The origins of Karate are to be found in 12th Century China. There were a number of ancient Chinese systems, collectively known as KEMPO or "Way of the Fist."
In Okinawa, the possession of weapons and the practice of martial arts were forbidden during the 15th Century. From that time until the early 20th Century, the Okinawans practiced their martial arts in secrecy. This secrecy limited the amount of written material on the history of martial arts. World War I1 destroyed much of the little written history that existed.
Early Okinawan weapon less martial arts were known as TE, a word meaning hand.
During the 15th Century, Chinese visitors introduced KEMPO into Okinawa. As KEMPO was blended into TE, the resulting art became known as TODE, or Chinese Hand. Another meaning for the Chinese character that represents TO was KARA, meaning Open, with the result that the weapon less martial arts of Okinawa finally became known as KARATE.
There were three main cities in Okinawa. Each developed its own version of Karate:
Tomari developed TOMARI-TE; Naha, NAHA-TE; and Shuri, the capital city, SHURT-TE.
TOMARI-TE was quite similar to SHUN-TE and was gradually absorbed into SHURI-TE.
There were other systems, to be sure, but by the 19th Century, only two main divisions remained:
Matsumura, Sokan or Bushi (1797-1889) was responsible for organizing the SHURI-TE system and carrying on its teachings. He was followed by Itosu, Anko (1830-1915). Itosu is generally credited with the founding of SHORIN-RYU. (RYU means style.) Next followed Mabuni, Kenwa (1889-1957). Mabuni is the founder of SHITO-RYU, the style, or system followed here.
But it is not that simple. Higashionna Wgaonna), Kanryo (1845-1915) became the
leading master of the NAHA-TE system. Mabuni also studied under Higashionna, and when he developed his SHITO-RYU system, he used elements of both NAHA-TE and SHURI-TE. The name SHITO-RYU comes fiom the first syllable of Itosu (ITO=SHI) and of Zgashionna  (HIGA=TO). Hence SHITO-RYU, a blending of Itosu's and Higashionnats styles and names.
Many other masters contributed to Karate along the way. Alexander, in his book Okinawa, Island of Karate (briefly described above) gives the early genealogy of SHURI-TE as Peishin,Takahara (1 683-1 760); Sakugawa, Karate (1 733-1 815); and Matsumura, Sokon (1797- 1889).
Itosu followed Matsumura. Other masters contributed greatly to each system. Among them, Motobu, Choki (1 87 1-1944).

Five Way Spirit or path of Shito-Ryu Karate Do

1. Always remember the spirit of first beginning (Will)
2. Always be courteous (Morality)
3. Always give your best effort (Growth)
4. Always follow your heart (Common sense)
5. Always maintain harmony (Peace)


Chatan Yara - (1668 - 1756) Master of Okinawan Weapons, studied in China at age 12 and was considered one of the famous Masters of the early 1700's.
Takahara Pechin - (1683 - 1762)

Responsible for the early training

of Karate Sakugawa, studied in China and under Master Chatan Yara.
  Satunuku « Tode » Sakugawa -

(1733 - 181 5) Developed the Kata Ku Shan Ku, studied under both

Takahara Pechin and the Chinese Master Ku Shan ku.
Sokon  “Bushi” Matsumura - (1796 - 1893) Created the Kata Shinto and Seisan. Studied in China

and under Karate Sakugawa for ten years.
Yasutsune "Ankoh" Itosu - (1830 - 1915) Itosu created the Pinan series of kata and introduced Karate to public in 1903.
Kanryo Higashionna - (1853-1915)
Choki Motobu - (1871 - 1944) Founded the Motobu-Ha Shito-Ryu Karate Do. Went to Japan in 1923 to teach karate.
Mabuni Kenwa - (1889-1952)

Kosei Kuniba - (1900 - 1959) Assumed the leadership of the Motobu-Ha Shito-Ryu upon Master Motobu's death. Founded Seishin Kai Dojo.
Shogo Kuniba - (1935 - 1992) World wide head of the Motobu-Ha Shito-Ryu, the leadership of which he passed onto Shihan Price in 1992 before his death on 14 July 1992.

Chatan Yara is a legendary figure in the Okinawan Martial Arts legacy. He travelled to Fukien\China in order to learn Chinese Kempo and weaponry and stayed there for 20 years. His teacher was Wong Chung-Yoh.
He created the kata: "Chatan Yara No Sai," "Chatan Yara Sho No Tonfa," and "Chatan Yara No Kon" & are widely practiced today.

