As the children (and adults)  pass through the different grades they are awarded different coloured belts to denote their achievement. Gradings are normally held every 4-6 months.

There is a grading fee charged by Judo Scotland for each grading. Once a child has passed a grading, they are given a certificate by Judo Scotland, their license is updated with the new grade and they become entitled to wear the belt associated with the new grade.


Guidance for parents

Judo Scotland publishes some information for parents here.

 Children aged under 8

Children under the age of 8 follow the Kai grades. These are denoted by white belts with differing coloured stripes. There are 9 Kai grades. When a child turns 8, their grade is converted to the equivalent Mon grade.

You can see all of the different belts here.

The Kai grading syllabus is split into three documents, here,  here and  here. If some of the terms in the document don’t make sense you will find an explanation in the Mon grade syllabus documents.

Children aged 8-15 (inclusive)

Children aged 8 – 15 inclusive follow the Mon grades. There are 18 Mon grades and there are denoted by different coloured belts with varying numbers of red tabs.

  • 1st – 3rd Mon – Red belt
  • 4th – 6th Mon – Yellow belt
  • 7th – 9th Mon – Orange belt
  • 10th – 12th Mon – Green belt
  • 13th – 15th Mon – Blue belt
  • 16th – 18th Mon – Brown belt

You can see all of the different belts here.

There is a lot of useful information on the Judo Scotland web site.

There is a very useful pictorial guide to the syllabus. Seniors might also find this document useful.

The full syllabus can be found here. This document also contains all of the Japanese terminology and translations at the back.

In general, if you started Judo around the age of 8, you should be looking to complete the Mon grade syllabus around the age of 16.

Seniors aged 14 and above

You can convert from the Mon grades from the age of 14 and you will have to convert to a senior grade at the age of 16.

However, the advice of a coach should always be sought before opting to convert to the Kyu grades.

Although it will be possible to collect competition points towards your Dan grade from the age of 14, you will not be able to enter a Dan grading or become a Dan grade until you are 15 years of age.

Seniors follow the Kyu grade syllabus.

The full grading structure including the Senior grades can be found here.

Once you have reached 1st Kyu, you will want to progress to the Dan grades – 1st Dan is the famous “black belt” and indicates that the judoka has progressed from the trainee grades to the practitioner grades.

1st Dan is not the end of the journey but it is a significant milestone.

Progress into and through the Dan grades can be by the collection of competition points or National Grading points and completion of a technical examination, by completion of a Technical Dan grading or by winning a line-up at a National grading. In all cases, you will follow the Dan Grade Promotion syllabus.
As you progress through the Dan grades, you will also have to demonstrate competence in Kata as well.

There are 10 Dan grades but there is a special process for promotion beyond 5th Dan.