Rank Requirements

USJA Rank System

The USJA National Rank System is designed to ensure that promotions awarded reflect the technical expertise, character development, and overall contribution of the individual. Inherent in this process is the direct evaluation of all candidates.

(1) All students must meet certain minimum requirements to become eligible for promotion. They must then pass an exam and be recommended for promotion by their instructor or a Certificated Rank Examiner for higher dans (black belts) and provide the proper amount of documented USJA Promotion Points.

(2) All recommendations for promotions must be submitted to the USJA National Office on the proper forms for approval.

(3) All candidates for promotion must be Active Annual or Sustaining Life Members of a USJA Chartered Club with the proper time in grade in the previous rank.

(4) A $30.00 Non-refundable processing fee must accompany all dan black belt promotion recommendations (shodan and higher). The remainder of the promotion fee must be remitted on notification of successfully passing to the rank applied for.

(5) A completed and cleared background check is required for all Dan (black belt ranks) per the USJA’s Background Screening Policy.

(6) All paper work must reach the National Office forty-five (45) days prior to the next scheduled promotion board meeting for 4th Dan or higher.

Junior Ranks

00  white                             

01 yellow                               

02 yellow                              

03 orange                     

04 orange                               

05 green                       

06 green

07 blue                         

08 blue                            

09 purple                               

10 purple                           

The USJA gives the option of converting Junior blue to Senior brown and Junior purple to Senior brown or black

Senior Ranks

The chart below denotes belt color, minimum TIG and classes required for each Senior Kyu rank (6th to 1st Kyu). 

(Each class must be at least one hour long and no more than 2 classes a day can be counted.)

RANK BELT COLOR Minimum Time in Grade
Months Classes 
Novice White —– —–
6th kyu Yellow 2 15
5th kyu Orange 3 22
4th kyu Green 5 38
3rd kyu Brown 6 50
2nd kyu Brown 8 75
1st kyu Brown 10 100


The chart below denotes belt color, minimum TIG, points and the number of sign off required for each Senior Dan rank (1st to 10th Dan).

1st to 5th DANRank/Belt  A@60 pts/yrTIG/points  B@50 pts/yrTIG/points  C@40 pts/yrTIG/points  D@0 pts/yr 4,5D=20TIG/points  Sign off #Rank or above
1 Dan Black 1/60 2/100 3/120 5/0  (1)   3D
2 Dan Black 2/120 3/150 4/160 7/0  (1)   4D
3 Dan Black 4/240 5/250 6/240 9/0  (1)   5D
4 Dan Black/Red 5/300 6/300 7/280 10/200 (2)   6D
5 Dan Black/Red 6/360 7/350 8/320 11/220 (2)   7D
6st to 10th Dan Rank/Belt A@90 pts/yrTIG/points B@70 pts/yrTIG/points C@50 pts/yrTIG/points D@30 pts/yrTIG/points Sign off #Rank or above
6 Dan Red/white 7/630 8/560 9/450 12/360  (1)6D+(2)7D
7 Dan Red/white 8/720 9/630 10/500 13/390 (2)7D+(1)8D
8 Dan Red/white 9/810 10/700 11/550 14/420 (2)7D+(1)8D+(1)9D
9 Dan Red 10 yr min + PB 10 yr min + PB 10 yr min + PB 10 yr min + PB (2)7D+(2)8D+(1)9D
10 Dan Red 11 yr min + PB 11 yr min + PB 11 yr min + PB 11 yr min + PB (2)7D+(3)8D+(2)9D

IMPORTANT NOTE: Only those with documented activities at the highest levels are considered for high dan promotions. Sixty percent (60%) or more of the activities must be at the levels shown as follows or higher. Activities that include those for visually impaired VI such as Parapan Games, Para World, and Paralympics also meet this requirement equally.

Below are links to specific USJA requirements, forms, manuals, and procedures

General Forms & Info:

Junior Forms & Info:

Senior Forms & Info: