Testing for belt rank in Kyokushin Karate is a rigorous process. Designed to strip away self-doubt and maximize self-awareness, Kyokushin grading pushes the body to its physical and mental limits. What is left is a clarity of mind and purpose, a strong sense of accomplishment, and a dedication to continuous improvement.
Belt testing requires candidates to acceptably perform each component based on established criteria for each belt rank. IKO-Matsushima international criteria are used as grading foundation with additional requirements indicated by the branch chief. Each phase is indicated below. Testing begins with physical training, followed by technical execution of forms and weapons, and then practical self-defense. Kumite occurs at the end of grading and is the ultimate test of determination and fighting spirit.
Physical conditioning for endurance, basic techniques
Hand-to-hand techniques against single and multiple attackers
Traditional forms demonstrated at basic and advanced levels
Throws, takedowns, submissions, and ground fighting
Traditional weapons including nunchaku, escrima, bo, tonfa, and sai
Bare-hand integrative fighting against consecutive opponents
Kyokushin belt rank is not given - it is earned. Belt gradings are based on international standards implemented in our local dojo. Our dojo culture emphasizes appropriate development of physical and emotional strength, discipline and self-awareness, and perseverence through life's challenges. Consistent with those values, belt gradings are rigorous and require hard work, personal reflection, and service to others to achieve.
Criteria required for each belt rank are provided below. Progress through adult and junior belt ranks requires productive growth, builds resilience, and develops internal motivation to learn. Adult belts use solid colors (shown below) whereas junior belts include a white stripe in the colored section of the belt (not shown). Rank requirements may be adjusted based on the developmental level of a child or older adult with more limited physical abilities.
All students, but especially children, are encouraged to keep a martial arts journal cataloging requirements for each belt rank and their achievement relative to those standards. Journals help each student assess their current knowledge, skills, and mindsets, identify strengths and challenges, and work to systematically improve.
Junior rank journal | Instructions
Adult rank journal | Instructions
Requirements by Group
Grading criteria are also organized by group across belt ranks. This helps each student to determine the development progression needed to progress in a specific area of karate training.
Forms and concepts
Weapons and concepts
Techniques to dissipate attacker energy.
Single and multiple attacker techniques.