USJA Rank System

The USJA National Rank System is designed to ensure that promotions awarded reflect the technical expertise, character development, and overall contribution of the individual. Inherent in this process is the direct evaluation of all candidates.

(1) All students must meet certain minimum requirements to become eligible for promotion. They must then pass an exam and be recommended for promotion by their instructor or a Certificated Rank Examiner for higher dans (black belts) and provide the proper amount of documented USJA Promotion Points.

(2) All recommendations for promotions must be submitted to the USJA National Office on the proper forms for approval.

(3) All candidates for promotion must be Active Annual or Sustaining Life Members of a USJA Chartered Club with the proper time in grade in the previous rank.

(4) A $35.00 non-refundable processing fee must accompany all dan black belt promotion recommendations (shodan and higher). The remainder of the promotion fee must be remitted on notification of successfully passing to the rank applied for.

(5) A completed and cleared background check is required for all Dans (black belt ranks) per the USJA’s Background Screening Policy.

6) The PB holds a closed conference call to decide on pending promotions the first Thursday of each new quarter. RFP’s correctly submitted 2 weeks prior to the call will be considered at that time.

Junior Ranks

00 white
01 yellow
02 yellow
03 orange
04 orange
05 green
06 green
07 blue
08 blue
09 purple
10 purple

The USJA gives the option of converting Junior blue to Senior brown and Junior purple to Senior brown or black

Senior Ranks

The chart below denotes belt color, minimum TIG, and classes required for each Senior Kyu rank (6th to 1st Kyu).

(Each class must be at least one hour long and no more than 2 classes a day can be counted.)

6th kyuYellow215
5th kyuOrange322
4th kyuGreen538
3rd kyuBrown650
2nd kyuBrown875
1st kyuBrown10100

The chart below denotes belt color, minimum TIG, points, and the number of sign-offs required for each Senior Dan rank (1st to 10th Dan).

1st to 5th
Dan Rank/Belt
A@60 pts/yr / TIG/points B@50 pts/yr / TIG/points C@40 pts/yr / TIG/points D@0 pts/yr
Required Rank or above
1 Dan Black1/602/1003/1205/0(1) 3D
2 Dan Black2/1203/1506/1607/0(1) 4D
3 Dan Black4/2405/2506/2409/0(1) 5D
4 Dan Black/Red5/3006/3007/28010/200(2) 6D
5 Dan Black/Red6/3607/3508/32011/220(2) 7D

6th to 10th
Dan Rank/Belt
A@90 pts/yr / TIG/points B@70 pts/yr / TIG/points C@50 pts/yr / TIG/points D@30 pts/yr / TIF/points Sign-off:
Required Rank or above
6 Dan Red/White7/6308/5609/45012/360(1)6D + (2)7D
7 Dan Red/White8/7209/63010/50013/390(2)7D + (1)8D
8 Dan Red/White9/81010/70011/55014/420(2)7D + (1)8D + (1)9D
9  and 10 Dan Red Promotion to these ranks is rare. The USJA Promotion Board and Board of Directors bestows these ranks based on a comprehensive review of the individual’s legacy of achievements as well as service to the USJA in terms of their effect nationally and internationally on the world judo community.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Only those with documented activities at the highest levels are considered for high dan promotions. Sixty percent (60%) or more of the activities must be at the levels shown as follows or higher. Activities that include those for visually impaired (VI), such as Parapan Games, Para World, and Paralympics, also meet this requirement equally.

  • 6th Dan local and State level
  • 7th Dan State and Regional level
  • 8th Dan National + Pan Am level
  • 9th Dan International + Continental
  • 10th Dan World and Olympic

Forms can be found at
Senior & Junior Technical Manuals can be found at

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