Grading assessments will be available to all students who hold an up-to-date membership of the JFAUK. Please note that with no membership being held by any individual, no grading will be allowed.

Club Grading up to 1st Kyu

The JFAUK understands the importance and role that the club instructor plays in understanding a student’s development, knowing his/her ability, capability and disability. But at the same time, all students play an important role in defining their own individual journey towards a Judo education.

By allowing club registered instructors who are of Dan grade and above to be able to grade up to 1st Kyu Senior Brown Belt, the JFAUK believes that the instructor is best placed to nurture and provide an environment to motivate and encourage the student to present and reach his/her full technical potential. We thus recognise that the instructor plays a positive and important role in the mentoring and development of his/her student. It is recommended that club grading dates be forwarded to the head office of the JFAUK in advance for distribution. The JFAUK requires that all registered clubs keep accurate records of all grading examinations. These files should be kept in a safe and accessible place. Copies may be requested by the head office for any future reference.

Club Grading Visits

Please note that any registered club to the JFAUK may be subject to visits by grading officers at any time during club grading sessions.

Grading Requirements

All coaches and instructors should ensure that all the necessary syllabus requirements can be fully met and understood by their students before they are allowed to attend any grading. All students must have at least four months practical experience before participating in the examination. In addition, they must hold a full JFAUK Membership Licence. It is recommended that gradings are to be held at four month intervals for all children and seniors up to and including 1st Kyu - Brown Belt.


All throwing techniques are to be examined first whilst stationary, and then while both Tori and Uke are moving.


All groundwork techniques will be assessed on technical correctness and effectiveness. The candidate must be able to hold their opponent down securely for a minimum of 10 seconds and be able to obtain a full submission.


At all times, Uke will also be assessed on how he/she is able to receive Tori’s throws and all groundwork. Uke must be able to perform realistic effective escape techniques in all groundwork skills.

The Student

All students progress differently and they will develop their own personal style which is often shaped by their physical make-up and personality. This has to be taken into account for their promotion. • Students under 7 years old will be registered as Nursery. • Students from 7 years old to 10 years old will be registered as Primary. • Students from 10 years old to 16 years old will be registered as Junior. • 16 years old and above will be registered as Adult

Supplementary Knowledge

The examiner may, at any time, ask for further clarification or information relating to any previous grade’s syllabus requirements.


Knowledge of terminology is important and the correct Japanese and English terms will be required for use for the appropriate grade. Candidates are required to know all common terminology, which can be of the examiner’s choice.

Special Needs

All students with special needs will be assessed individually according to their needs. The coach will provide a safe and stimulating environment for learning where the student will feel confident and at ease to exercise his/her demonstrations of the mainstream technical syllabus.

Flexibility and discretion will be allowed by the coach or examiner when dealing with the special needs of a student.

The candidate should be given the opportunity to demonstrate their skills and to show that they fully understand the fundamental principals of Judo.

Special Note

If a candidate is unable to complete any section of the syllabus, the examiner can either adopt or replace the technique with one that the candidate is able to complete. The aims are to assess and challenge the candidate, assisting him/her to show the best demonstration possible and provide evidence of progress and quality in their efforts.

Non Recorded Grade

Any Judoka that has no grading record or may have lost their record book or has achieved a grade outside of the JFAUK, or is returning back to Judo after a long absence, will be accepted until reassessment is made at the earliest area or national grading. They will be confirmed or graded according to their ability and appropriate technical knowledge.

Foreign Judoka

It is acknowledged that there are many Judoka from other countries visiting or residing in the UK. The JFAUK will accept their grade, subject to proof of validation. On acceptance of their grade such students will be authorised and accepted as new members.

Dan Grading

Promotion to Dan grade will only be carried out at an area or national grading, awarded by the Technical Director of the JFAUK. All Dan grades will be authorised by the signature of the Technical Director or the President of the JFAUK. All Dan grades are regarded as officers and representatives of the JFAUK and are expected to remain loyal to the goals of JFAUK, supporting the President and other officials in fulfilling the objectives of the organisation.

Grading Dates

Registered JFAUK clubs should inform the head office of all grading dates and other events so that dates can be advertised. This will help maximise participation, also giving everyone an opportunity to attend and support. We encourage any smaller clubs who have insufficient numbers to viably hold such gradings or events to join and collaborate with others in order to provide a fuller experience for their students.


Kata will be available through the Judo structure of the JFAUK, but as a grading requirement it will only be compulsory from the grade of 1st Kyu and above.

Honorary Grades

Honorary grades will be considered for Judoka who are shown to have made a considerable contribution to Judo and displayed loyalty and solidarity to JFAUK.

Non Contest Grades

Non contest grades will be assessed equal to the normal grading syllabus but, in place of the required contest, standing and groundwork Randori will form the basis of the assessment. From 2nd Kyu and above, candidates will be additionally required to have obtained a Club Level 1 Coaching Qualification and for 1st Kyu and above they are required also to have a Club Level 1 Refereeing Award. The JFAUK is developing additional resources in order to support candidates seeking promotion, and to further develop their Judo.

Special notes to be considered

All Judoka are encouraged to take an increasing responsibility for their technical development, especially as they progress through the grades. It is always advisable for Judoka to undertake all available supplementary studies and to train additionally so that they are fully prepared for their examinations. Promotion to 3rd Kyu is based on technical knowledge, the understanding of the fundamental principles of Judo, and terminology. There is no contest requirement for up to 3rd Kyu Green Belt, juniors or seniors.

However, there is a progressive element which is required in standing and groundwork Randori . This allows the student to express their open skills. From the 3rd Kyu and above (this include juniors and seniors), technical knowledge and the understanding of the Judo philosophy will be required as well as the ability to perform at contest level.

Winning in a grading contest is a requirement. However, in special circumstances when the candidate is unable to quite meet the competitive standards but surpasses in technical ability and showing the determination with spirit, promotion of the grade may be considered.

Prior to attending any grading, all candidates must have full understanding and knowledge of the Club Level 1 Beginners’ Induction Programme.

Sampson Sampson - 6th Dan

Technical Director
Judo For All UK (JFAUK)


The current syllabus is effective as of January 2011

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