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Welcome to the High Grade Class!

Our High Grade Classes are exclusively for Black and Brown Belts, and are designed to push your training to a whole new level.


Whether your goals are competition-based, fitness-based, grading-based, or just continuous learning, we are here to support you and push you towards them.

We understand that the transition into these classes can be a bit overwhelming and daunting, which is why we've provided this page to give you a better understand of these classes and what it means to be a High Grade at Chelmsford Shotokan Karate Club.

"Most people think that being a Black Belt is the end of your Karate Training.

But in reality, it’s just the beginning."

Our High Grades are the role models for all other Club Members. We expect a variety of things from them, both in and out of the Dojo. 

Focus, determination, and attitude are expected from all High Grades, no matter age or grade. 

Because the value of hard work and dedication is embodied in our existing High Grades, we ask that you work to uphold these values as well. 

This is a fast-paced, motivated environment full of karateka expecting the same behaviour and effort from everyone. 

Good behaviour is key to provide our Lower Grades with a good example of how they are expected to behave. We often ask our High Grades to mentor our Lower Grades as well, and we expect you to be encouraging and patient when doing so. Remember- you were them once!

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We, as High Grades, are a Team, working towards the same goals and standards. The more you push yourself out of your comfort zone the more you help everyone training around you.


We hope that our new Brown Belts have the courage to dive straight into these classes, and we will be there to support you when you do.

Just because we're working hard, doesn't mean we don't have fun! We have the discipline to be trusted with some areas of Karate you may not have explored yet...

As a High Grade, you now have access to a variety of new opportunities... 

squad training

Black and Brown Belts above the age of 12 now have the option to go to Sensei Brennan's Central Region Kata Squad.

Everyone who attends will need to complete the Selection Process in order to be allowed to train on the Squad for that year.

This is a great way to improve the technical standard of your karate and knowledge of your katas.


Black Belts aged 13 and above now have the option try out for the National England Kata and/or Kumite Squad.

Everyone who attends will need to complete the Selection Process and be chosen to train on the Squad for that year.


Being selected also means you will be expected to represent England in The Grand Slam, an exclusive competition for those on the UK Squads.

Those on the Squad also may be chosen to represent England in the European or World Championships.

black and brown belt courses

As a High Grade, and a licensed member of the KUGB, you now have access to free KUGB Black and Brown Belt Courses around the country. These courses will be taken by the Senior KUGB Instructors and provide excellent additional training, especially for those who will be taking Dan Gradings (Black Belt Gradings) soon.


We hold strong team values within our club, and so we attend these events as a group, especially if we have a group of students grading.

After each B&B (Black and Brown Belt) Course the KUGB holds Dan Gradings for those taking First and Second Dans.


To find out more about when you should be Grading, please contact us.


instructor's qualifications

As a Brown Belt you can now start thinking about teaching karate and helping out with some of our busier classes.


We will expect you, as a high grade, to be able to teach a beginner's first lesson. We sometimes ask High Grades to help out with the lower grades during our All Grades Classes


If you would like more guidance with this we hold an Instructor's Workshop once a year.


We have a programme for our High Grades aged 12-17 called the Young Leaders Programme, which is a National Programme where you can earn points to qualify for Gold, Silver, and Bronze Awards by helping out with our Tiger's or All Grades Classes. 


From age 18 (Black and Brown Belts) you can take the Assistant Instructor's Qualification Exam, which is a practical exam taken inside the Dojo involving answering some questions from Sensei Richard and helping teach one of our classes.

If you are a Black Belt, and aged 18 or over you can take the Instructor's Qualification Exam, which is also a practical exam taken inside the Dojo where your performance is assessed in teaching a class of your own under the supervision of either Sensei Jane or Sensei Richard (KUGB National Senior Assessors).


High Grades also have their own KUGB Competition, The Shotokan Cup.


This competition is strictly for Black and Brown Belts only, and the categories are Individual Kata and Individual Kumite.


At least a month before this competition all High Grades will be notified.


We expect High Grades to compete to help give goals and structure to their training, especially if they are not taking a Dan Grading for several years.

Competition helps put our students under pressure, similar to that of a Grading. We win as a team and lose as a team, we train for gradings as a team- even if only one person is grading.


These competitions are not about winning, but pushing yourself to be the best you can and building bonds between our High Grades.



If you are both over 21 and a 1st Dan Black Belt or above, you can become a Qualified KUGB Referee and Judge.

The KUGB holds two free courses a year to help teach you the skills you need for the exam. You must attend one of these courses before taking the examination at the next available course.

We also hold our own Referees and Judges Courses for all ages who are Green Belt and above.

You must first earn your Judge's Qualification, which is a combination of a theory and a practical exam looking at your knowledge of the rulebook, protocols, and understanding of what constitutes scores given.

The following year you can take your Referees Qualification which is also combination of a theory and a practical exam. This looks at management of the process, such as managing the area and your fellow Referees and Judges.

haven't found what you're looking for?

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