Grading & Kata

Grading Committee

  • Allan Sattin (Grading Board Chair)
  • Joe Meli
  • Gord Okamura
  • Brian Fujimoto
  • Garry Yamashita

Judo uses a progression system to promote participants who have attained specific skill and knowledge proficiencies. This progression is tracked using different colours of belts. The progression system is divided in two:
•Kyu Grades (White to Brown)
•Dan Ranks (Black)

The Kyu grades are White, White-Yellow, Yellow, Yellow-Orange, Orange, Orange-Green, Green, Green-Blue, Blue, Blue-Brown & Brown. These levels are designed to progressively learn the judo techniques and culture. The Kyu grades are defined in the Kyu Grading Syllabus and are managed by the clubs throughout Canada.

The Dan ranks include the 10 degrees of the Black belt: Shodan, Nidan, Sandan, Yondan, Godan, Rokudan, Shichidan, Hachidan, Kudan & Judan. These levels are designed to perfect judo techniques and to help develop the culture. The Dan ranks are defined in the Dan Grading Syllabus and are managed by the Provincial/Territorial Grading Committees as well as Judo Canada’s Grading Committee.

Please see Grading Process for an explanation of the steps involved in the grading process.



More details on Yudansha Grading Process are available here.


Canadian judoka graded to a Dan Grade by Judo Canada, may request recognition and a diploma from foreign organizations through Judo Canada

•Kodokan Certificate – to obtain this certificate please complete the following Excel form – Kodokan Grading Form (see Judo Canada Grading Forms) and return it to Judo Canada office at :

*Be aware that the Kodokan standards for Dan Grades are different that Judo Canada’s and not all grades granted by Judo Canada will be recognized by the Kodokan Institute. Your application for Kodokan recognition will be reviewed by the Kodokan designated representative in Canada and only once these are approved, they will be processed by Judo Canada office. Kodokan certification fees must be paid to Judo Canada at the time of application. Kodokan fees will be refunded to the candidates whose application are refused by the Kodokan. Judo Canada fees are non-refundable.
•IJF/PJC certificate – to obtain this certificate please download the IJF Dan Grade Syllabus, fill in the request form (last two pages) and return to Judo Canada:


Jigoro Kano Shihan, the founder of judo, explains there are essentially two ways of practicing judo: randori (with its variant in competition) and kata. Kata literally means “form”. Kata is practiced according to a pre-established system of codified movements, while randori is practiced freely.

The goal of kata is therefore to learn and practice the fundamental principals and techniques of judo. It is important for the student and teacher to incorporate kata in their training.

For more information, please consult the VETERAN & KATA HANDBOOK

Kata Selection Criteria – World Kata Championships (Sept 13/14, 2021 Krakow, Poland)

Judging Kata

If you are interested in judging Kata events, know that Judo Canada uses the same Kata Evaluation rules as the International Judo Federation. Judo Canada also offers training and evaluation clinics for potential Kata judges. For further information, go to

Grading Resources

The International Judo Federation  (IJF) has released the new Kata competition criteria for evaluation. Please refer to the 2019 Kata Competition handbook for more details.


To download the handbook please click here.

Upcoming Kata Clinics

Upcoming Gradings

June 1 Yudansha Grading

Competitive Stream Black Belt Points

To all Competitive stream candidates: Please note that points are only available at the following list of events (see National Team Handbook)

  1. Senior Elite Nationals  
  2. Senior Open Nationals 
  3. Canada Cup Senior 
  4. Senior Quebec Open 
  5. Senior Ontario Open  
  6. Open Nationals 
  7. Senior Edmonton International 
  8. Senior Pacific International 
  9. Canada Cup Junior 
  10. Cadet PanAm/Oceania Championships 
  11. Senior Saskatchewan Open 
  12. Senior Eastern Canadian Championships 
  13. Senior Manitoba Open 
  14. U21 Quebec Open 
  15. U21 Ontario Open 
  16. Canada Cup Cadet 
  17. U18 Elite Nationals  
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