Like most martial arts in Japan, karate has a system of apprentice (kyu) and master (dana) degrees. Each degree corresponds to a belt of a certain color. The usual system provides for a beginner with a white belt, which darkens with increasing skill. Danam corresponds to a black belt. The most common system used by the Japan Karate Association (JKA) and most international Shotokan associations is: 9th kyu - white 8th kyu - yellow 7th kyu - orange 6th kyu - green 5th kyu - red 4th kyu - purple or dark blue 3rd kyu - light brown 2nd kyu - brown 1st kyu - dark brown 1st dan and above - black
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