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 judo ranking and belts

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In Judo, improvement and understanding of the art is represented by a system of ranks. These are indicated with various systems of coloured belts, with the black belt indicating a practitioner who has attained a certain level of competence.

There are 2 groups of belt holders, Kyu grades and Dan grades. Kyu grades, also known as mu-dan-sha, are for beginners learning the art of Judo, which consists of 6 ranks starting with brown belt (Ikkyu), followed by blue belt (Nikyu), green belt (Sankyu), orange belt (Yonkyu), yellow belt (Gokyu), and lastly white belt (Rokyu). After which, a test will be taken by the Rokyu, to advance further into the Dan grades (Black Belt Grades).

The black belt group is called yū-dan-sha, which also means “black belt holder”. There are ten ranks within this group starting with a first degree black belt. Everyone in this group wears a black belt to signify that they are part of this group, however there are some optional belts that can be worn.

A red and white paneled belt may be worn by people who possess a 6th, 7th, or 8th degree black belt. A red belt may be worn by those who possess a 9th or 10th degree black belt. These optional belts are usually worn during special events.

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