System of ranks in martial arts (part 2)

System of ranks in martial arts (part 2)

In the first part of this article, which you can read here, we talked about the structure of relations in the animal and human world, the presence of certain differences and differences in the history of mankind, and briefly described how ranks and titles are divided in martial arts.

Recall that in any case, the division always goes into two main categories:

  • apprenticeship degrees;
  • mastery degrees.

But in different areas of martial arts and different schools, despite the presence of a common principle, external manifestations may differ. And today, as promised, we will tell you about this in more detail.

Martial arts rank and distinction system

The Japanese Karate Association has developed a system that is used in most international Shotokan federations, and includes a clear gradation of belt colors: white, yellow, orange, green, red, purple, light brown, brown, dark brown and black. At the same time, Kyokushin Karate has a completely different color system, divided into several groups with the addition of a stripe of the following level:

пояса в прикладном айкидо

  • white and white belt with a blue stripe;
  • a blue belt, to which a yellow stripe is added in the next step;
  • yellow and yellow with a green stripe;
  • green belt and later on – green with a brown stripe;
  • a brown belt, to which a gold strip is sewn to indicate the next step;
  • black belts from 1 to 9 DAN;
  • the wearer is allowed to wear a red belt as the pinnacle of skill 10 DAN.

At the same time, the schools of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, as their rank designation system, also use colored belts. But it should be noted that in BJJ there is a clear division of the possibility of obtaining a belt depending on age. Under 15:

  • white;
  • yellow;
  • orange;
  • green;

And already for adults (after 16 years) there is a gradation of belts:

  • white;
  • blue;
  • purple;
  • brown;
  • black;
  • red-black;
  • red and white;
  • red.

Also an interesting detail is that Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu trainers can use the belt stripe system. But they are, in fact, a rewarding and motivating element. And in some schools these strips are not used at all. By the way, children under 16 cannot get a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

In turn, judo uses the widest possible range of designation of the rank of the practitioner. In addition to the belts and degrees inherent in other martial arts, categories and titles are also used in judo, but this is more likely due to the fact that judo is an Olympic sport.

A very interesting system of distinctive signs is inherent in the capoeira style. In this direction, not the usual belts are used, but cords, or simply colored ropes. But, it is also allowed to use colored silk scarves that are knitted around the neck. At the same time, all belts are divided into three main categories:

  • children (for practitioners aged from 3 to 8 years old);
  • teenage (for representatives of the style from 9 to 16 years old);
  • adults (for students over 16 years old).

Оранжевый пояс айкидо

At the same time, in different schools and directions of aikido, the color division of student degrees, although it has a general principle, is nevertheless different.

As a rule, colors familiar to many directions are used:

  • white;
  • yellow;
  • orange;
  • green;
  • blue;
  • brown;
  • black.

A clear correspondence between the color of the belt and the student’s Kyu degree is not always present. Undoubtedly, training always begins with a white belt. Some schools have exams for 10 Kyu, the holder of which wears a white belt. In others, the first certification is at 6 Kyu and this is also a white belt. However, some schools may use patches, some use two-color belts. Some do not use colored belts at all, preferring only white and black. And even representatives of the same direction can use different gradations, either remaining faithful to the original scheme, or else accepting innovations coming from the main dojo.

The Rank System in Applied Aikido


In the International Federation of Applied Aikido, a very clear system of division of belts has been introduced, which operates in any country and in every club practicing this style.

Training begins with a white belt and is further divided into apprenticeship and mastery degrees. Pupils are designated as Kyu and differ in color:

  • 5 Kyu – yellow belt;
  • 4 Kyu – orange belt;
  • 3 Kyu – green belt;
  • 2 Kyu – blue belt;
  • 1 Kyu – brown belt.

All these degrees are obtained by the student after passing the rank test and are descending. But the master ranks, they are also Dans, go in ascending order from 1 to 9. But at the same time, all owners of master degrees wear black belts with stripes indicating the number of Danes.

The head of the IFAA, Master Radoica Spasovic, is the bearer of the 9 Dan black belt and the holder of the SOKE title, denoting the founder of the School.

Approvals and time frames

черный пояс в Прикладном Айкидо

In Applied Aikido, in addition to the actual certification program for each belt, there is also a time frame for admission to the exam for the next belt.

All of them involve a regular training process and painstaking work, the result of which is the successful completion of certification and the assignment of a new belt.

The initial two belts (yellow and orange), with active training with maximum efficiency, can be earned during the first academic year, and then no more than one belt per year.

The Great All-Ukrainian certification is also held once a year. It is accepted by an international commission led by the head of the Federation. And only on this certification is it possible to obtain a master’s degree, Dan. And in this case it makes no difference whether we are talking about children’s belts or adults.

More details about the difference between children’s and adult programs can be found in our article Features and differences between adult and children’s training in Applied Aikido.

In fact, the learning process is not limited to a couple of years or an express course “black belt in a year”:

  • The path from white to black belt takes less than 6-7 years of active training in Applied Aikido. And this is only to receive the first Dan.
  • Until the second two or more years.
  • From the second to the third Dan, the path will take at least three years of active work.
  • Four more years from the third to the fourth.

Thus, Applied Aikido is not only an effective self-defense system that meets modern realities, but also an endless path of self-improvement and mastery. But we will talk about this in more detail in one of the following articles. In order not to miss it, do not forget to subscribe to our official Facebook page. And if you want to join us on tats, then all contact information, class schedule and addresses of our dojos can be found here.