JKA Dan / Kyu Grading and License Qualification Syllabus

Dan / Kyu Grading Criteria & Syllabus

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.

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 New Zealand (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.JPG

Note:<from 2nd Dan to 7th Dan>

NOTE: Effective from 1st April, 2022 

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.

How to convert Dan taken from other Karate organization

General Condition

1. Join Japan Karate Association or an organization under the JKA WF
2. Provide the certificate issued by your former organization
(Dan grade and the date of promotion should be displayed on that)
3. Your years of experience will be counted from the date of your last Dan examination in the former organization in the case of your testing for a higher JKA Dan than you currently have.
4. The examination date of JKA Dan should be the acquisition date of your JKA Dan.ex.) If you pass JKA 5th Dan exam on April 1, 2020 with 5th Dan from another organization, your acquisition date of 5th Dan is April 1, 2020.
5. When you take the test for the next Dan, the training years will be counted from the acquisition date of JKA Dan.ex.) If you pass JKA 5th Dan exam on April 1, 2020, your exam of 6th Dan should be after 6 years from April 1, 2020.

Outside of Japan

1. You have to take exam for whichever Dan you apply. At the exam, submit a copy of the Dan certificate issued by your former organization.
2. Up to 3rd Dan can be tested by the Special Dan right holder in each country. 4th and 5th Dans are tested by HQ instructors in each region. 6th Dan and above are tested for only at HQ.
The registration fee of the converted Dan is required. Addtionally, the conversion fee of all preveious Dan is also required.

Conversion Process

1. Join an organization under the JKA WF
2. Prepare a copy of the Dan certificate issued by your former organization.
3. Take the JKA Dan examination (Based on the JKA examination rules and regulations)
*You can take the exam for higher Dan than you have.
*You may not take the exam for a dan for which you do not have the required experience.
4. Examiner gives the JKA Dan which matches your ability
*There is possibility of being given lower level of Dan than you held in your former organization.
5. Register JKA Dan
*The registration fee of the Dan you converted and conversion fee up to the acquired Dan will be required.
ex.) If you have passed and held the 4th Dan of another organization for more than 4 years, you can take JKA 5th Dan exam. In case you pass 5th Dan, you have to pay registration fee for 5th Dan and conversion fee of 1, 2, 3, 4 Dan. In case you get 3rd Dan, you have to pay registration fee for 3rd Dan and conversion fee of 1st and 2nd Dan.

License Qualification Criteria

The JKA offers three basic kinds of qualifications: authorized Instructor qualifications (for teaching karate); authorized Judge qualifications (for judging and refereeing at tournaments); and authorized Examiner qualifications (for testing and evaluating Dan, instructors and other types of qualification). Typically, it is only those who are already qualified instructors who are eligible for the other two types.

For each type of official qualification, there are four classes: D through A. Each subsequent class authorizes the instructor to carry out an increasingly broad spectrum of activities appropriate to the individual’s experience—with Instructors and Judges outside Japan also carrying out their activites according to the rules for their country. Class A is the highest rank offered in the JKA.

To advance from one class to the next, the instructor must fulfill the certification requirements and successfully complete the formal testing procedure. Testing cannot take place until a minimum of three months after the candidate has attained the Dan and completed the other qualifications required for that class.

Testing for these various classes of qualification are carried out by authorized and certified Examiners specified by the Chief Instructor or by the Technical Committee. Overseas Examiners who have been given special Examiner’s authorization by JKA headquarters carry out their duties in their country based upon the authority given to them.

Generally, qualifications are renewed every three years, and require a training session before the renewal can be validated.

These details are summarized in the following charts:

Authorized Instructor Certification

Instructors Class D.jpg
Instructors Class C.jpg
Instructors Class B.jpg
Instructors Class A.jpg

Authorized Judge Certification

Judge Class D.jpg
Judge Class C.jpg
Judge Class B.jpg
Judge Class A.jpg
Judge Class International.jpg

Authorized Examiner Certification

Examiner Class D.jpg
Examiner Class C.jpg
Examiner Class B.jpg
Examiner Class A.jpg