At the Cote Saint-Luc dojo, the dan/kyu ranking system is used. All members begin as 9th kyu (rank), or "white belt." In order to advance in rank, the student must take a karate exam. Each time a student changes rank, the kyu number is lowered by one and they change the color of their belt. The final kyu rank is 1st kyu, brownbelt. The number of kyu levels, as well as the color of the belt associated with those levels, can vary greatly from one style or school to the next.
A 1st kyu brown belt attempting to achieve black belt must undergo a special exam under a very high level examiner. Traditionally, CSL members desiring black belt status have been examined by Master Masataka Mori, 9th Dan, presently residing in New York. If a 1st kyu passes this exam, they become a 1st dan black belt,or shodan (first level). Instead of kyu ranking, dan levels are used in the ranking system for black belts. Traditionally, dan levels go up to ten, 10th dan being the highest. Anyone possessing dan certification is known as Yudansha, a person who holds a black belt rank. The following list is dedicated to all of the CSL students who, through their perseverance and determination, through years of training, have finally achieved the coveted rank of kuro-obi (black belt).