There are 10 ranks before black belt (the white belt levels count as one rank). The system contains 5 belts; white, yellow, green, brown, and black. Two stripes are awarded between each colored belt rank until black belt. Belts are classified using the Japanese numbering system, 10 (jyu) being the lowest rank and 1 (ichi) being the highest rank.
Ranks are awarded by knowledge of the material, min. time in rank, number of classes, and the students age.
Students will learn a new kata for each belt color:
Sanchin is the first kata, and core kata of Uechi Ryu. Students begin learning Sanchin at the white belt level, and is required for their black belt test.
Black Belt Ranking System
In Uechi Ryu, there are multiple new kata, drills, and bunkai to learn once a student has received black belt. Black belt is only the beginning to understand the depth and possibilities the system has to offer. Bennetts Karate offers a variety of drills and bunkai taught in other Uechi Ryu associations. Uechi Ryu is still an evolving system, in which many masters in Okinawa are still changing and adding new techniques within their dojo. The Bennetts Karate dojo teaches and practices bunkai and kumite from other Uechi Ryu associations as supplementary exercises for advanced black belts.
2nd Dan Material
Okikukai/Shohei Ryu dan kumite
3rd Dan Material
Kenyukai dan kumite
4th Dan Material
Ryukokaku dan kumite
Uechi Ryu Kokusai Kyokai does not have a formalized Sanseiryu bunkai, but we still practice versions of it created by different associations once a student has reached 4th dan. Kanei Uechi only developed Kanshiwa and Seisan bunkai, and never created a formalized Sanseiryu bunkai.
Once a stdudent reaches black belt, they can work toward teaching levels within the Bennetts Karate dojo, and within the association. Some certifications are awarded by the dojo, and some are awarded by the president of the association, Hanshi James Thompson. Instructor levels are guided by rank and time teaching. Instructors must be under a certified master instructor within the system in order to receive these kinds of awards.
Instructors Level - Awarded by the Dojo.
Asst. Instructor L1, > Asst. Instructor L2, > Full Instructor