The SAMA syllabuses are broken down into manageable units that are allocated a grade and corresponding coloured belt. A student goes through three general phases of development: beginner, intermediate and advanced. See the martial arts guide pages for a description of what happens in each phase.

For Karate and Tai Chi Chaun Kung Fu the scope and complexity of the syllabus increases substantially through the grades, and for kickboxing the fitness requirement increases.

Typical times between Karate gradings for a student with a positive attitude, reasonable aptitude and consistent application:

Going ForGradeDurationLessons Per Week
(at Least)
Red11th Kyu2 months1 (Term Time)
Yellow10th Kyu2 months1 (Term Time)
Orange9th Kyu2 months1 (Term Time)
Orange Stripe8th Kyu2 months1 (Term Time)
Green7th Kyu2 months1 (All Year)
Green Stripe6th Kyu4 months1 (All Year)
Blue5th Kyu4 months1 (All Year)
Blue Stripe4th Kyu4 months2 (All Year)
Brown3rd Kyu4 months2 (All Year)
Brown/Stripe2nd Kyu4 months2 (All Year)
Red/White/Blue1st Kyu6 months2 (All Year)
Black1st Dan6 months3 (All Year)

For Karate beginners and intermediate students grading may take place at the district level, alongside Kickboxing to a high level. Beginner gradings last up to 20 minutes.

Advanced/High level gradings going for Karate brown belt and above only take place in Worthing; a Brown Belt grading is around an 1 hour long; a Black Belt grading is up to 2.5 hours.

All gradings are assessed by only three chief instructors in the SAMA organisation: Hanshi Gibson 8th Dan, Shihan Jacobs 7th Dan and Renshi Klus 5th Dan. This ensures a consistent standard and enduring quality of student over time.