Dan Ranking

Dan Ranking

The JKA Kyu and Dan Rank Certification System

Japan Karate Association :: Dan Ranking

There are 10 Kyu and 10 Dan in JKA karate. To obtain certification for each rank, you must fulfill the certification requirements and complete the testing procedure. Testing—or grading—is carried out by a panel of instructors authorized as JKA technical examiners.

Typically, Dan grading sessions take place 4 times per year, and Kyu grading takes place twice. In order to be eligible for testing, you must first have gained the appropriate amount of continuous experience at your current rank. Then, depending on the level of Dan you are being graded for, you may have to take the test outside your own country or region (at the higher Dan ranks, only Tokyo JKA HQ is authorized to evaluate, grade and issue certification).

These details are summarized in the following chart.

Kyu and Dan Grading Prerequisites

Rank Min. Experience Testing Location
10th to 1st Kyu   Branch dojo or group
1st Dan 1 yr Cannot apply same day as attaining 1st Dan Prefectural HQ or Branch dojo or group, with permission of Tokyo JKA HQ
2nd Dan 1 yr at 1st Dan rank National (Prefectural) HQ or Regional HQ, with permission of Tokyo JKA HQ
3rd Dan 2 yrs at 2nd Dan rank
4th Dan 3 yrs at 3rd Dan rank Tokyo JKA HQ or Regional HQ, with permission of Tokyo JKA HQ
5th Dan 4 yrs at 4th Dan rank
6th Dan 6 yrs at 5th Dan rank Tokyo JKA HQ
7th Dan 7 yrs at 6th Dan rank Spring camp in JKA HQ or Autumun camp in JKA HQ or Funakoshi Gichin Cup world championships
8th Dan 7 yrs at 7th Dan rank Upon recommendation by Instructor Committee
9th Dan 8 yrs at 8th Dan rank Upon recommendation by Instructor Committee
10th Dan 9 yrs at 9th Dan rank
10thKyu

 

KIHON – In place basics in SHIZEN TAI (HACHIJI DACHI)

1. CHUUDAN CHOKUZUKI

2. JOUDAN AGEUKECHUUDAN SOTOUKE

3. GEDAN BARAI

4. HEISOKU DACHI, GEDAN KAKIWAKE UKE: MAEGERI

* With count, 5 times each

9th Kyu

 

KIHON – In place basics in SHIZEN TAI (HACHIJI DACHI) to ZENKUTSU DACHI

1. CHUUDAN JUNZUKI

2. step in JOUDAN AGEUKE

3. CHUUDAN SOTOUKE,

4. GEDAN KAKIWAKE UKE: MAEGERI (in place,)

* With count, 5 times each

8th Kyu

 

KIHON – Moving basics from GEDAN BARAI in ZENKUTSU DACHI (5 times each of the following);

1. CHUUDAN JUNZUKI (step in)

2. JOUDAN AGEUKE (step in)

3. CHUUDAN SOTOUKE (step in)

4. SHUTOU UKE in KOKUTSU DACHI (step in)

5. GEDAN KAKIWAKE, MAEGERI (step in)

6. YOKOGERI KEAGE (in HEISOKU DACHI, right and left 3 times each)

KATA – TAIKYOKU SHOUDAN

KUMITE – GOHON KUMITE (JOUDAN JUNZUKI, CHUUDAN JUNZUKI

7th Kyu

 

KIHON – Moving basics from GEDAN BARAI in ZENKUTSU DACHI (5 times each of the following);

1. CHUUDAN JUNZUKI (step in)

2. JOUDAN AGEUKE (step back)

3. CHUUDAN SOTOUKE (step in)

4. CHUUDAN UCHIUKE (step back)

5. SHUTOU UKE KOKUTSU DACHI (step in)

6. GEDAN KAKIWAKE, MAEGERI (step in)

7. YOKOGERI KEAGE (in KIBA DACHI, stepping in, right and left 3 times each)

KATA – HEIAN SHOUDAN

KUMITE – GOHON KUMITE (JOUDAN JUNZUKI, CHUUDAN JUNZUKI)

6th Kyu

 

KIHON – Moving basics from GEDAN BARAI in ZENKUTSU DACHI (5 times each of the following);

