Judo flourished, and soon Judo contests were as common as swimming and dancing. Kano Jigoro, a competitive sport with no ranking system, adopted belts that have been in use for hundreds of years. They practiced in kimonos, and the beginning and intermediate competitors wore obi. Advanced competitors wore obi over their black kimonos. This was the only wrestling belt way to rank Judo in the early days. You could be a white or black belt, and technically, the founder of Judo was at the same rank as his black belts.
Kano adopted Dan’s ranks because Judo was a sport. All athletic associations widely used this system. Kano began by adding five levels, 1st Dan to 5th Dan. He was the highest rank. There were no ranks in the Kyu system, and only two belt colors were used. Kano’s school won against a top Jujitsu school, which led to Judo becoming more popular and more Jujitsu schools adopting the Dan system. Karate was not taught in Japan when brought from Okinawa Gi chin Funakoshi. However, Funakoshi did adopt them to make Karate more popular among the Japanese.
The Japanese Emperor Meiji, 1895, decided wwe replica belts that the country’s rapid westernization would require it to preserve and embrace its warrior heritage. He created the “Dai Nippon Batok Kai”, or the “Greater Japan Martial Virtue Society”, as part of the Ministry of Education. Dai Nippon Batok Kai, the government agency that was able to organize and regulate the ranking systems of martial arts, was known as the Dai Nippon Batok Kai. The majority of Japanese martial arts had already adopted a rank system by this point, and those that didn’t would soon have to.
The Dai Nippon Batok Kai published the official rules for Judo competitions in 1899. They also established standards for the Kyu and real wwe belts Dan grades. A white belt is the first rank. The student then takes the 10th Kyu test and moves up to 1st Kyu. After a student has demonstrated proficiency in the basics of the art, he is awarded the rank of 1st Dan and Shodan (or “lowest level”). In Japan, the three highest dan ranks are student rankings.
Shodan is traditionally a title that means you have studied and are proficient in the basics of your art. You are now ready to learn advanced teachings championship belt and can be allowed to instruct lower belts. Nida (the second Dan level) means the student has more experience in the basics and is ready to learn them. Sandam (the third Dan level) is the final student rank and is where they can teach students, usually up to one grade above themselves. The position of Sandam is where the “Yunshan”, or Black Belt holder, is allowed to be called Sensei (“teacher” or “one who is further along the path of learning than me”). When someone attains 4th or 5th Dan, they are proficient in the system.
In America, most people can become “masters” at 4th Dan. However, Japan considers 4th and 5th Dan to be “experts”. The 6th Dan and higher are “master-level rankings”. These honorary ranks are given for lifetime contributions and time spent in the art. However, in some traditions, you could be considered a 5th Dan “master level practitioner”. The 10th Dan rank in Japanese martial arts is reserved for founders and leaders.