Grading under a national and international approved and recognised syllabus offers both clubs and members several benefits. Traditional martial arts have long recognised the benefits of having a tangible goal to which students can aim and some of these include:


  • Increased member retention (through recognition of levels reached)
  • Student hierachy within clubs
  • Provides a progression system for combative and non-combative students alike
  • Easily recognised symbol of achieved skill (especially at Black belt level)
  • Internationally recognised achievement National certification (coloured grades)
  • International and National certification (Black belt level)

The WAKO approved grading syllabus* most likely does not contain any techniques that you are not already teaching to your students anyway, so implementing this for your club is (a) very easy and (b) has numerous benefits as outlined above. A key point to note is that the WAKO syllabus is simply a ‘minimum requirement’ and many clubs ‘add’ techniques as they require.


Process for Coloured belt grading

Note: only WAKO blackbelt (1st degree and above) can grade students

Grading to Blackbelt

Grading to blackbelt is done on an as needed basis by a grading committee under WAKO NZ. The process for grading to blackbelt is below:

* an option of a red belt between white and yellow also exists to make the first grading easier.