last updated 10 Oct 2016


Wikipedia describes the Judo promotion system

In Judo, improvement and understanding of the art is denoted by a system of ranks split into kyu and dan grades. These are indicated with various systems of colored belts, with the black belt indicating a practitioner who has attained a certain level of competence.

This system of assessment was introduced by Kano Jigoro, the founder of judo, in 1883 and has been generally adopted by most Martial Sports and Arts in some form.

The USJF provides a well established set procedures and standards for the individual to attain a rank promotion that is consistent with other capabilities worldwide.

The USJF also enjoys a close relationship with the Kodokan, the home of Judo in Japan.

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How do I get Promoted?

Promotion is the product of a lot of work and when given is a testament to your progress and capabilities. Be proud to wear your rank.

In Judo we have the Yudansha (Black belts) and the Mudansha (non-black belts). Generally promotions are either awarded by the Dojo's Head Instructor or at the higher levels submitted and confirmed by their parent Yudanshakai and/or the USJF Promotion Committee and Board of Examiners.

If you have specific questions on what it takes to be promoted within Judo, we reccommend that you talk to your Club/Dojo Head Instructor to find out exactly what their procedures are.

To facilitate a consistent set of standards for the attainment of rank the USJF and its Board of Examiners have published as part of the USJF Handbook, requirements and reccomended standards for the promotion of a Judoka.  These can be downloaded from the USJF. See the links below.

USJF Senior Promotion Guide

USJF Junior Promotion Guide

Recent Promotions