Reading Shotokan Karate Club

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Home Gradings


The next gradings will be:

  • Saturday March 14 2020 - Sensei Dave Paulus 5th Dan
  • Sunday 5 July 2020 - Sensei Gary Stewart 6th Dan

Training will start at 14:00. This will be followed by the grading which is planned to finish by 17:00. Registration will be at 13:15

All JKAE licenced members are welcome to attend at the Meadway Leisure Centre, Conwy Close, Reading, RG30 4BZ. See Training page for map.


Gradings play a large part in measuring the progress of a Karate student and the club holds gradings for students every 3 months. Each grading is made up of three elements: Kihon (basic technique), Kata (pre-arranged movements) and Kumite (fighting). We will from time to time have visiting examiners, for example: Sensei Roy Tomlin (6th Dan and ex squad member), Sensei Gary Stewart (6th Dan and squad coach) and Sensei Giuseppe D'Onofrio (5th Dan, deputy squad coach) who are all greatly respected by the instructors of the club.

The Belt System

Early in the history of Shotokan Karate, there was no concept of belt colour. A Karate-Ka's belt was simply something worn with the Karate gi (Training suit). Unlike the gi itself (which is meant to be pristine), Okinawan dogma stated that the belt was left unwashed as it contained the fighting spirit and soul of effort put into training. So, a white belt would just get dirtier and dirtier eventually giving the appearance of it being black. Only highly proficient and long standing Karate students would have belts that were literally black. It later became practise for a black belt to be granted to a student whom the teacher thought to be high skilled. This was further refined to include a green belt, which was considered to be halfway between beginner and those deemed highly skilled.

The Belts are -
Beginner - White Belt
9th Kyu - Orange Belt
8th Kyu - Red Belt
7th Kyu - Yellow belt
6th Kyu - Green Belt
5th Kyu - Purple Belt
4th Kyu - Purple/White Belt
3rd Kyu - Brown Belt
2nd Kyu - Brown/White Belt
1st Kyu - Brown/Double White Belt
1st Dan upwards - Black Belt.