1. CHUUDAN JUNZUKI (step in)

2. JOUDAN AGEUKE (step back)

3. CHUUDAN SOTOUKE (step in)

4. CHUUDAN UCHIUKE (step back)

5. SHUTOU UKE in KOKUTSU DACHI (step in)

6. GEDAN KAKIWAKE UKE, MAEGERI (step in)

7. YOKOGERI KEAGE (in KIBA DACHI, right and left 3 times each) (step in)

8. YOKOGERI KEKOMI (in KIBA DACHI, right and left 3 times each) (step in)

KATA – HEIAN NIDAN

KUMITE – KIHON IPPON KUMITE (JOUDAN JUNZUKI – right and left, CHUUDAN JUNZUKI – right and left)

* Attacking order to be right JOUDAN, right CHUUDAN, then left JOUDAN, left CHUUDAN

5th Kyu

 

KIHON – Moving basics from GEDAN BARAI in ZENKUTSU DACHI (5 times each of the following);

1. CHUUDAN JUNZUKI (step in)

2. JOUDAN AGEUKE, GYAKU ZUKI (step back)

3. CHUUDAN SOTOUKE, GYAKU ZUKI (step in)

4. CHUUDAN UCHIUKE, CHUUDAN GYAKU ZUKI (step back)

5. SHUTOU UKE KOKUTSU DACHI (step in)

6. GEDAN KAKIWAKE UKE, MAEGERI (step in)

7. YOKOGERI KEAGE (in KIBA DACHI, right and left 3 times each) (step in)

8. YOKOGERI KEKOMI (in KIBA DACHI, right and left 3 times each) (step in)

KATA – HEIAN SANDAN

KUMITE – KIHON IPPON KUMITE (JOUDAN JUNZUKI – right and left, CHUUDAN JUNZUKI – right and left, CHUUDAN MAEGERI – right and left)

* Attacking order to be right JOUDAN, right CHUUDAN, right MAEGERI, then left JOUDAN, left CHUUDAN and left MAEGERI

4th Kyu

 

KIHON – Moving basics from GEDAN BARAI in ZENKUTSU DACHI (5 times each of the following);

1. CHUUDAN JUNZUKI (step in)

2. JOUDAN AGEUKE, GYAKU ZUKI (step back)

3. CHUUDAN SOTOUKE, GYAKU ZUKI (step in)

4. CHUUDAN UCHIUKE, GYAKU ZUKI (step back)

5. SHUTOU UKE in KOKUTSU DACHI, ZENKUTSU NUKITE (step in)

6. GEDAN KAKIWAKE UKE, MAEGERI (step in)

7. YOKOGERI KEAGE (in KIBA DACHI, right and left 3 times each) (step in)

8. YOKOGERI KEKOMI (in KIBA DACHI, right and left 3 times each) (step in)

KATA – HEIAN YONDAN

KUMITE – KIHON IPPON KUMITE (JOUDAN JUNZUKI – right and left, CHUUDAN JUNZUKI – right and left, CHUUDAN MAEGERI – right and left, CHUUDAN YOKOGERI KEKOMI – right and left)

* Attacking order to be right JOUDAN, right CHUUDAN, right MAEGERI, right YOKOGERI KEKIMI then left JOUDAN, left CHUUDAN, left MAEGERI and left YOKOGERI KEKOMI.

3rd Kyu

 

KIHON – Moving basics from GEDAN BARAI in ZENKUTSU DACHI (3 times each of the following);

1. CHUUDAN JUNZUKI (step in)

2. JOUDAN AGEUKE, GYAKU ZUKI (step back)

3. CHUUDAN SOTOUKE, in ZENKUTSU DACHI, changing stance to KIBA DACHI YOKO ENPI (step in)

4. CHUUDAN UCHIUKE, GYAKU ZUKI (step back)

5. SHUTOU UKE in KOKUTSU DACHI, NUKITE in ZENKUTSU DACHI (step in)

6. GEDAN KAKIWAKE UKE, MAEGERI (step in)

7. REN GERI (CHUUDAN, JOUDAN) (step in)

8. YOKOGERI KEAGE (in KIBA DACHI, right and left 3 times each) (step in)

9. YOKOGERI KEKOMI (in KIBA DACHI, right and left 3 times each) (step in)

KATA – HEIAN GODAN

KUMITE – KIHON IPPON KUMITE (KIRI KAESHI)

1. Attacking side: JOUDAN JUNZUKI (step in), JOUDAN AGEUKE, GYAKU ZUKI (step back), right and left

Blocking side: JOUDAN AGEUKE (step back), JOUDAN JUNZUKI (step in), right and left

2. Attacking side: CHUUDAN JUNZUKI (step in), CHUUDAN SOTOUKE, GYAKU ZUKI (step back), right and left

Blocking side: CHUUDAN SOTOUKE (step back), CHUUDAN JUNZUKI (step in), right and left

