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Competing in Kickboxing tournaments are not compulsory, however, in order to grade higher than Orange Belt, you need to compete in any mode of Kickboxing. Your instructors will guide you and should you choose to compete, they will let you know when you are ready. Keep in mind that we have a very strict standard and we do not let anyone compete if they are not ready. 


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Our curriculum consists of the following belt ranks:

1st Rank - White Belt
2nd Rank - Red Belt (2 Stripes)
3rd Rank - Yellow Belt (2 Stripes) 
4th Rank - Orange Belt (2 Stripes)

5th Rank - Green Belt (3 Stripes)
6th Rank - Blue Belt (2 Stripes)
7th Rank - Purple Belt (3 Stripes)

8th Rank - Brown Belt (3 Stripes)
9th Rank - Black Belt 

We use stripes to divide each belt rank's curriculum into smaller segments to make it easier for our students to work through the SHIDO curriculum. This way, the student can focus on mastering the curriculum step by step, instead of being overwhelmed by having too much information and techniques that they need to work through. In our experience, this leads to higher technical mastery as the student can zone in and focus on mastering a specific part of the curriculum before moving on to the next part. 

Here's an example of how this works:


When you start out as a White Belt, you will focus on mastering the first half of the Red Belt curriculum. Once you are ready, we will invite you to your first grading. After demonstrating competency in the first half of the Red Belt curriculum, you will advance in rank and receive your Red Belt. This means that you are now on the Red Belt level, and we will now teach you the second half of the Red Belt curriculum. Once you are ready, you will be invited to your second grading where you will be tested on the full Red Belt curriculum. If you pass this test, you will be awarded your 2-Stripe Red Belt. After receiving this new rank, it means that you have worked through the full Red Belt curriculum and you are now ready to prepare to advance to the rank of  Yellow Belt.

SHIDO Kickboxing Gradings

A grading is a test that determines whether a student is ready to advance to the next rank. We believe that when something takes effort, dedication, and hard work, its value greatly increases. The reason for this is because the reward is no longer "just a reward", but a reflection of all the hard work that you had to put in to achieve it. Our gradings are therefore quite challenging, because we test our students physically, mentally, and emotionally. We believe that a true martial artist should be well-developed in all three those areas, and not just in the area of physical skill and fitness.

As you progress in rank, the Kickboxing gradings gradually become more difficult and the demands increase. An easy way to explain this is to imagine a student as a steel chain. This chain is a symbol of the student's physical, mental, and emotional strength and skill. Each belt rank's grading applies a certain amount of stress onto that "chain" in order to find any weak links that will prevent the student from performing well on their new rank. In the beginning, the chain is weak so the stress that's applied to the student in their first grading is quite low, but the higher the rank, the higher the amount of stress will be because the chain is supposed to be stronger. If the student can handle the demand and stress that's placed upon them, then they will pass the test. If not, the student will fail the test and must then return to training and prepare to redo it. This is the purpose of the gradings, to test the student in all three of these areas and to determine whether they are strong and skilled enough to advance to their new rank.

When doing a SHIDO grading, the judges will use a detailed scoresheet to score your performance. Each rank has a different pass rate, the higher the rank, the more difficult it is to pass. The gradings start out quite easy, and then gradually increases in difficulty. This allows the student's mind and body to gradually adapt to the gradual increases in demands and difficulty. This in itself is a training method, once a student has progressed through 6 gradings, they have levelled up 6 times. What was difficult 5 gradings ago, is now so easy that they can do it with ease. To be able to grade, you must have regular class attendance and you must be proficient in all the requirements of the new belt rank. Our instructors closely monitor the progression of our students and they will invite the students that are ready.