Takahara was a monk, mapmaker and astronomer. Takahara Peichin was born in the village of Akata Cho in Southern Shuri. Takahara who 67 at the time and was a famous warrior of the Okinawan fighting arts. Sakugawa respectfully asked Takahara to become his student, and was accepted. He studied under him diligently.
He belonged to an upper class family of Okinawan society. The term "Peichin" stands for "senior". Some sources claim that he was a Buddhist monk from Shaolin and Martial Art expert. He was well educated person. His expertises were astronomy and mapping and he indeed mapped Okinawa. Takahara traveled a lot during his lifetime. He was well known as a great fighter who emphasized ethical principals as "Ijo" (compassion, humility and modesty), "Fo" (seriousness, devotion and dedication) and "Katsu" (deep understanding and essence of techniques). Takahara regarded Martial arts as way of life and he is considered as "father of Okinawan Karate".
Takahara attributed a major importance to Kata and it's significances. He saw Kata as an efficient instrument to understand and improvement fighting techniques.
He was a student of Chatan Yara and his most famous student was "Tode" Sakugawa.

"Tode" Satunuku Sakugawa
(first Teacher of Okinawan Karate)
One of the first great masters of Okinawa was Tode Sakugawa. Tode Sakugawa was born in Shuri in 1733 and died in 1815. At the age of 17, Tode Sakugawa began his martial arts training under an Okinawan monk named Peichin Takahara. At age 23, Sakugawa was advised by Takahara to go and train under Kusanku, a Chinese master in Kung Fu. For the next six years, Sakugawa learned all that he could. Sakugawa learned valuable lessons from karate and became a great master. Tode Sakugawa was an important factor in the development of TE on the Okinawan Islands. Tode Sakugawa was credited with forming several Bo katas which are still practiced today. In addition, Sakugawa also created Dojo Kun which has become a tradition with many styles, including our Shito-Ryu Karate-Do Genbu-Kai!

Sokon Bushi Matsurmuras - (1796 - 1893) first teacher was seventy eight years old and a past student of both the great Takahara Pechin (Pechin is a title of status) (1683-1760) and Kusanku (Chinese official). His name was "Tode" (Chinese hand way) Sakugawa (1733-1815). Matsumura was the last of many students of Sakugawa but became the most famous. Many years later "Bushi" Matsumura studied with a Chinese trader named Chinto. It is believed Bushi Matsumura created the kata Chinto after his teacher from the movements he had taught him. The Royal family of Sho acquired "Bushi" Matsumura for their service. There he became Chief Tode Instructor and a bodyguard of the King. Some time later around 1830 he traveled to China to study Shaolin Gong-fu (Kempo or Fist method). Most secret of what Bushi Matsumura learned was the White Crane method. This system he taught only to his son, Nabi Matsumura (1860-1930). As part as an envoy of the King he had the opportunity to travel into the Chinese province of Fukien. It is believed while there he studied under Ason and Iwah, both military attaches. The title "Bushi" was given to him by King Sho for his great accomplishments. Many times Bushi Matsumura had to prove his ability against foe, though never was he defeated.
Tode was the system of Te practiced among the upper class. The art of Te (hand) as it was known in Okinawa had three names. Each representing the township it was taught in. They were Tomari-te, Naha-te and Shuri-te. Bushi Matsumura being in the township of Shuri taught Shuri-te. After many years the name Shuri-te was replaced with Shorin-Ryu. Bushi Matsumura retired and moved to Sakiyama village in Shuri. He had many students, among them were Yasutsune Azato, Yasutsune Itosu, Choshin Chibana, Choki Motobu, and Chotoku Kyan. It would be his son who would pass on his purest teachings known as Shorin-Ryu. Later this system was passed onto Nabe Matsumura's nephew, Sokon Kohan (1889-1920).

