A progressive learning system is used in judo to promote participants who reach a certain level of skill and knowledge. This progression is monitored by using belts of different colours. The learning system is divided into two parts:

  • Kyu grades (White to Brown Belt)
  • Dan ranks (Black Belt)

Kyu ranks include the following belts:

  • White
  • White-yellow
  • Yellow
  • Yellow-orange
  • Orange
  • Orange-green
  • Green
  • Green-blue
  • Blue
  • Blue-brown
  • Brown

These ranks were created to follow the learning of the techniques and culture of judo. Kyu grades are defined in the Mudansha (Kyu) grade syllabus and are administered by clubs across the country.

Dan grades include 10 degrees starting from the black belt (Shodan):

  • Shodan
  • Nidan
  • Sandan
  • Yondan
  • Godan
  • Rokudan
  • Shichidan
  • Hachidan
  • Kudan
  • Judan

These degrees were created in order to perfect the techniques and to develop the culture of judo. Dan grades are defined in the Yudansha (Dan) grade syllabus and are administered by (i) Judo Canada Grading Committee and (ii) Provincial / Territorial Grading Committees.

2021 Grading Syllabus Addendum

Candidates can access the ranks from Shodan to Godan by fulfilling the criteria of one of the following two paths, namely:

For Rokudan ranks and above, applicants must be actively involved in judo and demonstrate a significant contribution to judo at the Provincial / Territorial, national and / or international level throughout their career in judo and, in particular, since their last promotion. There are two streams:

  • The competitive stream
  • The technical stream.

High Dan – Online Application Form

For a more detailed explanation of the steps in the grading examination process, please see the Grading Guidelines

For support on how to fill the form, please follow our tutorials:


Judokas who obtained their rank abroad must complete the Foreign Rank Recognition Form and pay a fee to obtain recognition of their rank in Canada.

International Certification

Judo Canada can help judokas obtain the following certificates:

Kodokan Certificate * – To obtain this diploma, please complete the following Excel form – Kodokan Form – and return it to Judo Canada. Kodokan diploma applications will only be processed once the candidate’s rank promotion has been confirmed by Judo Canada .

IJF diplomas are also available on request and all requests must be submitted to the Judo Canada office.

CPJ diplomas can be obtained directly by applicants once promotion to Judo Canada has been confirmed. To do so, they will need to go to CPJ’s website:

* Kodokan diplomas are available upon request and provided as a service to Dan exam candidates. Kodokan diplomas are subject to additional requirements and costs and it is the candidate’s responsibility to complete any additional Kodokan requirements.

* If you are interested in applying for a Kodokan degree, please review the following Guide to determine your eligibility for the degree requested.

WEBINAR of the New Grading Syllabus on december 6 2020

Official presentation in PDF Format

2021 Syllabus Questions Frequently Asked


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