Dan grades

Dan Grades

Once you are ready for your black belt, you enter the Dan grading system.

The Dan grading system is a distinctive feature of judo with promotion to different ranks based on a variety of different pathways and achievements. Judoka test their ability, by entering for an examination within the Dan Grade system. For that examination players are required to demonstrate superiority over a cross-section of other players competing at the same level. This ensures that successive Dan Grades up to 5th Dan are populated by increasingly skilful players. You can see a copy of the Dan grading sykllabus here.

The Dan Grade syllabus is split between Competitive Dan grades and Technical Dan grades. More details on each are shown below.


Promotion to and within the Dan Grades up to the level of 5th Dan; is based on skill in contest and technical ability demonstrated through the performance of specific techniques. 

Generally the theory requirements for each grade will be in two parts: the demonstration of certain mandatory techniques and other techniques chosen by the candidate. All of the required techniques are listed on the Dan Grade Competitive Skills Examination Form.

Click on the images alongside to see copies of the examination forms.


Promotion under the technical scheme is based on technical understanding and knowledge. The examiner will test that the candidate understands the key principles involved in the application of the techniques, demonstrating where appropriate best grip, attacking opportunity and movement. The exam is split into 10 sections that can be completed all on the same day or over a period of time

Click on the images alongside to see copies of the examination forms.