Yasutsune Itosu
Perhaps the greatest teacher in the history of Karate, Yasutsune "Anko" Itosu simplified many of the ancient katas, created several new ones of his own, and pioneered teaching methods that would revolutionize the art by making its study easier and less dangerous for future generations. For this, he is recognized as the father of modern Karate.
Born in Shuri, Itosu began his Karate training at an early age under Sokon Matsumura and subsequently trained under several other teachers, possibly including Kosaku Matsumora of Tomari. Well-educated in Chinese and Japanese literature, Itosu served as a translator to Sho Tai, the last of the Ryukyuan kings, until Sho Tai's fall from power in 1879.
In 1901, Itosu first introduced Karate into the physical education curriculum of the Okinawan public school system. This was a crucial step in transforming the public --Perception of Karate as a feudalistic killing art to one in which the emphasis was -in health and spiritual well-being.
Itosu created the original Pinan (peaceful mind) katas, shodan through godan, practiced today in various forms by virtually all Shorin-ryu styles.
A list of Itosu's students reads like a who's who of famous Karate masters and includes: Gichin Funakoshi, Chomo Hanashiro, Chotoku Kyan, Chosin Chibana, Kentsu Yabu, Choki Motobu, Kenwa Mabuni, and Shigeru Nakamura.

Master Choki Motobu was born the third son to the Motobu famiIy in Okinawa. The Motobu family was of Samurai class, which meant that the first son of the family was taught the family fighting methods. Choki Motobu, being frustrated by this, tried to sneak in and watch his older brothets training. Master Motobu soon found that this was too slow and fiustrating for him, so he began to lift heavy rocks and punch the punching post or Makiwara. After a while, he became so strong that he earned the name "Monkey King" because of his tremendous leaping ability and general agility. In his youth, Master Motobu became known as a brawler and a trouble maker, so when he became the student of Master Itosu, this added to his difficulties about being accepted as a student of one of the foremost Masters in Okinawa. Master Motobu challenged many men in Japan. However, the defeat of a Russian boxer may have made him the most famous. In 1922, Master Motobu helped Master Funakoshi start the teaching of Karate to the Japanese. Filled with a new outlook on his life, Master Motobu returned to Okinawa in 1936 and began training with Master Kentsu Yabu. Master Yabu was the only man to have ever defeated Master Motobu. Master Motobu instructed many noted Masters, among them are Shoshin Nagamine , Tatsuo Shimabuku, and Kosei Kuniba.
Motobu-Ha Shito-Ryu literally means Shito-Ryu of Motobu. Master Choki Motobu lived from 1871 to 1944 and trained many Shito-Ryu Karate people, among those people was Master Kuniba, Kosei of the Seishinkai Karate dojo in Osaka, Japan. After moving to Japan in 1926 Master Motobu began teaching in Osaka, at the Seishinkai, and in Tokyo. Master Motobu left a strong fighting legacy to the Shito-ryu of the Seishinkai. Master Motobu's Kata knowledge was limited and he believed mainly in makiwara training and Kumite. He stated in his book, about Okinawan training techniques, that Naihanshi Kata was all one needed to be a strong fighter.
The Seishinkai Karate dojo named the Karate that it taught Motobu ha Shito-ryu, in honor of Master Motobu. Master Itosu (1813-1915) taught the following people in Okinawa: Gichin Funakoshi (considered the father of modem karate; Chosin Chibana (Founder of Kobayashi Shorin-ryu); Shinpan Gusukuma; Kentsu Yabu (defeated Motobu in match and eventually became Motobu's third instructor); Kenwa Mabuni (Mabuni trained under Itosu and Higaonna, and fiom that training formulated the Mabuni system of Shito-Ryu); (also taught at the Seishinkai) and Kanken Toyama. Master Motobu studied under Itosu, Anko; Matsumora, Kosaku; and Yabu, Kentsu. Both Motobu and Mabuni taught at the Seishinkai Dojo, this is perhaps why the Shito-ryu Karate system is a combination of Shurite, Nahate, and Tomarite.
Shito-Ryu had a variety of influences fiom many different masters in the middle 1800's. This diverse influence gave rise to a very complex system of Karate.
The headquarters of Motobu ha Shito- ryu karate is the Seishin Kai, in Osaka, Japan. The Seishinkai Karate Dojo was founded in the early 1 900ts, when Kosei Kuniba moved to Japan fiom Okinawa.
After studying with Soke Richard Baillargeon and Shihan Ruiz fiom 1979 to 1987, and with Shihan Ruiz fiom 1987 to 1991 Shihan, Kelley formed the Kita Kaze Bujutsu Kai in 1991. The KKBK is an organiztltion for the preservation of Traditonal Karate, Kobudo, Iaido, and Tai Jutsu.

