What do you consider for each belt level in Judo? Here's mine: White-Green (0-3 years): These are beginner levels, where you collect techniques and tidbits of principles. You otherwise are cannon fodder for everyone else, including each other. Between white and green, your fighting ability is random like rock paper scissors, so anything can happen. You feel like anything can happen, so you are tense and scared. At this level your goal is to try out techniques to find ones you like, and learn ukemi. Lots of ukemi. Brown (3-5 years): At brown you have reached the point where you can reliably perform a smattering of techniques. You will have found a set of them you find suitable to your body, and start using them as a core group. Unfortunately at this point, you do not yet understand kuzushi, so your attacks do require a measure of strength and explosiveness. In particular, good hand control is lacking. Brown belts often rely on power grips or look like river dancers with only their feet doing work. On the plus side, a brown belt can throw lower grades handily still. Shodan (5-7 years): A shodan begins to understand the basics of kuzushi and how to break down an opponent. He can demonstrate his tokuiwaza at a standard that shows efficiency and control. He also has a core group of techniques that form a game plan. He has become an effective fighter and should be able to throw all lower grades as well as giving up significant size/strength advantage. Yet, his understanding of kuzushi is still rudimentary, and so he is limited to his game plan. His techniques still has rough edges and will have situations where they do not work. Newaza should be BJJ blue level. Nidan (7-10 years): At nidan you start to understand Judo. Action-reaction, efficiency, movement, reading your opponent. The key abilities to develop here are the usage of combinations, using your movement for kuzushi instead of power or grip tricks, and creating your opportunities in a broad and constant manner. At shodan you might have tried to solve a hard spot by trying a different technique; at nidan you simply think about how to manuever uke to the right position. Newaza at BJJ purple. Sandan (10+ years): The skills of nidan level are core to Judo, yet still take a long time to digest and build upon. By sandan you will be a complete Judo fighter. You will have an answer in all directions and most situations. You can attack and finish reliably in dynamic situations, on the move. You can think and attack on the fly and use a large variety of techniques (which come easy to you because you master the fundamentals). You are a finisher - you don't let an opportunity go to waste. You are a near master and start to put your mark on the sport. Yodan and above: You are a badass beyond the previous ones, and you've distinguished yourself in some way, usually competition. A cut above the rest. Technique, strength, and mindset all rolled into one. Sharp and devastating attacks. When you say tokuiwaza, there is actually something special about the way you do yours.