Junior members (Age 6 - 15)


At UK Shotokaido we believe that Karate can offer some great opportunities for our younger members to learn valuable life and social skills. Karate should not be seen as just fighting or aggressive in any way, in fact the reality is that it teaches how to gain better control of emotions such as aggression, fear, anxiety, tension, weariness and start to understand and develop more positive emotions and skills that can help them to grow as individuals and develop strong healthy relationships with their peers  based on respect and understanding.

Karate is of course FUN and while we want our Junior members to pick up these important lessons and skills we also want them to enjoy themselves while learning, which is why the lessons are designed to be as relaxed and enjoyable as possible trying to strike a balance between the formal side of martial arts and the joy of being a child.

As well as encouraging the youngsters to join, we are also keen to get the parents as involved as possible and ideally practice alongside their children. This can be a great opportunity to do something fun as a family and of course to be able to spend some family time together as well instead of just being a taxi service, there is a great Chinese proverb that says “A Family in Harmony Will Prosper in Everything”  so why not join as a family and enjoy some quality time while you all learn new skills.

Grading and progress

We also believe that it is important to support, motivate and challenge our young karateka,  and in order to do this we use a number of resources, they have regular grading's at least 4 opportunities per year to progress to the next level, the grading system is based on a tab system, where by each grade level requires the student to obtain 2 tabs to move up to the next grade the grade steps are detailed below.

Novice/Beginner - White Belt

1 red tab

2 red tabs

Red Belt

1 yellow tab

2 yellow tabs

Yellow Belt

1 Orange tab

2 Orange tabs

Orange Belt

1 Green tab

2 Green tabs

Green Belt

1 Blue tab

2 Blue tabs

Blue Belt

1 Brown tab

2 Brown tabs

3 Brown tabs

Brown Belt

1 Black tab

2 Black tabs

3 Black tabs

4 Black tabs

Black Belt (Junior)

Dojo Etiquette and Behaviour

All of our younger members are encouraged from day 1 to be respectful of each other and their teachers as well as generally to all. They are given a set of rules for the dojo on how to conduct themselves, we also encourage them to help each to learn and to develop leadership qualities. We believe that giving children the opportunity to develop confidence through the ability to help other students and pass on what they have been taught whether that be karate technique, attitude, determination, or behaviour among others is a valuable attribute.


The grading system is structured to give encouragement and recognition for all the hard work that they have put in. Learning a martial art is a journey both for Adults and Children and as such it takes time to learn all of the skills and gain the knowledge to understand and apply them typically the average time for one of our Junior members to achieve their Black Belt would be about 5 - 6 years.

The grading and assessment of our students is done on an ongoing basis and then confirmed during a one off assessment every 4 months. The idea of this approach is that the grade is not awarded just on their performance at the grading but also takes into account their overall development over the past 4 months to ensure a fair and objective view.

In order to help our students to reach their full potential we also provide them with a personal practice plan and a progression star chart which encourage them to achieve smaller goals while they are working towards their next grade. This helps to keep their motivation high and offers recognition for each smaller step that they make.