Kanryo Higaonna
Grandmaster Kanryo Higaonna (Higashionna was the original Okinawan pronunciation) was born on March 10, 1853, in Naha, the capital city of Okinawa. His father, Kanyo, worked as a merchant sailing between the small islands of Okinawa, trading everyday goods. From a young age Kanryo Higaonna helped his father in this work. This was strong physical labor, that helped Higaonna develop a strong body. Kanryo Higaonna was still in his teens when his father died suddenly. Higaonna began his martial arts training in 1867 in Monk Fist Boxing from Aragaki Seisho. In 1870, at the age of 16, he traveled with his instructor to Fuzhou, China. Once in Fuzhou, he studied the Chinese martial arts under the great Master RuRuKo (Xie Zhonhxiang in Chinese). RuRuKo was the founder of Whooping Crane gongfu and was a student of Pan Yuba who was in turn the student of Lin Shixian, a master of White Crane gongfu. Higaonna also received instruction from numerous other gongfu masters including Wai Xinxian. Hiagaonna remained in China for approximately 13 years. In addition to studying the empty hand way and the weapon arts, he also became accomplished in herbology and Chinese medicine. Chojun Miyagi (founder of Goju-Ryu and successor to Higaonna) said of Higaonna, "My sensei possessed incredible strength; the severity of the training he underwent in China is beyond comprehension.... Kanryo Sensei's speed and power were truly superhuman; his hands and feet moved faster than lightning". Words cannot express his real ability. We can only say that his skill was incredible, but even this fails to do him justice.
In the year 1881, he returned to Okinawa where his martial arts would become known as Naha-te though he always referred to it as Chuanfa. Kanryo Higaonna taught these martial arts to the people of Okinawa and at the same time continued his own research and practice. In order to teach the youth of Okinawa he developed a teaching method that was specifically designed to develop the mind and body; to improve both physical well-being. The first occasion on which the previously secretive art of Naha-te "opened" to society in general, occurred in October 1905, when Higaonna began teaching at the Naha Commercial High School. When teaching, Higaonna was an extremely hard task master. However, in his everyday life he was a quiet and humble man and one who was renowned for his virtuous character. He was a person who had no need or desire for worldly things. He lead a simple life that was devoted to the study and practice of martial arts.
There are many stories that relate tales of Kanryo Higaonnas' life and training. The power of his legs was legendary and he was often referred to as "Ashi no Higaonna", ("legs Higaonna") in Okinawa. His virtuous character was widely known and respected, and because of his popularity the people of Naha bestowed him with the name Obushi Higaonna Tanmei. This name reflected the affection and respect they had for this great man and supreme martial artist. Kanryo Higaonnas' unparalleled skill in the martial arts aside, his great and distinguished work was in bringing the Chinese martial arts from China to Okinawa, and from there spreading these arts among the people of Okinawa. Kanryo Higaonna is now bestowed with the title "Kensei (sacred fists) Kanryo Higaonna" a title which is eminently fitting. His name is synonymous with Okinawan martial arts and Naha-te, and his spirit is destined to live on forever as a great and valued treasure within Okinawan culture. Kanryo Higaonnas' whole life was devoted to karate. He passed away in December 1915 at the age of 63.