* Attacking order to be right JOUDAN, right CHUUDAN, then left JOUDAN, left CHUUDAN. No TAISABAKI

2nd Kyu

 

KIHON – Moving basics from GEDAN BARAI in ZENKUTSU DACHI (3 times each of the following);

1. CHUUDAN JUNZUKI (step in)

2. JOUDAN AGEUKE, GYAKU ZUKI (step back)

3. CHUUDAN SOTOUKE in ZENKUTSU DACHI, changing stance to KIBA DACHI, YOKO ENPI, YOKO URAKEN UCHI (step in)

4. CHUUDAN UCHIUKE, GYAKU ZUKI (step back)

5. SHUTOU UKE in KOKUTSU DACHI, NUKITE in ZENKUTSU DACHI (step in)

6. GEDAN KAKIWAKE UKE, MAEGERI (step in)

7. REN GERI (CHUUDAN, JOUDAN) (step in)

8. YOKOGERI KEAGE (in KIBA DACHI, right and left 3 times each) (step in)

9. YOKOGERI KEKOMI (in KIBA DACHI, right and left 3 times each) (step in)

10. MAWASHI GERI (step in)

KATA – TEKKI SHODAN

KUMITE – KIHON IPPON KUMITE (KIRI KAESHI)

1. Attacking side: JOUDAN JUNZUKI (step in), JOUDAN AGEUKE, GYAKU ZUKI (step back), right and left

Blocking side: JOUDAN AGEUKE (step back), JOUDAN JUNZUKI (step in), right and left

2. Attacking side: CHUUDAN JUNZUKI (step in), CHUUDAN SOTOUKE, GYAKU ZUKI (step back), right and left

3. Blocking side: CHUUDAN SOTOUKE (step back), CHUUDAN JUNZUKI (step in), right and left

4. Attacking side: CHUUDAN MAEGERI (step in), GEDAN BARAI, GYAKU ZUKI (step back), right and left

Blocking side: GEDAN BARAI (step back), CHUUDAN MAEGERI (step in), right and left

* Attacking order to be right JOUDAN, right CHUUDAN, right MAEGERI, then left JOUDAN, left CHUUDAN. No TAISABAKI

1st Kyu

 

KIHON – Moving basics from GEDAN BARAI in ZENKUTSU DACHI (3 times each of the following);

1. CHUUDAN JUNZUKI (step in)

2. SANBON RENZUKI (step in)

3. JOUDAN AGEUKE, GYAKU ZUKI (step back)

4. CHUUDAN SOTOUKE, YOKO ENPI, YOKO URAKEN UCHI (ZENKUTSU DACHI changing stance to KIBA DACHI) (step in)

5. CHUUDAN UCHIUKE, KIZAMI ZUKI, GYAKU ZUKI (step back)

6. GEDAN BARAI, GYAKU ZUKI (step in)

7. SHUTOU UKE KOKUTSU DACHI, ZENKUTSU NUKITE (step back)

8. GEDAN KAKIWAKE UKE, MAEGERI (step in)

9. REN GERI (CHUUDAN, JOUDAN) (step in)

10. YOKOGERI KEAGE (in KIBA DACHI, right and left 3 times each) (step in)

11. YOKOGERI KEKOMI (in KIBA DACHI, right and left 3 times each) (step in)

12. MAWASHI GERI (step in)

KATA – BASSAI DAI or KANKU DAI (your choice)

KUMITE – JIYU IPPON KUMITE

1st Dan

 

KIHON – Moving basics from GEDAN BARAI in ZENKUTSU DACHI (3 times each of the following);

1. SANBON RENZUKI (step in)

2. JOUDAN AGEUKE, CHUUDAN MAEGERI, GYAKU ZUKI (step back)

3. CHUUDAN SOTOUKE, YOKO ENPI, YOKO URAKEN UCHI (ZENKUTSU DACHI changing stance to KIBA DACHI) (step in)

4. CHUUDAN UCHIUKE, KIZAMI ZUKI, GYAKU ZUKI (step back)

5. SHUTOU UKE in KOKUTSU DACHI, ZENKUTSU NUKITE (step in)

6. MAEGERI (step in)

7. REN GERI (CHUUDAN, JOUDAN) (step in)

8. YOKOGERI KEAGE (in KIBA DACHI, right and left 3 times each) (step in)

9. YOKOGERI KEKOMI (in KIBA DACHI, right and left 3 times each) (step in)

10. MAWASHI GERI (step in)

KATA – BASSAI DAI, KANKU DAI, ENPI or JION (your choice)

KUMITE – JIYU IPPON KUMITE

  • right JOUDAN JUNZUKI, right CHUUDAN JUNZUKI, right CHUUDAN MAEGERI, right CHUUDAN YOKOGERI KEKOMI, right CHUUDAN MAWASHI GERI – one side only.

