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The Judo Belt System
In Judo, belt ranks are divided into two broad categories: those who have earned the black belt level of competency (called Yūdansha) hold dan grades, and those who are yet to attain this advanced black belt rank (called Mudansha) hold kyū grades. There are six distinct kyū grades and eleven dan grades. However, confusingly, if you asked how many grades can be visually distinguished in the Judo belt system, the answer is 11.
Whereas novice Mudansha wear light blue, white, purple or brown belts, the more advanced Yūdansha have earned the right to wear red and black belts with various white stripes to indicate their exact grade.
The traditional Judo belt ranks were introduced by Kanō Jigorō, the founder of this pedagogy (as the discipline is referred to), in 1882.
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