How long does it take to get the green belt in Karate? The answer to this question usually varies based on a number of different factors, including the timeframe that it takes to earn other belts in the progression, the style of karate taught, the school attended, and the country where the class is held.

With that being said, let’s get started by creating a basic timeline that applies specifically to earning the green belt in today’s modern Karate styles.

As mentioned earlier, the timing for earning the green belt is determined by several key factors. One of the most important is the style of karate that is being used. According to sites like The Karate Lifestyle, the kyu/dan system is used for today’s modern styles. Therefore, in today’s example, the timeframe will be based on the 6 kyu system. The karate belt colors in this progression are listed below.

  • White belt
  • Yellow belt
  • Orange belt
  • Green belt
  • Blue belt
  • Brown belt
  • Black belt

This means if you are interested in earning a green belt in Karate, you will need to have a white belt, yellow belt, and orange belt completed in this progression before moving forward to earn your green belt.

Also, here is what you should expect as the timing for earning each.

White Belt (6th Kyu)

Before the white belt can move to the next rank in the 6 kyu system, it will take a minimum of 3 months of active training to satisfy the requirements.

The white belt is considered to be the symbol of the beginning or the starting point of this ranking system.

Yellow Belt (5th Kyu)

Before the yellow belt can move to the next rank in the 6 kyu system, it will take a minimum of 6 months of active training to satisfy the requirements to move to the orange belt.

The yellow belt is acquired through gaining an understanding of the basic principles. These students must pass an exam before proceeding to the next level.

Orange Belt (4th Kyu)

Before the orange belt can move to the next rank in the 6 kyu system, it will take a minimum of 6 months of active training to satisfy the requirements to move to the green belt.

The orange belt is acquired through both getting a better understanding and applying principles learned, specifically those that relate directly to distance management.

Getting the Green Belt (3rd Kyu)

As you can see, no student goes directly to acquiring the green belt in karate. Instead, it is earned by progression and a specific ranking system.

Therefore, the total time to get the green belt, in this scenario, is about a minimum of 15 months.

What tests are required to get the green belt?

To earn the green belt, every karate student must be able to pass a series of testing for each belt that they deserve.

The testing will vary based on the color of the belt. For example, if a student wants to earn their green belt, the tests will consist of the following:

Perform Stance Techniques

If the student has learned the correct skills in karate, they must be able to show to move forwards and backward using the proper karate stance techniques:

  • Front Stance – Zenkutsu dachi
  • Back Stance – Kokutsu dachi
  • Side Stance Kiba dachi

Perform Combination Techniques for Belt Test

Before the student earns their green belt, they will need to know how to do a wide variety of different combinations or moves and techniques:

Here are 2 examples of what the student can expect when testing for the green belt.

Example #1 – Chudan soto uke, gyaku zuki

The student has learned the technique of how to do the following in this sequence,

  • steps back
  • stomach level block
  • reverse punch

Example #2 – Mawatte

The student has learned how to turn correctly whole in their front stance

The green belt student will also be required to perform specific kicking techniques, including the side snap kicks that move in 2 different directions (i.e. Yoko geri keage) and a written exam.

What is the next level after the Green belt?

The next level after the green belt is the blue belt. However, before the green belt student can move to the next rank in the 6 kyu system, it will take a minimum of 9 months of active training to satisfy these requirements.


It is important to identify which style of karate will be used, the school where these classes are being taught, and the country in which the student is being taught.

Presently, the timing is estimated at about 15 months for the 6ku system in the U.S., specifically for students who are looking to get a green belt.

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