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    Judo Belt - Grade Colors Consistant?

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    Von_Adams

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    Judo Belt - Grade Colors Consistant?

    Post by Von_Adams on Mon Feb 25, 2013 7:41 pm

    Seems like in various martial arts, from one dojo to another, the belt systems vary. Is there a set in stone color system for belts in Judo, or does is vary from one dojo to the next? To any owners out there, if it does vary, how do you decide what belt system to go with for your dojo?
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    LeighJudo

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    Re: Judo Belt - Grade Colors Consistant?

    Post by LeighJudo on Mon Feb 25, 2013 8:11 pm

    It depends on the Association that the club is a member of. Each Association will have its own syllabus per grade. This will show knowledge of techniques, their correct application, japanese and english terminology, judo rules etc. As you increase grades there is obviously more to learn.

    As well as this, you will be monitored closely by your instructor/coach during training sessions and randori (free practice) and they will assess your application of the techniques and knowledge of the rules in a more competitive environment.

    It is usually recommended to gain experience of competitions/events at lower grades of 3rd Kyu (green belt) and 2nd Kyu (blue belt) prior to becoming a 1st Kyu, as it can be quite daunting entering your very first judo event as a 1st kyu without any competitive experience! When you get to 1st Kyu (brown belt) you are usually expected to compete for your 1st Dan (black belt) at Area/National Gradings or competitions. You can either accumulate points over a number of events, or if your skill level is good enough you can win your "line-up" on the day.

    There is also a non-competitive way of getting your Dan grade, called a Technical Dan Grade. People who are dont with to compete or are unable to compete usually take this route, however it could take many years longer.


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    techman

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    Re: Judo Belt - Grade Colors Consistant?

    Post by techman on Mon Feb 25, 2013 9:50 pm

    Leighjudo is spot on with his reply, Von Adams but if you are refering to the actual belt colours the judo fraternity use the same system. Novices and 6th Kyu wear white belts(Although in the BJA they used to wear red)
    5th Kyu yellow
    4th Kyu orange
    3rd Kyu green
    2nd Kyu blue
    1st Kyu brown
    1st Dan-5th Dan blackbelts
    6-8th Dan red and white
    9-10th Dan red belts.
    I believe in Japan the ladies Dan grade belt is often black with a white stripe.
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    ThePieman

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    Re: Judo Belt - Grade Colors Consistant?

    Post by ThePieman on Mon Feb 25, 2013 10:10 pm

    techman wrote:Leighjudo is spot on with his reply, Von Adams but if you are refering to the actual belt colours the judo fraternity use the same system. Novices and 6th Kyu wear white belts(Although in the BJA they used to wear red)
    5th Kyu yellow
    4th Kyu orange
    3rd Kyu green
    2nd Kyu blue
    1st Kyu brown
    1st Dan-5th Dan blackbelts
    6-8th Dan red and white
    9-10th Dan red belts.
    I believe in Japan the ladies Dan grade belt is often black with a white stripe.

    In the BJA a novice wears a White belt, once they have passed their first grading they advance to 6th kyu which is a Red belt. cyclops


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    JudoMojo

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    Re: Judo Belt - Grade Colors Consistant?

    Post by JudoMojo on Mon Feb 25, 2013 11:09 pm

    In the US 3rd 2nd and 1st kyu are all brown are they not? So I guess belt systems aren't consistent country to country.

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    Re: Judo Belt - Grade Colors Consistant?

    Post by Guest on Mon Feb 25, 2013 11:52 pm

    The only thing that seems consistent between all countries is the following:
    1st Kyu: Brown
    1st Dan-5th Dan: Black
    6-8th Dan: Red and White (on certain occasions)
    9-10th Dan: Solid Red (on certain occasions)
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    cuivien

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    Re: Judo Belt - Grade Colors Consistant?

    Post by cuivien on Tue Feb 26, 2013 4:19 am

    Dave R. wrote:The only thing that seems consistent between all countries is the following:
    1st Kyu: Brown
    1st Dan-5th Dan: Black
    6-8th Dan: Red and White (on certain occasions)
    9-10th Dan: Solid Red (on certain occasions)

    Indeed. BTW, in uni in Japan (2006-2009) I went: white -> brown -> black, something which would have been completely and utterly impossible in Norway. Here we follow the outline by techman
    (white -> yellow -> orange -> green -> blue -> brown -> black)


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    genetic judoka

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    Re: Judo Belt - Grade Colors Consistant?

