In our article we will introduce you to the belt colors in karate and the classification in competition. Because during karate training, participants wear belts in different colors. These indicate what level of training the karateka has reached so far. In competitions, the distinction is made by weight and age classes.

In 30 seconds the most important:

  • There are nine student grades (white to brown) and ten master grades (all black or white-red)
  • In order to advance, a test must be passed, in which techniques, training sequences are queried or practice fights are contested.
  • The belt holds the suit together and is tied in the traditional way
Kwon Kampfsportgürtel, versch. Farben gelb 220 cm
  • Alle KWON-Budo-Gürtel sind aus 100%
  • fester Baumwolle und mehrmals gesteppt.
  • Es gibt sie in den Längen 200, 220,

Student and master grades and exams

Belt colorExam content
White beltThe karate examination for the 9th Kyū, the white belt, contains basic techniques and is the only examination which can be skipped. It serves as an intermediate level, mainly for children, to ease their entry into Kihon and Kata and contains only 6 techniques and a simple Kata called Taikyoku Shodan. In Kumite, you must be able to fend off a fist strike from your partner in two ways.
Yellow BeltMost of you will start with the examination for the yellow belt, the 8th Kyū. Here you can expect some single techniques as well as a new foot position in Kihon and the Kata Heian Shodan. The Kumite remains unchanged.
Orange beltThe 7th Kyū with the orange belt is the end of the lower level. This karate exam contains in the Kihon a first combination and the Kata Heian Nidan. In the Kumite examination you must now also be able to fend off the first kicks.
Green beltThe 6th Kyū wears the green karate belt and must learn mainly combinations, which slowly displace the individual techniques. Furthermore, you must master the Kata Heian Sandan, learn a new variant of Kumite and perform a new part of the exam, the partner exercise for free fighting. This belongs from now on to the examination program.
1. Blue beltThe 5th Kyū wears the purple or blue belt depending on the federation (some federations do not care) and consists in Kihon exclusively of combinations. The required Kata is called Heian Yondan and in Kumite you will find the special form that the partner who performs the first attack also lands the hit. From the 5th Kyū onwards, the examiner can have all previously learned Kata demonstrated if desired.
2. Blue beltThe second blue belt, 4th Kyū, must learn the reverse kick Ushiro-Geri, known from movies, and master the kata Heian Godan for his examination. The kumite remains unchanged and kicks are now used for the first time in the free fight.
1. Brown beltThe first brown karate belt, the 3rd Kyū, must master the kata Tekki Shodan and be able to demonstrate the bunkai (the application of a kata on the opponent) of the kata Heian Godan for the first time. In Kumite, from here on, counter techniques are no longer given, but can be freely chosen by you.
2. Brown beltThe 2nd Kyū, still brown, requires the Kata Bassai Dai and its Bunkai to pass. The Kumite should be able to be performed with much more speed and improvisation by now.
3. Brown beltThe 1st Kyū is the last brown belt and is the end of the upper level. Here you can choose your own kata for the first time, with some given to you to choose from. You must be able to run these and use them in Bunkai.
1. Black BeltKarate master may call himself for the first time, who completes the examination to the 1st Dan, whereby the background knowledge gains in importance. Here not only the difficulty of the Kihon increases enormously, but also the value of the Kata and the Bunkai. Of utmost importance to a Karate Dan is to correctly discern the meaning behind the techniques of a Kata. A kata may be chosen by the aspirant, which he first runs and then demonstrates in bunkai. However, it must not be the same as the one he already chose for 1st Kyū. The Kumite remains unchanged.
2. Black BeltThe Karate examination for 2nd Dan is the last examination whose program is still largely prescribed. You must master various techniques in Kihon, run and analyze a Kata of your own choice and get 2 more named by the examiner. The Kumite remains unchanged.
3. Black BeltFrom the examination for 3rd Dan on, the examination contents in Kihon consist partly of techniques chosen by you, in which you can demonstrate your strengths, and partly of techniques chosen by the examiner. In Kata, the ratio of a self-selected Kata to two Kata selected by the examiner remains, whereby the prospective Karate master must explain here the procedure of a Kata. The Kumite consists exclusively of techniques given by the examiner.
4 – 9th Black BeltThe examinations of the Dan grades 4 to 9 are characterized by the fact that the practical part of the examination shrinks, while the theoretical part, the knowledge of the application of the individual Kata, continues to gain in importance. That mistakes in the execution of the techniques are no longer tolerated in these examinations should go without saying. In the upper black belt grades, age also plays a role and this honor is only bestowed upon experienced instructors with above average performance.
10. Black BeltThe upper black belts differ in the Japanese and Chinese systems. A 10th Dan is only awarded in the Japanese system, there the training ends with the 9th Dan. From the 7th Dan one may acquire the title “Grandmaster”.

Classifications in Karate

There are two types of classification.

  1. First and foremost, as a karateka you will strive to increase your individual grade. There are 9 student grades and 10 master grades, which you can reach by passing a karate exam. This respective degree is marked by the colored karate belt and gives information about how long and how intensively you have already trained in the past.
  2. The other classification is the formation of karate weight classes and age classes in competitions, whereby the individual degree remains unnoticed. Here, the main goal is to keep differences in weight and size as small as possible to ensure a fair competition.

Buy Karate Belt

Size table

Body sizeBelt length
approx. 1,50 m2,30 m to 2,50 m
1,50 m to 1,75 m2.50 m to 2.70 m
1.75 m to 1.90 m2.70 m to 3.00 m
over 1,90 m3,00 m till 3,30 m

Karate Gürtelfarben

FAQ about karate belt

Essentially, the belt (jap. Obi) has two functions. It serves to keep the suit jacket neatly together and indicates the level of training of the wearer by its color.

The karate belt is not only the closing element of the karate suit, but also signals your level of knowledge about the martial art. Here you will find answers to common questions about karate belts and what to consider when buying. In another article you will find an overview of the colors and necessary tests.

Update: 2023-06-09 / Affiliate Links / Bilder von der Amazon Product Advertising API