Jeremy Crook becomes first American 5th Dan

Belt Grading Standards

Colored belts are awarded to show competency and to help practitioners realize their own personal level of developmental practice ability. To earn a certified belt grade a person must be a member in good standing and attend practice consistently.

Instructors award certificates and belts as club members show consistent competency in three key areas:

  • Knowledge
  • Ability
  • Martial Spirit

AKDS Belt Grading Standards for both youth and adults are outlined below.


Adults age 16+ earn the following belt ranks as they meet Adult Belt Grading Standards (see chart below):

 White (beginner)
 Green (Assistant Instructor)
 Brown (Club Instructor)

 Black 1-5 (Certified Instructor)


YOUTH age 10-16 earn belt ranks as they meet Youth Belt Grading Standards (see chart below). Youth in AKDS clubs are not awarded the rank of Black Belt (1st – 5th Dan) until they are adults:

 White (beginner)


 Brown (Assistant Instructor)

Belt ranks are generally awarded by certified instructors to club members at any time they show they have developed the proficiency necessary to warrant them. On the other hand, some university clubs do hold official “belt grading” practice sessions. If you have any questions about your proficiency, or about anything listed on the Standards pages below, please talk to your club instructor.

Jeremy Crook becomes America's first 5th Dan, Wales, UK 2016

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