The SHIDO Combination System

The SHIDO Kickboxing Curriculum is extremely vast and teaches a full spectrum of striking techniques that contain concepts from various striking martial arts. Our Head Instructor, Sensei Morné, has travelled and trained with many different instructors from various martial art styles over the years. He has studied each style and designed his own striking system. As the famous Bruce Lee said, "Research your own experience. Absorb what is useful, reject what is useless, and add what is essentially your own". The SHIDO Curriculum contains elements from various martial art styles such as Taekwondo, Karate, Boxing, Muaythai, and Kickboxing. 

One of the keys to becoming skilled at something is to practice it over and over, as a martial art master once said "Repetition is the mother of all skills". When our bodies and minds are exposed to something over a prolonged period of time, they start to adapt and evolve. For example, when riding a bicycle, in the beginning, you keep falling over and struggle to keep your balance. But with time, your body and mind start to adapt, they start to find your centre of balance and your coordination and mind-body connection starts to improve. The key to this was repetition and developing muscle memory.

"One becomes a beginner after one thousand days of training and an expert after ten thousand days of practice." - Masutatsu Oyama

Because of this, our Head Instructor has developed combinations that contain the concepts, skills and techniques that are required for each belt rank. These combinations are highly practical and realistic as they were designed to be used in combat. Practising these combinations provide the student with a fast and efficient way to build up proper muscle memory and conditioning that improves their technical skill and prepares them for actual combat. The repetition of these combinations causes the body and mind of the student to adapt and evolve, which results in greater balance, flexibility, power, and technical skill.

Benefits of the combination system include:

  • Improved mental clarity and focus.

  • Improved emotional control and resilience.

  • Improved flexibility and mobility.

  • Improved precision and body control.

  • Improved discipline and mental control.

  • Improved technical ability and coordination.

  • Improved posture and strength.

These combinations are a requirement for all our gradings, as they test the fundamentals, technical skills, and physical attributes that are required to advance in rank. 

The Journey To Black Belt

A question that we get asked quite often is "How long will it take to get my Black Belt?"

We believe that the journey to Black Belt should not be rushed. If a student progresses through the curriculum too fast without spending time to master the finer details, it will lead to the student having flaws in their technical foundation. Besides that, it takes time for the body and mind to adapt and evolve. With time your body will harden, your mind will become stronger, and your knowledge and understanding of yourself and the art of Kickboxing will grow immensely. But unfortunately, this process cannot be rushed. Each student blossoms at their own rate, as the challenges each of us face on our journey through life and our training will be different. If this process is rushed, the person might physically be on the level of Black Belt in terms of fitness and skill, but they will not be ready on a mental and emotional level. This will result in various emotional, mental, and character issues. Being a Black Belt is far more than physical skill and athleticism, the mind, emotions, and body must function in unity. If this balance is not achieved, a student will struggle to embody the true essence of a Black Belt. 

The key to becoming a true Black Belt is to be patient and to work hard on the task in front of you. Focus on the rank that you are on and master that first. Before focusing on becoming a Black Belt, focus on becoming a brilliant Red Belt, and then focus on becoming an outstanding Yellow Belt, and so on. Becoming a SHIDO Black Belt is no easy task, you will be tested physically, mentally, and emotionally, and you will learn more about yourself and conquer many of your internal obstacles on the way. But on the way to that destination, your life will change for the better, you will learn valuable lessons about yourself, others and life, and you will become a more powerful, confident, and wiser version of yourself. To answer the question more directly, depending on the dedication and work effort of the particular student, it takes on average around 7-8 years for someone to become a SHIDO Black Belt. But remember, reaching the rank of Black Belt is only the beginning of a whole new journey!

"A Black Belt is nothing more than a belt, a piece of cloth.  Your ultimate goal should not be to get your Black Belt. Your ultimate goal should be to become a Black Belt. Being a Black Belt is a state of mind, a way of life." - Bohdi Sanders 



Competing in Kickboxing tournaments are not compulsory, however, in order to grade higher than Orange Belt, you need to compete in any mode of Kickboxing. Your instructors will guide you and should you choose to compete, they will let you know when you are ready. Keep in mind that we have a very strict standard and we do not let anyone compete if they are not ready. 