    Post by genetic judoka on Tue Feb 26, 2013 4:40 am

    also, it's different between juniors and seniors in many places too. here in the states if you're an adult USJA member it's white-> yellow-> orange-> green-> 3 levels of brown-> black (above black it's pretty consistent).


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    micahpharris

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    Post by micahpharris on Tue Feb 26, 2013 6:00 am

    Hi all. This is my first post. I'm a new judoka - but an old person - and haven't posted before becuase what I need to learn far exceeds what I know. For the OP, though, I found the wikipedia article on Judo grades helpful. It lays out the differing belt colors for the kyu grades for juniors and seniors in each country and, to the extent that there are multiple associations in a country, for each association. I know the wiki is as prone to error as any crowd-sourced resource can be but it was helpful for me to understand why there appeared to be so many different belt colors.

    Back to lurking.
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    Stacey

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    Re: Judo Belt - Grade Colors Consistant?

    Post by Stacey on Tue Feb 26, 2013 6:08 am

    Judopedia is a great resource on this particular matter:

    http://judopedia.com/index.php?title=Ranking_System_and_Belt_Colors

    (I like the handy little tables, and the whole judopedia concept)

    Von_Adams

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    Re: Judo Belt - Grade Colors Consistant?

    Post by Von_Adams on Tue Feb 26, 2013 4:05 pm

    Thanks everybody. Very informative. Seems in country and out of country, you do get some variation...
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    BillC

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    Re: Judo Belt - Grade Colors Consistant?

    Post by BillC on Tue Feb 26, 2013 6:36 pm

    cuivien wrote:
    Dave R. wrote:The only thing that seems consistent between all countries is the following:
    1st Kyu: Brown
    1st Dan-5th Dan: Black
    6-8th Dan: Red and White (on certain occasions)
    9-10th Dan: Solid Red (on certain occasions)

    Indeed. BTW, in uni in Japan (2006-2009) I went: white -> brown -> black, something which would have been completely and utterly impossible in Norway. Here we follow the outline by techman
    (white -> yellow -> orange -> green -> blue -> brown -> black)
    Our dojo ... for adults ... white>brown>black. Neither the USJF nor the local YDK care about recording kyu grades.

    Colored belts ... for kids ... imho a silly, unnecessary thing as well.
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    finarashi

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    Re: Judo Belt - Grade Colors Consistant?

    Post by finarashi on Tue Feb 26, 2013 6:38 pm

    BillC wrote:
    Our dojo ... for adults ... white>brown>black. Neither the USJF nor the local YDK care about recording kyu grades.

    Colored belts ... for kids ... imho a silly, unnecessary thing as well.
    Something that makes money and kids love is not a silly, unnecessary thing!


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    BillC

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    Re: Judo Belt - Grade Colors Consistant?

    Post by BillC on Tue Feb 26, 2013 7:01 pm

    finarashi wrote:
    BillC wrote:
    Our dojo ... for adults ... white>brown>black. Neither the USJF nor the local YDK care about recording kyu grades.

    Colored belts ... for kids ... imho a silly, unnecessary thing as well.
    Something that makes money and kids love is not a silly, unnecessary thing!
    You nailed the reasons, my friend.
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    Jonesy

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    Re: Judo Belt - Grade Colors Consistant?

    Post by Jonesy on Tue Feb 26, 2013 7:24 pm

    Stacey wrote:Judopedia is a great resource on this particular matter:

    http://judopedia.com/index.php?title=Ranking_System_and_Belt_Colors

    (I like the handy little tables, and the whole judopedia concept)
    France is different again for children.

    Basic concept in most places is to have as many grade steps as possible for juniors to make money. The BJA are the worst example of this - looking to fleece the parents every step of the way. 18 mon grades which in most cases can only be advanced one mon at a time.

    Nothing to do with quality control - all to do with money.

    techman

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    Re: Judo Belt - Grade Colors Consistant?

