Grading & Kata

Grading Committee

  • Joe Meli (Grading Board Chair)
  • Allan Sattin
  • 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 Boards as well as Judo Canada’s Grading Board.

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




Canadian judoka graded to a Dan Grade by Judo Canada, may request recognition and a diploma from foreign organizations. For $125 fee Judo Canada offers assistance in obtaining the following certificates: (2022/2023 – $150.00)

•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:


The Katas are technical demonstrations of a series of codified movements mimicking a fight. Katas are used to demonstrate an understanding of the fundamental principles of judo and mastery of their application. According to Master Kano, they allow you to truly understand what judo is. They are the spirit of judo. In Canada, Kata competitions have no gender division. Female, male, and mixed pairs are accepted. There are three age groups for Kata competitions: senior, U23, and U16.

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. To register for a national level Kata evaluators training and certification you have to register with Judo Canada via form available here:

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.

*** With regards to item #4 in the “Judo Alberta Expectation Notice”, In addition to Nationally recognized training camps, points will be awarded for Provincially Sanctioned training camps (2 or more days) however this does not include training sessions following tournaments.

Upcoming Kata Clinics

Upcoming Gradings

February 12, 2021 – Technical Stream, Lethbridge, Alberta

Alberta Sport ConnectionNCCPOur Sponsors