Mabuni Kenwa 
The founder (Ryuso) of karate-do Shito-ryu, Kenwa Mabuni was born on November 14,1889 in Shuri, Okinawa. He belonged to the 17th generation from one of the bravest warriors of Ryukyu kingdom Kenio Oshiro. Kenwa Mabuni himself was a physically weak child; however,his family members often told him stories about his famous ancestors and he dreamed of becoming physically controlling. At the age of 13, Kenwa was accepted as a student at the school of the famous karate-do master Anko Itosu, who lived in Shuri. Kenwa Mabuni trained every day, even during typhoons, and within seven years he learned the art of Shuri-karate or Shuri-te.
When Kenwa was 20 years old, he began to study the art of Naha-karate or Naha-te with the Grandmaster Kanryo Higaonna. Later both of these major directions of karate-do of Okinawa formed a basis for Shito-ryu karate-do style created by Kenwa Mabuni.
After graduating high school and and being discharged from the army Kenwa Mabuni worked in the police for about 10 years. His job required him to visit different parts of the country and he had an opportunity to study other forms of karate-do with little-known local masters. He also studied the ancient art of Ryokan Budo.
The beginning of the 20th century has become a period of a wide spread of Karate-Do. In 1910 it was included in the school program as a separate subject, which meant the official recognition of Karate-Do. But the Karate-Do education still lacked the system. The majority of masters paid most attention to the physical training of body, wrists, elbows and fingers, using Makiwara and sandbags. There was no standard karate-do uniform, as it exists now.
During these years Kenwa Mabuni began his teaching activity. Together with his master,Mabuni created school of Karate-Do for the study of this martial art. On February 13, 1918 his senior son Kenei was born. The same year Kenwa Mabuni started to popularize Karate-Do and many well-known masters helped him. He organized meetings in his house which were attended
by Gichin Funakoshi, Choju Oshiro, Choshin Chibana, nbun Tokuda, Shimpan
Shiroma, Seicho Tokuumura and Hoko Ishikawa. Besides, in 1918 he had the honor to demonstrate Karate-Do at the Okinawa Middle School in the presence of Prince Kuni and Prince Kacho.
In 1924 Kenwa Mabuni became the Karate-Do instructor in two schools and received the honor to demonstrate the Art for Prince Titibu.
In 1925 Kenwa Mabuni, with other masters organized "Okinawan Karate-Do Club",which brought to life his old dream of establishing a permanent training dojo. Many famous Karate-Do leaders like Juhatsu Kyoda, Chojun Miyagi, C.Motobu, Chomo Hanashiro, Choju Oshiro, Choshin Chibana, Wu Xian Gui(Go Kenki) - the master of Chinese-ken trained in this
first dojo. Kenwa Mabuni and Chojun Miyagi became the permanent instructors of the club as the youngest members.
At this time instructors concentrated on physical training and kumite practice. When a student asked the teacher to explain something, the teacher gave him an opportunity to attack him and answered by demonstrating various defense techniques. The training was just a continuous practicing of the same techniques. All masters had varying techniques but the main teaching method was the same - practical trainings.
The year of 1927 was extremely important for Kenwa Mabuni. He met Jigoro Kano, the founder of modern Judo, who arrived Okinawa to open a new judo dojo. Chojun Miyagi and Kenwa Mabuni had an opportunity to demonstrate and to explain Jigoro Kano the techniques of Karate-Do. Jigoro Kano was inspired by Karate-Do and considered it the ideal Budo art for both defense and attack. He talked about the necessity of wide spread of Karate-Do in Japan. Being touched by these inspiration words decided to move to Osaka and to devote himself to development and popularization of karate-do Shito-ryu in Japan.
As Karate-Do was an original Okinawan Art, Kenwa Mabuni faced a wrong perception of Karate-Do when he moved in Osaka. There were no public training dojo and Kenwa tried to popularize Karate-Do in police departments and Buddhist temples. Mass audience had some difficulty accepting Karate-Do, especially Katas and frequently called it "fists dance". Kenwa Mabuni worked days and nights, trying to invent ways of popularizing Karate-Do. He even
practiced Tame shivari - the breaking of bricks and boards, showing public the force of the new martial art. Karate-Do was sometimes used during usual fights, which contradicted to its ideology and reputation. Police also tried to oppose Karate-Do since there were cases when criminals was wounded during arrest.
Despite all difficulties, Kenwa Mabuni remained on his elected way. His titanic efforts finally succeeded, and as a result the organization called Dai-Nihon Karate-Do Kai was created in 1931. Subsequently this organization was renamed into Nihon Karate-do Kai and became the predecessor of the modern Shito-kai. Many of the participating members of the Dai-Nihon Karate-Do Kai were direct students of Kenwa Mabuni. Today they form the kernel of Shito-kai Japanese Karate-Do Federation and continue to transfer the martial art of Kenwa Mabuni to their students.