    Post by techman on Thu Feb 28, 2013 3:48 am

    I believe-but please feel free to disagree-that the belt colours were the creation of one Mikonosuke Kawaishi, who at one time was the Technical Director of the French Judo Federation. He was quite radical in his thinking and believed amongst other things that Europeans needed to see something which showed there advancement through the grades, as they lacked the patience of the Japanese. Hence the coloured belt system which I described earlier in this discussion, was introduced by him. I believe the Custom in Japan was,- and could still be- white-brown -black.
    I have a couple of his books, and his "MY method of Judo" includes banned techniques of leg locks and neck dislocations.
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    DCS

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    Re: Judo Belt - Grade Colors Consistant?

    Post by DCS on Thu Feb 28, 2013 4:49 am

    I think* the coloured belts for Kyu grades were instituted around 1927 at the Budokwai in London, years before Kawaishi arrived to France.


    OTOH in this old clip, from 1922, you can see how these 'varsity' players are tagged as purple belts.




    * See Kevin Gray Carr, Making Way:War, Philosophy and Sport in Japanese Judo. Journal of Sport History, Vol. 20, No. 2 (Summer 1993), p 182


    Last edited by DCS on Thu Feb 28, 2013 6:10 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Typo & reference.)


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    Jonesy

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    Re: Judo Belt - Grade Colors Consistant?

    Post by Jonesy on Thu Feb 28, 2013 5:34 am

    techman wrote:I believe-but please feel free to disagree-that the belt colours were the creation of one Mikonosuke Kawaishi, who at one time was the Technical Director of the French Judo Federation. He was quite radical in his thinking and believed amongst other things that Europeans needed to see something which showed there advancement through the grades, as they lacked the patience of the Japanese. Hence the coloured belt system which I described earlier in this discussion, was introduced by him. I believe the Custom in Japan was,- and could still be- white-brown -black.
    I have a couple of his books, and his "MY method of Judo" includes banned techniques of leg locks and neck dislocations.
    Kawaishi did introduce the coloured belt system to Europe. In France now children wear both solid colour belts and blocked shims-obi belts. I will post a picture when I return from travels.

    In my time in Japan adults wore only white or black. I did see juniors wearing a purple belt at times but it was not uniformly used
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    Cichorei Kano

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    Re: Judo Belt - Grade Colors Consistant?

    Post by Cichorei Kano on Thu Feb 28, 2013 6:26 am

    techman wrote:I believe-but please feel free to disagree-that the belt colours were the creation of one Mikonosuke Kawaishi, who at one time was the Technical Director of the French Judo Federation. He was quite radical in his thinking and believed amongst other things that Europeans needed to see something which showed there advancement through the grades, as they lacked the patience of the Japanese. Hence the coloured belt system which I described earlier in this discussion, was introduced by him. I believe the Custom in Japan was,- and could still be- white-brown -black.
    I have a couple of his books, and his "MY method of Judo" includes banned techniques of leg locks and neck dislocations.

    There are several parts which need to be addressed. Kawaishi did NOT create belt colors as such. That can be stated with absolute certainty. There exist several texts, for example from or referring to Higashi Katsukuma from around the turn of the century mentioning belt colors. Kawaishi was just a child then as he was born only in 1899. His name, by the way is not "Kawaishi Mikonosuke" but "Kawaishi Mikinosuke" 川石造酒之助.

    Now that it is established he did NOT 'create' belt colors, the second question becomes if he introduced colors into judo, and if so which ones ?

    This is a bit more complicated than one may think since not all colors in judo were created at the same time. The use of the black belt is the oldest, but originally wasn't how we understand it now, namely as 'dan'-rank since originally there were no dan-ranks in judo.

    The use of colored belts for kyû ranks, that is light blue for beginners-chldren, and the white/brown belt system was established by Kanô in 1923. You need to understand that in texts of speech the Japanese or Chinese oftentimes do not make any distinction between different words such as 'create', 'introduce' or 'establish' although these are not identical, hence why Westerners not fluent in Japanese/Chinese often draw wrong conclusion from how the Japanese/Chinese express themselves about matters like this. Kanô 'created' very few things, he mostly 'compiled' and 'edited' things that were the product of someone else's creative genius.

    The colored belts of dan ranks (black, red/white, red) were established in jûdô by Kanô starting in May 1930 although some sources suggest it gradually started since 1926.

