Japanese Terminology: Black Belt Dans Martial Arts 05 MAR 2010

Reaching one’s black belt is often considered the pinnacle of one’s karate journey, but in reality, this is in actual fact only the first step. Now that you have finally reached your black belt, you are now ready to really start training in other words. However, not all black belts are necessarily equal and as such, there exists a ranking system for them as well, just as there does for the various colour belts that made up your journey to that coveted black.

These ranks are referred to as “Dans” and the following list indicates the various Dans ranked by seniority.

Black Belt Dans (Ranked from Lowest to Highest)

  1. Shodan
  2. Nidan
  3. Sandan
  4. Yondan
  5. Godan
  6. Rokudan
  7. Shichidan
  8. Hachidan
  9. Kudan
  10. Jiudan
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South African software architect and developer at Touchwork. Husband to a cupcake baker and father to two little girls. I don't have time for myself any more.