Will I get a black belt within a year?


Club students celebrate successful Dan (black belt) gradings
Sensei Mary being tested for her 4th Dan

Unlike some less professional martial arts clubs, the GKI does not guarantee a black belt within a specified time.

Students are assessed throughout the year with gradings being held, on average, twice a year. With regular and concerted training, students will progress through the grading system at a rate suitable to their ability.

Students will be graded in-club up to 1st Kyu (3rd level brown belt). In order to ensure consistent standards throughout the international GKI association, all black belt gradings are held at an international gasshuku (training) event. These are 4 day long events held twice yearly – in the winter, hosted in the UK, and in the summer, hosted internationally by an affiliated dojo. These gasshukus are opened to all and every student from white belt upwards, not just for grading black belts.

Shihan Arnold de Beer examining students during black belt gradings