    So what the question really is about is who introduced the yellow/orange/green/blue belts in jûdô to come in between white and brown ? This is generally attributed to Kawaishi, but that does not mean it is correct; it also does not mean it is incorrect. As I pointed out above, the idea certainly was not originally his, but whether he was the first to start it in judo is something that is accepted generally likely because there is, to the best of my knowledge no counter-evidence that he did not. The belt colors as employed were not identical to those used by Higashi Katsukuma. Specifically yellow/white were switched and so were orange/green.

    Kawaishi's own roots were in Yanagi-ryû jûjutsu. As I do not have access to my library I cannot verify exactly what the customs were in that school though I assume it generally still used a menkyo system. That, however, does not preclude that the various qualifications might have had some link to differences in colors of clothing used.




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    Jonesy

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    Re: Judo Belt - Grade Colors Consistant?

    Post by Jonesy on Fri Mar 01, 2013 3:25 am

    As promised....

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    Stacey

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    Re: Judo Belt - Grade Colors Consistant?

    Post by Stacey on Fri Mar 01, 2013 3:48 am

    Jonesy wrote:As promised....


    Cool image - I've never seen paneled belts below the kohaku obi - they are kinda cool, especially compared to the tendency here to put electrical tape on the end of a person's belt to designate advancement towards the next color, or the use of a horizontal stripe similar to the white, joshi stripe.

    Hope judopedia updates to include this system.
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    RidgewoodJudo

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    Re: Judo Belt - Grade Colors Consistant?

    Post by RidgewoodJudo on Fri Mar 01, 2013 4:33 am

    I disagree with the across-the-board allegation that multi-colored belts for children are used solely as a money-making tool. While some schools may use them for that purpose (those who charge huge promotion fees)... I see the other side. I find it's a great way to encourage children. It gives them a goal to strive for.

    Remember, kids have a very short attention span. They want to see progress, which is why parents often make charts awarding star stickers.

    And... I always wonder why making money in judo is so taboo? Dance teachers make money, horseback riding instructors make money... why is it when you open a judo school, you're expected to take a vow of poverty? Why is it virtually impossible to teach judo full time?

    We always ask why judo is not as popular as tae kwon do or BJJ... well.. maybe it's that mind set?

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    icb

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    Re: Judo Belt - Grade Colors Consistant?

    Post by icb on Fri Mar 01, 2013 5:47 am

    RidgewoodJudo wrote:I disagree with the across-the-board allegation that multi-colored belts for children are used solely as a money-making tool. While some schools may use them for that purpose (those who charge huge promotion fees)... I see the other side. I find it's a great way to encourage children. It gives them a goal to strive for.

    ...


    My club uses the Canadian system of half-color belts for kids in a pretty fair and non-commercial way. Grading for half-belts is not compulsory (i.e., children can choose to wait to go for full belt gradings if they wish). Teenage members typically choose to only go for full-color belts. Also kids who are progressing relatively quickly are jumped over the half-belts anyhow. In addition, the grading (+ belt) fee is pretty cheap for belts below green. The fee jumps up a bit for green belts and above, but this is to indicate the commitment that is required to train and compete at that level.
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    Cichorei Kano

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    Re: Judo Belt - Grade Colors Consistant?

    Post by Cichorei Kano on Fri Mar 01, 2013 6:48 am

    Several other posts have before addressed the history and background to judo belt colors.


    Last edited by Cichorei Kano on Sat Mar 02, 2013 2:50 am; edited 1 time in total


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    Jonesy

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    Re: Judo Belt - Grade Colors Consistant?

    Post by Jonesy on Fri Mar 01, 2013 7:34 am

    icb wrote:
    RidgewoodJudo wrote:I disagree with the across-the-board allegation that multi-colored belts for children are used solely as a money-making tool. While some schools may use them for that purpose (those who charge huge promotion fees)... I see the other side. I find it's a great way to encourage children. It gives them a goal to strive for.

    ...


    My club uses the Canadian system of half-color belts for kids in a pretty fair and non-commercial way. Grading for half-belts is not compulsory (i.e., children can choose to wait to go for full belt gradings if they wish). Teenage members typically choose to only go for full-color belts. Also kids who are progressing relatively quickly are jumped over the half-belts anyhow. In addition, the grading (+ belt) fee is pretty cheap for belts below green. The fee jumps up a bit for green belts and above, but this is to indicate the commitment that is required to train and compete at that level.
    In the UK there are 18 levels - 3 for each colour and the money goes to the NGB....

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