at what time and what you will be expected to do on the grading day.

You will be invited to grade by your Class Instructor and given a grading slip. You must make sure that you hand your grading reply slip and the test fee back to your club instructor before the grading day. This is so that we can make sure we will have your certificate and belt ready for you to earn on the day.

All gradings are taken by senior JKS Instructors and examiners. Our gradings are held either internally at Hoole dojo or at external venues (announced on our events page). As we are a family club, parents and friends are more than welcome to come along and support.  We ask that all spectators keep noise to a minimum during the grading examination and that mobile phones are switched off or set to silent.


You will need to arrive 15-20 minutes early to sign in, hand in your license book and warm up. All students must have a valid license book. If your license has expired you must renew it before attempting your grade. At external gradings we will arrange a mini-bus to take all students to the venue. Specific arrangements for these events will be covered prior to the grading.


If you are attempting your first grade and have never had a license book, you must contact your Instructor at the earliest opportunity and let them know, you can apply for a license book online here. If you do not have a license book, you may not be able to attempt grading.

What you will be expected to do on the day:

White Belts (9th Kyu) will be asked to demonstrate the basic strikes, blocks, kicks, combinations and stances. You will then be asked to perform Kata Heian Shodan (1st kata). You will also be assessed on dojo etiquette, knowledge, effort, responses and kiai’s. Students aged 10 and above will be expected to perform kata to a good standard.

8th kyu red belts and above will be asked to demonstrate all of the above as well as the advanced strikes, blocks and stances. You are required to perform all katas up to and including your grade kata. You will then be asked to kumite (spar). You will be assessed on your knowledge, respect, level of technique, good etiquette, effort and technical ability.

Important Note: Students 8th Kyu red belt and above should remember to bring their mitts and pads for kumite. It is also advisable for you to wear a gum shield and groin box, however these are not compulsory. 

You can find details about your grading syllabus here

Grading info

Upcoming Events

  • Open Course with Iain Abernethy - Bunkai is all
    11 Jun, 11:00 – 15:00
    Chester, Chester CH1 4BQ, UK
    We thought we'd bring Iain to Chester because with the price of fuel Paddy may start charging us to travel to courses. If you've ever wanted to explore the practical application of traditional martial arts then this is the course for you! Adults £35 pp Juniors £25 pp
Upcoming Events
bottom of page