An Introduction to the Judo Ranking System

Judo Ranking System pic
Judo Ranking System
Image: judoinfo.com

Oleg Aronov serves as the President and Chief Executive Officer of StatRx Pharmacy in Bronx, New York, since 2007. Away from his work at the retail and specialty pharmacy, Oleg Aronov practices martial arts. He holds black belts in both judo and aikido.

The modern judo ranking system has been in place since 1883. However, the system has changed in a number of ways over the last 130 years. For example, judo founder Kano Jigoro originally made no distinction among students who had achieved the black belt ranking, while current judo practices separate black belt students into 10 distinct categories. Furthermore, Jigoro initially used only white belts and black belts to distinguish beginners from advanced students, respectively. Today, students of judo can earn seven different belts, such as yellow belts and green belts, in addition to the 10 black belt degrees and a number of additional transitional rankings.

Promotions from one belt to the next are determined by several points of emphasis, including the maturity and moral fiber of the student and the student’s mastery of judo techniques and abilities. Students can also earn promotion points during officially sanctioned United States Judo Federation competitions. Additional factors include the length of time the student has held his or her current position, the student’s contributions to his or her dojo, the student’s age, and, most importantly, the instructor’s judgment.

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