Yūdansha Ranking Requirements

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Shōdan

Earning a black belt is a personal experience. As such, the head instructor may adjust these requirements as they see fit, for your maximum benefit. The shōdan exam will likely include -- but will not be limited to -- the following:

  1. Train consistently in the art of Goshin-Jutsu Karatedō for a minimum of three years.
  2. Demonstrate knowledge of the required terminology and techniques, in both English and Japanese:
  3. Demonstrate the required kata (Kishu Tatsu Geki, Dwai Gun Do).
  4. Perform 100 self-defense techniques, include defenses against multiple simultaneous opponents and/or opponents armed with clubs, knives, or pistols.
  5. Demonstrate leadership ability, through the following:
    • Assist with dōjō upkeep maintenance.
    • Demonstrate the ability to run warm-ups.
    • Demonstrate the ability to lead and teach small groups of lower-ranked students.
  6. Demonstrate ability to kumite at a black belt level, meaning that you can:
    • Demonstrate a degree of intensity and ferocity which would command a universal respect.
    • Demonstrate the ability to spar against multiple simultaneous opponents.
    • Adjust your intensity as needed to for the maximum benefit of students of various skill levels (i.e., to challenge juniors without overwhelming them.)
  7. Perform any requested written exams.
  8. Demonstrate knowledge of all previous qualifications.
  9. Explain the legal and moral implications of acting in self-defense.
  10. Be approved for your rank by the Goshin-Jutsu Karatedō Yudanshakai.

Nidan

After receiving a black belt, further progress is not determined by what one learns, but by how the lessons are understood. As such, after this point training is now defined by the persistent polishing and refining of previously-learned techniques, and to reward efforts to advance and promote the art of Goshin-Jutsu Karatedō. As such, the promotion criteria for the rank of nidan are subjective, and there are no formal tests. However, the following will definitely be asked of you:

  1. Continuously train for a minimum of two years after earning the rank of shōdan.
  2. Serve as an assistant instructor in your dōjō.
  3. Participate in the black bet division of a tournament, and perform reasonably well.
  4. Learn the required kata (Godan, Katachi no Hajimete no Kama, Tsuken Shitahaku no Sai).
  5. Receive the approval of the Goshin-Jutsu Karatedō Yudanshakai.

Sandan

After receiving a black belt, further progress is not determined by what one learns, but by how the lessons are understood. As such, after this point training is now defined by the persistent polishing and refining of previously-learned techniques, and to reward efforts to advance and promote the art of Goshin-Jutsu Karatedō. As such, the promotion criteria for the rank of sandan are subjective, and there are no formal tests. However, the following will definitely be asked of you:

  1. Continuously train for at least three years after earning the rank of nidan.
  2. Assist in teaching classes and running the dōjō.
  3. Learn as many of the listed kata as possible:
  4. Be approved for your rank by the Goshin-Jutsu Karatedō Yudanshakai.

Yodan

Progression to 4th-degree black belt is determined through demonstrating a mastery of all previous requirements. For these reasons, the criteria for promotion are somewhat subjective. However, the following will be asked of you:

  1. Continuously train for at least four years after earning the rank of sandan.
  2. Open a dōjō of your own.
  3. Know all of the advanced kata listed in the requirements for sandan.
  4. Demonstrate mastery of all previous qualifications.
  5. Be approved for your rank by the Goshin-Jutsu Karatedō Yudanshakai.

Godan

Progression to 5th-degree black belt is determined by the quality of your students. There is no way to be an effective teacher without a complete and total mastery of your subject. The highest honors are reserved for those who can produce high quality students, because true strength is giving others what they need to become strong. For these reasons, the criteria for promotion are somewhat subjective. However, the following will be asked of you:

  1. Continuously train for at least five years after earning the rank of yodan.
  2. Open a dōjō of your own, and have at least one student who has studied under you all the way from white belt to shōdan.
  3. Be approved for your rank by the Goshin-Jutsu Karatedō Yudanshakai.

Rokudan, Shichidan, Hachidan, Kudan, Jūdan

The Goshin-Jutsu Yūdanshakai only awards ranks beyond Godan to honor instructors who have fully overseen the development of numerous high quality students, and/or have made significant efforts to advance and promote the art of Goshin-Jutsu Karatedō.

These promotions are extremely rare, and are issued on an ad hoc basis.