The Karate Union of Great Britain (KUGB) is a body of over 300 clubs, all of which practice Shotokan Karate. It was established in 1966 and is affiliated to European (ESKA) and World (WSKA) Shotokan Karate Bodies.
From its inception, the KUGB has dedicated itself to improving its technical standards. It has established numerous free training courses for Black Belts, Brown Belts, Instructors, Referees and Judges, and Kata and Kumite Squads.
It also arranges annually many Regional and National Championships and has participated in European and World Championships throughout its existence, with outstanding success.
It is by far the largest and most successful single-style association in Great Britain with currently around 7,000 male and female members of all ages. Its current Chief Instructor, Andy Sherry (9th Dan), is acknowledged as Britain's most senior Karate practitioner.
KUGB students are entitled to take grading examinations after set periods of training. The gradings are conducted by appointed Senior KUGB Examiners; this helps maintain a uniform National standard and allows club instructors to interact with the most Senior KUGB Karateka. There is a grading syllabus for all levels.
There are nine grades below Black Belt, known as Kyu grades with 9th Kyu, orange belt, being the lowest and 1st Kyu, brown with white, the highest, and with various coloured belts used to denote the grades between.
There are 10 levels of Black belt or Dan grades, starting at 1st Dan. Students can achieve 1st Dan standard in 3 to 4 years, with regular training and instruction. It then takes a minimum of 2 more years to achieve 2nd Dan, 3 years to 3rd Dan etc - which means that all Technical Committee members - all 7th Dan and above - have over 40 years Karate experience.