We are affiliated to the South African Kickboxing Association (SAKA) and in SAKA there are two main “styles” of Kickboxing, they are Point Fighting and Continuous Fighting. Here are brief explanations of what each of them consists of:


Point Fighting, also called Semi Contact Kickboxing, is completely different in comparison to Continuous Kickboxing. It's also very similar to Sports Karate; the stance and way of executing techniques differ greatly from Continuous Kickboxing. The purpose of this style of Kickboxing is to score points with an emphasis on speed and technique.


In competition, the contact is controlled and once a point is scored the bout will be stopped, the referee will then award the point, reset the fighters to their starting position and then the fight will continue. The bouts are held on a tatami (mat area), and you achieve victory by scoring the most points over the duration of the rounds, or if a fighter has a 10-point difference over his/her opponent.  


Fighters can score by using a variety of punches and kicks, all techniques must be above the waist and foot sweeps are also allowed. The gloves in Point Fighting are also different; these gloves are commonly referred to as “Semi Gloves” or "Point Fighting Gloves" and are shaped differently from normal Boxing Gloves which are used in Continuous Kickboxing.


Fighters competing in Point Fighting must wear long Kickboxing pants, shirt, Head Gear, Mouth Guard, Semi Gloves, Shin Pads and Foot Pads, also male and female fighters must wear Groin Guards and female fighters must wear breast protectors. All equipment can be ordered through us.



This style of Kickboxing is what most people think of when you use the term Kickboxing, the main difference between Continuous and Point Fighting is that once a fighter scores a point the fight will not be stopped, the fight carries on until the referee stops the bout. All Continuous bouts must be fought with Hand Wraps and Boxing Gloves.

There are various Continuous modes that are used in competitions:

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In competition, these bouts are also fought on a tatami (mat area) and are commonly fought after the Point Fighting divisions. The fighters are allowed to score points with various punching and kicking techniques above the waistline, foot sweeps are also allowed. Only clean techniques that are landed with sufficient power on legal target areas will be scored, however, the contact must be controlled. The fighter that accumulates the most points over the duration of the rounds will then be the winner, the same clothing and protective gear must be worn as with Point Fighting.

Similar to Light Contact, except you are allowed to execute kicking techniques to your opponents inner and other thighs. The same clothing and protective gear must be worn as with Light Contact, except instead of the long Kickboxing pants, fighters must wear short Kickboxing pants.


The rules in Full Contact are similar to Light Contact, except instead of fighting on the tatami, Full Contact Kickboxing is fought in a Boxing Ring, and excessive contact is allowed. The object of Full Contact is to finish your opponent by either knocking them out of having the referee stop the fight due to injury or because your opponent is no longer intelligently defending him/herself. If neither fighter could finish one another, the judges will determine the winner based on points similar to Light Contact. The clothing and protective gear are similar to Light Contact, except male fighters do not wear shirts during the bout and female fighters must wear sports tops.


Similar to Full Contact, except you are allowed to execute kicking techniques to your opponents inner and outer thighs. The same clothing and equipment will be used as in normal Full Contact, except the Shin Pads are different, instead of fighting with a Shin Pad + Foot Pad, you will now fight with a Shin Pad that covers the instep of the foot. Fighters must also wear short Kickboxing pants instead of long Kickboxing pants.

Similar to Low Kick Full Contact, except there are differences in a few rules: You are allowed to catch your opponent's kicks and counter immediately, you are allowed to kick the whole leg of your opponent (including the calf area), you are also allowed to grab hold of your opponent for 5 seconds and execute one Knee Strike, the Spinning Back Fist technique is also allowed in K-1.

In order to become a Black Belt at SHIDO you need to be skilful in all the above styles of Kickboxing.

We only compete at SAKA sanctioned events.  

For a detailed list of SAKA Kickboxing events for 2022 CLICK HERE.