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Southampton University Judo Club

Grading Syllabus

In April 2008 the British Judo Association (BJA) announced a significant overhaul of the grading syllabus for Kyu grades, the coloured belt system that leads to the black belt Dan grade. The new system replaces the previous contest element with requirements for a greater level of technical knowledge. In addition to the knowledge of individual techniques and terminology there is an increased emphasis on combinations and understanding of skills such as gripping and grappling.

As a result of this change we are adapting the emphasis of our sessions as outlined on the Training page to ensure that we can provide the necessary technique training across the range of grades held by our members.

The new syllabus can be downloaded as a PDF file at the bottom of this page. There is also a link for a personal record card that you can use to track your judo knowledge against the new syllabus. Members holding Kyu grades are encouraged to use this record card so that the club's coaches can track their progress and identify techniques to be taught to support students in their progression through the Kyu grade structure.

BJA Syllabus Resources

The BJA have posted various documents supporting the new syllabus on their website, see the links below. The best option is to use the pictorial reference to help you understand the techniques and record your understanding of the requirements for your next grade using the Record of Knowledge.

Video Guides An set of video guides to the kyu grade syllabus requirements
Grading Syllabus Full description of the grading syllabus and details of the assessment process, transfer of grades and "time in grade" restrictions
Record of Knowledge Record card to allow you and your coach to track your progress against the syllabus requirements

Grade Transfers

BJA members with grades gained under the old system can transfer directly to the new system, the process is clearly described in the syllabus document linked below. Grades held with foreign organisations affiliated with the International Judo Federation (IJF) can also be easily transferred. If you have a grade with another UK judo organisation you should discuss options for grading with the club coaches.

Technical References

This series of videos provides a great overview of the kyu grade requirements


The BJA have produced a reference book for the techniques in the new technical syllabus which provides a range of photos of all techniques. This book can be purchased from the BJA web site.

Buy the BJA Technical Grading Syllabus online

Books and Guides

In addition to the BJA Syllabus reference linked above, there are a number of other books that can help you to build your judo knowledge, some of our favourites are linked below

"The Gokyo" and "The A-Z of Judo" from Fighting Films

Black Belt: Judo Skills and Techniques by Neil Ohlenkamp available from Amazon