 

2nd Dan

 

KIHON

1. KIZAMI ZUKI, SANBON RENZUKI (free Kamae) (step in)

2. MAEGERI, JUN ZUKI (free Kamae) (step in)

3. JOUDAN AGEUKE, CHUUDAN SOTOUKE, GYAKU ZUKI (Block with same arm) (step back)

4. GEDAN BARAI(step back)

5. CHUUDAN JUNZUKI, CHUUDAN JUNZUKI (step in)

6. SHUTOU UKE, KIZAMI MAEGERI, NUKITE (KOKUTSU DACHI to ZENKUTSU DACHI) (step in)

7. YOKOGERI KEAGE, YOKOGERI KEKOMI (KIBA DACHI, alternate feet), YOKOGERI KEKOMI, GYAKU ZUKI (free Kamae) (step in)

8. MAWASHI GERI, GYAKU ZUKI (free Kamae)

KATA – Student’s favorite KATA

KUMITE – JIYU KUMITE

 

3rd Dan

 

KIHON

1. KIZAMI ZUKI, SANBON RENZUKI (free Kamae) (step in)

2. JOUDAN AGEUKE, CHUUDAN SOTOUKE, GYAKU ZUKI (with same arm) (step back)

3. CHUUDAN UCHIUKE, KIZAMI ZUKI, GYAKU ZUKI (KOKUTSU DACHI to ZENKUTSU DACHI) (step in)

4. SHUTOU UKE, KIZAMI MAEGERI, NUKITE (KOKUTSU DACHI to ZENKUTSU DACHI) (step back)

5. JOUDAN AGEUKE (step back)

6. MAWASHI GERI, YOKOURAKENUCHI, CHUUDAN JUNZUKI (step in)

7. MAEGERI, YOKOGERI KEKOMI, MAWASHI GERI, GYAKU ZUKI (step in) (alternate feet)

MAEGERI, YOKOGERI KEKOMI, USHIRO GERI (ZENKUTSU DACHI, Same feet left/right)

KATA – Student’s favorite KATA

KUMITE – JIYU KUMITE

 

4th Dan

 

KIHON

1. KIZAMI ZUKI, SANBON RENZUKI (free Kamae) (step in)

2. CHUUDAN UCHIUKE, KIZAMI ZUKI, GYAKU ZUKI (KOKUTSU DACHI to ZENKUTSU DACHI) (step back)

3. SHUTOU UKE, KIZAMI MAEGERI, NUKITE (KOKUTSU DACHI, ZENKUTSU DACHI) (step in)

MAEGERI, YOKOGERI KEKOMI, GYAKU ZUKI (same feet)

MAEGERI, YOKOGERI KEKOMI, USHIRO GERI (ZENKUTSU DACHI same feet)

GYAKU ZUKI (Idomokuhyo: punching at different points by examiner’s direction)

KATA – Student’s favorite KATA; also SHITEI KATA (from HEIAN SHODAN to TEKKI SHODAN) specified by examiner

KUMITE – JIYU KUMITE

 

5th Dan

 

GYAKU ZUKI (Idomokuhyo: punching at different points by examiner’s direction)

KATA – GYAKU ZUKI, Student’s favorite KATA, SHITEI KATA (from HEIAN SHODAN to TEKKI SHODAN) specified by examiner; Question and Answer Session

KUMITE – JIYU KUMITE

 

6th Dan

 

KATA – Student’s favorite KATA, SENTEI KATA

GENERAL – Question and Answer Session ; Research Dissertation (about Techniques)

KUMITE – JIYU KUMITE or KIHON IPPON KUMITE

 

7th Dan

 

KATA – Student’s favorite KATA

GENERAL – Question and Answer Session ; Research Dissertation (about Techniques)

KUMITE – JIYU KUMITE or KIHON IPPON KUMITE

 

8th, 9th, 10th Dan

 

Recommendation of Instructors Committee KATA – Student’s favorite KATA

GENERAL – Question and Answer Session ; Research Dissertation (about Techniques)

KUMITE – JIYU KUMITE

 

To progress to the next Kyu or Dan, JKA students must demonstrate exceptional skill and near flawless execution of a prescribed set of techniques and kata. Our specially-trained instructors and examiners carefully study and evaluate each student based on the criteria shown by clicking on any rank on the chart above.

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