There are usually 3 gradings a year, May, August and December. The exact timing of grading dates will depend on the timing of other events and other dojo grading dates.
The junior grading system with its greater range of coloured belts is designed to reward students for continued commitment and encourage development and improvement.
The following table is based on a student training twice a week on a regular basis initially and then more frequently especially from Blue Belt. before being eligible to sit the next grading. Advancement also depends on how well a student is progressing as standards are required to be achieved.
For Blue Belt and above gradings students must be invited by the Branch Chief Instructor to attend a grading. If a student is young, eg. 7 years of age or less, the Branch Chief Instructor may increase the minimum period between grades in the best interests of the student given the minimum age for junior Sho Dan Black Belt is 10 years.
For Black Belt grading a student is nominated by the Branch Chief Instructor for consideration by Kyoshi Dennis May as having reached the required standard to sit the Black Belt Grading.
Brown Belts are expected to attend Black and Brown Belt training sessions and Gassuku if they wish to be considered for Black Belt grading.
Note the minimum periods between gradings is based on a student training at least twice a week and if a brown belt attending black and brown belt training sessions, Gassuku and the occasional senior class.
The Provisional Black Belt grade is given to students who do not quite meet the standard of Sho Dan but are expected to continue to improve and attain the required standard.
The Senior Grading system is less colourful but follows the same format as the Juniors.