Junior Gradings

For players aged from 5 to 15 years, there are 18 levels of skill grades known as Mon (Junior) grades, which are denoted by coloured and banded belts.

Within the British Judo Association (BJA) there are 18 Mon grades. The grades are indicated by the following coloured belts:

1st Mon Red + 1 Yellow Tag
2nd Mon Red + 2 Yellow Tags
3rd Mon Red + 3 Yellow Tags
4th Mon Yellow + 1 Red Tag
5th Mon Yellow + 2 Red Tags
6th Mon Yellow + 3 Red Tags
7th Mon Orange + 1 Red Tag
8th Mon Orange + 2 Red Tags
9th Mon Orange + 3 Red Tags
10th Mon Green + 1 Red Tag
11th Mon Green + 2 Red Tags
12th Mon Green + 3 Red Tags
13th Mon Blue + 1 Red Tag
14th Mon Blue + 2 Red Tags
15th Mon Blue + 3 Red Tags
16th Mon Brown + 1 Red Tag
17th Mon Brown + 2 Red Tags
18th Mon Brown + 3 Red Tags

Promotion within the Mon grades is based on technical knowledge and understanding, together with Japanese terminology and supplementary knowledge. There is no contest requirement in the Mon Grade syllabus however there is a progressively structured randori element at the higher grades, where at the highest level, randori is based on open skills.

For grades up to and including 9th Mon, grading’s should be completed within the candidate’s club and can be examined by the same coach that instructed the candidate.

For 10th Mon and above, grading’s may be completed within the club but candidates may also grade at Inter-club, area promotion examinations and at any other event such as a Technical Training course. It is good practice that the examiner should be different from the coach.

With regular study and training, the judoka should be able to complete the syllabus by the age of 18 (the keen judoka may complete it as early as 15 years of age). It is, however, vitally important that all they follow the progressive study of techniques detailed in this syllabus and attempt promotion to next grade at regular intervals.

All judoka are encouraged to take increasing responsibility for their technical development as they progress through the grades and it may be necessary for them to undertake supplementary study and training in addition to that which is available at the judoka’s club.

All junior grading’s for Apollo Judo Club are examined by a coach from another club, we have a policy where we share grading’s with Newent Judo Club, where we run the examinations for their club and vice versa. We also take the grading’s in turn either at Apollo Judo Club, or at Newent Judo Club.


Frequency of Promotions

Novice up to and including 6th Mon - ages 5-7
Candidates may be promoted one Mon every 3 calendar months.

Novice up to and including 6th Mon - ages 8-17
Candidates may be promoted one Mon every calendar month.

This allowance for ages 8-17 is because it is known and accepted that at this age range, young people have a greater capacity for learning and therefore more able to undertake examination at shorter intervals.

From 7th Mon and above — all ages
Candidates are limited to one promotion every 2 calendar months.

A month is a calendar month e.g. a candidate can be examined any date in January and then any date in March. This means a candidate could enter a maximum of six gradings per year, following a learning pathway of continuous progress, however, it is anticipated they would go up 1 belt colour per year. There is no limit to the number of attempts to gain promotion.


Senior Gradings

From 16 years, Kyu (senior) skill grades apply and are again denoted by belts of different colours. Everyone has to work through the grading system to reach the 1st Dan Grade when the player is entitled to wear the famous black belt.

Within the British Judo Association (BJA) there are six Kyu grades. The grades are indicated by the following coloured belts:

6th Kyu Red
5th Kyu Yellow Belt
4th Kyu Orange Belt
Belt 3rd Kyu Green Belt
2nd Kyu Blue Belt
1st Kyu Brown Belt

Promotion within the Kyu grades is based on technical knowledge and understanding, together with Japanese terminology and supplementary knowledge. There is no contest requirement in the Kyu Grade syllabus however there is a progressively structured Randori element at the higher grades, where at the highest level.  Randori is based on open skills.

For grades up to and including 4th Kyu, promotion examinations should be completed within the candidate’s club and can be examined by the same coach that instructed the candidate.

For 3rd Kyu and above, promotion examinations may be completed within the club but candidates may also grade at Inter-club, area promotion examinations and at any other event such as a Technical Training course. It is good practice that the examiner should be different from the coach.

With regular study and training, the judoka should be able to complete the syllabus and attain the grade of 1st

Kyu in approximately three years (the keen judoka may attain the grade of 1st Kyu after two years of diligent study). It is, however, vitally important that all they follow the progressive study of techniques detailed in this syllabus and attempt promotion to the next grade at regular intervals.

All senior grading’s for Apollo Judo Club are examined by a coach from another club, we have a policy where we share grading’s with Newent Judo Club, where we run the examinations for their club and vice versa. We also take the grading’s in turn either at Apollo Judo Club, or at Newent Judo Club.

Frequency of Promotions

Novice Up To and Including 5th Kyu
Candidates may be promoted one Kyu grade per calendar month.

From 4th Kyu and Above
Candidates may be promoted one Kyu grade every three calendar months. There is no limit to the number of attempts to gain promotion.