After World War II Karate-Do clubs began opening one after another in schools and universities. They organized tournaments and prepared the National championship of Japan.
During difficult post-war years Mabuni helped to reconstruct Japan by devoting himself to the development and wide spread of Shito-ryu Karate-Do. Unfortunately he had no time to bring his plans to life since he died on May 23, 1952.
The Shito-ryu Karate-Do, created by Kenwa Mabuni, combined the features of Shuri karate of Master Itosu and Naha karate of Master Higaonna. The name Shito-ryu is formed from the first hieroglyphs of names of these Masters ("Ito" - old Chinese hieroglyph "Shi", "Higa" - old Chinese hieroglyph To). While teaching his students and explaining the basic differences between schools Itosu and Higaonna, Kenwa Mabuni paid the most attention to Katas. He believed that Katas, which combine both attack and defense techniques, are the most important part of karate-Do, and that it is necessary to understand the meaning of each movement in the Kata and to perform the Kata correctly. Kenwa Mabuni was the first to introduce the concept of Bunkai kumite and Hokei Kumite, which demonstrated the purpose and showed the correct use for each Kata The final result of proper Kata and Kumite training is the ability to apply karate-do techniques in free Kumite. Practice of Kata also helps to transmit the knowledge encoded in Kata to the subsequent generation. Karate-Do Shito-ryu, unlike other karate-do styles, has much more Katas.
According to Kenwa Mabuni the student, ignoring Kata and practicing only Kumite, will never progress in Karate-Do and will never understand its meaning.
The Center of Nihon Karate-do Kai was Kansai-area. Due to the efforts of Manzo Iwata (one of the best students of Kenwa Mabuni and future chairman of Japanese Shito-kai Karate-do Federation) the Eastern branch, centered in Tokyo, was organized in November 1960. In the same year the founder's son Kenei Mabuni organized Western branch centered in Osaka. Both clubs have held independent championships until 1964, when the first joint Karate-Do Shito-Kai championship took place. In October of the same year the Japan Karate-do Federation was formed. In February 1973 the Western and Eastern branches of Nihon karate-Do merged, leading to the formation of the Japan Karate-do Federation of Shito-Kai.
Karate-Do Shito-Kai school started international activity. Karate-Do masters were sent to Asia, Latin America, U.S.A. and Europe. Official representatives from different countries gathered in Mexico City in November 1990 to discuss the development of Karate-Do in the world and the creation of International Karate-Do Shito-ryu federation. The same issue was simultaneously discussed in Havana during the first Pan-American karate-do Shito-kai championship. And finally, on March 19, 1993, the World Shito-ryu Karate-do Federation with the center in Tokyo was established, with Manzo Iwata as its president. Official representatives of 28 countries took part in the first karate-do Shito-Ryu World Championship.


There are nine student levels, also called kyu grades. These kyu grades are signdied by the colors of the belt, and these belt colors have meaning within our karate system. There are also 9 advanced grades, called dan grades. These grades signify the student's proficiency in the art. It is the purpose of the colored belts to indicate not the length of time in the art, but to describe the level of training.

White belt -- The color purity
Yellow belt -- The dawning of a new day
Orange belt -- The beginning of consciousness
Blue belt -- The color of a new and open mind (blue sky)
Green belt -- The color of fiesh and growing things
Purple belt -- The color of mild conf'usion
Brown belt -- The color of the earth (Solid and Unyielding)
Black belt -- The color of void (Empty of all pretensions)

Each student should strive not for the belt, but for the knowledge that the belt represents.
In the earlier times, the intensity of one's training was represented by the dirt on one's white belt. The longer and the more intensely the student trained, the darker his belt became until the white belt, which was the beginning, became the black belt of a hard-training teacher.


9th Kyu White belt

8th Kyu Yellow belt

7th Kyu Orange belt

6th Kyu Blue belt

5th Kyu Green belt

4th Kyu Purple belt

3rd Kyu Brown belt 3 BIS*

2nd Kyu Brown belt 2 BIS*

I st Kyu Brown belt 1 BIS*
3 months to

3 months to

3 months to

4 months to

4 months to

4 months to ,

6 months to ,

9 months to

12 months to

1 st Dan Black belt

2nd Dan Black belt

3rd Dan Black belt

4th Dan Black belt

5th Dan Black belt

6th Dan Black belt

7th Dan Black belt

8th Dan Black belt







24 months to

36 months to

36 months to

36 months to

36 months to

48 months to

48 months to
* (B/S Black Stripe)

Note: Yellow, orange, and blue belts may be replaced by white belts with three, two, or one stripes respectively. A-purple belt may be replaced by a green belt with one stripe. All stripes are to be black in color.

Note: Dan rank belts will have association name on one side and personal name on the other side.The association name may be combined with style name. The association recognizes that many black belts proudly wear black belts previously issued and honor this by permitting the wearing ofthese belts rather than the association belt.

Note: Outstanding students may bypass one ,grade up to and including 4th kyu. All other time in grade must be achieved at each grade level prior to testing.

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