How long to get a black belt in judo? [Explained]

Let’s say you are involving yourself into the judo life. Or you are already involved. There are so many ordinary questions to appear. And one of them is – How long to get a black belt in judo and what are the judo black belt requirements?

And it’s okay. The question is obvious and normal. It’s a usual question in all martial arts. We have already talked about how long to get a black belt in BJJ here.

How long does it take to get a black belt in judo?

In judo, there are different belt colors corresponding to the age and experience of the judoka. This all together puts the judo belts in order. In a specific order with concrete judo belt requirements.

The time frame of how long it takes to get a black belt rank in judo is about from 4 to 10 years depending on different factors. Mostly it is about an individual situation. The most widespread period is on average 4-5 years.

Anyway, the main criteria are how dedicated and how many hours spends the judoka on the mats and the belt ranking rules. The last one says that a judoka can’t get a black belt before 15 or 16 years of age.

Each color has its judo belt progression timeline that also indicates how long does it take to get a black belt in judo.

Judo belt ranking in different countries and federations may differ.

But mainly they all have the same pattern of kyu and dan rankings.

Judo Belt Progression in colors according to US Judo Federation (USJF)

RankTraditional
Junior
(16 years old and under)
Approved
Updated Junior
(16 years old and under)
Senior
(17 years old and over)
Juichikyuwhite
Jukyuwhite/yellow
Kyukyuyellow
Hachikyuyellow/orange
Nanakyuorange
Rokkyuwhiteorange/greenwhite
Gokyuyellowgreengreen
Yonkyuorangegreen/blueblue
Sankyugreenbluebrown
Nikyublueblue/purplebrown
Shodanpurplepurplebrown
Ikkyublackblack
Nidanblackblack
Sandanblack
Yodanblack
Godanblack
Rokudanred/white
Shichidanred/white
Hachidanred/white
Kudanred
Judanred

Other Yudansha and federations may have their own small or significant diversity.

For instance, the British Judo Association has not just the Kyu and Dan rank grades but also a Man rank for 8 to 17-year-olds. Also, their rank system has a red belt between the white and yellow.

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Can you get judo black belt 3 years?

To come to the point of Shodan (judo belt test promotion for the black belt) the judo practitioner should show and prove his or her level of dedication, improvement, and attitude during the past years.

Is it possible to accommodate it all to the fullest in three years?

To get the first judo black belt grade (Shodan) in three years is a real situation. If you meet a judo practitioner with this achievement, know that he or she gave a lot. It’s about time, physical effort, skills, dedication, and competitive experience. And of course, much more hours are spent on the mats than an average judoka.

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Is it possible to become a judo black belt in 1 year?

Judo black belt in 1 year? It might be possible. But most likely in Japanese judo schools, but not in Western countries.

The reason lies in the different attitudes to the meaning of a black belt in martial arts. In Western countries having a black means being a master of martial arts. But in Japanese judo dojos it’s more about being good enough to start training and improve the learned techniques.

Nevertheless, to achieve a judo black belt in one year means going through an extraordinary training program. This program will not give you a chance to drag somewhere behind. Whether you pass, or a black belt in one year will be postponed.

Such kind of express training black belt program is claimed to be offered at the Kodokan Judo Institute – a judo dojo founded by Kano Jigoro.

So, in fact, Kodokan is the home of judo and obviously, they can afford to offer sich kind of high-level judoka program.

You just need to go in one year through Shiai, Uchikomi, Randori, Ukemi, the way from 6th to 1st Kyu, and a bunch of techniqe demonstration.

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What is the highest belt in judo?

In most martial arts the highest belt color is the same – black. Also, in many martial arts disciplines, there are further honored belts after the black belt, like the BJJ red belt.

And what is the last belt in judo? Is it only black?

The highest dan rank of a black belt is not the final point for a judoka. The highest belt in judo, which is also called a belt of honor, is the judo red belt which is preceded by a judo red and white belt.

judo red belt
Judo red belts; Google Image caption
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Yudansha meaning

Yudansha is a term in Japanese martial arts and means a person who holds higher grades. So, yudansha is a black belt holder.

Yudansha typically wear a what color of belt?

Yudansha is a holder of black belt rank. More specifically, yudansha means a person who has a dan grade.

Yudansha pronunciation

Yudansha kanji writing – 有段者Yudansha pronunciation – Yūdansha
Yudansha translation – “rank holder”
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What is Yudansha Kai?

Yudansha Kai or Yudanshakai in simple words is a black belt association or a group of Yudansha (black belts). The goal of each Yudanshakai is to spread judo in its region.

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