Dear Members,

USA Karate is proud to offer our members the service of Dan rank recognition by karate’s National Governing Body. We offer cross rank certification of 1st through 3rd Dan for juniors (12-15 years old) and 16 years and older from approved member clubs and affiliated organizations. For ranks of 4th Dan and above, we offer full USA Karate Dan certification through a performance evaluation process online or in person.

If you have become separated from your instructor or organization, we also offer the service of testing for rank promotion through the USA Karate Technical Committee.

For further information, please contact me at ktanaka@usankf.org. Thank you very much for your interest in the USA Karate Dan Program.

In Regards,

Katsutaka Tanaka
Chairman: USA Karate Technical Committee

 

USA Karate Technical Committee Members

Katsutaka Tanaka, Chairman - Shito-Ryu
Ed Kuras - Shotokan Ryu
Doug Jepperson - Wado Ryu
Ramon Veras - Goiu Ryu
Mina Yamazaki, Athlete Representative - Shindo Jinen-Ryu

USA Karate Dan Certification Eligibility Chart

CERTIFICATION LEVEL

ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW

PERFORMANCE/APPROVAL

Cross Rank Certification Process for Jr.1st through 3rd Dan Levels

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • USA Karate Member in good standing
  • SafeSport training for 18 and older
  • Approved credentials consisting of current rank diploma and approval letter from USA Karate recognized member school and/or organization
  • Completed application
  • Certification fee payment

 

  • Performance evaluation not required

     

  • USA Karate Technical Committee administrative approval required

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • USA Karate Member in good standing
  • SafeSport training for 18 and older
  • Approved credentials consisting of current rank diploma from USA Karate recognized member school and/or organization or currentKarate Dan Certification for independent candidate
  • Completed application
  • Certification fee payment

 

  • Performance evaluation required with USA Karate Technical Committee

     

  • See USA Karate Dan Certification Requirements

It is the goal of USA Karate to afford all eligible members the opportunity to participate in the Dan Certification process. Applicants whose current rank was not awarded by an approved USA Karate member school/organization or other USA Karate recognized affiliate, whose rank cannot be verified by a reference, or whose documentation cannot be produced for review, etc., may be required to provide additional karate rank related background information at the request of the USA Karate Technical Committee.  

USA NATIONAL KARATE-DO FEDERATION

RANK (DAN) CERTIFICATION TESTING AND PROCEDURES

The following is the testing protocol and statement of requirements for the USA National Karate-do Federation (USA Karate) Dan (rank) certification program. The goal of the program is to encourage a broad understanding of the different styles which make up modern Karate-do.

THE TESTING PANEL

The USA Karate Dan Certification testing shall be conducted by administrative review and/or by performance evaluation by the USA Karate Technical Committee at USA Karate Signature Events : Junior International Cup, USA Open International Karate Championship, and USA National Karate Championship and Team trials or online via appointment. We offer the online examination 2 times a year, in March and September. The National Board of Examiners shall consist of up to five examiners from the USA Karate Technical Committee.

The USA Karate may establish regional Examining Boards from time to time, to administer testing between Signature Events under USA Karate Technical Committee.

The USA Karate Board of Examiners may certify an applicant’s rank from Shodan (1st Dan) to Kyu-dan (9th Dan).

THE TESTING PROCESS

Candidates must be members in good standing of USA Karate.  For 18 years old and above, candidate must complete the SafeSport training.

Candidates must hold an existing karate rank from their organization and validate that rank by presenting a copy of their karate rank certificate and/or verifiable evidence of current rank.   Candidates will submit the USA Karate Dan Certification application on line and, if requested, provide other documentation as required for consideration.

Candidates who seek Cross Rank recognition for the ranks of 1st through 3rd Dan who meet USA Karate Cross Rank recognition criteria may be eligible to receive a USA Karate Dan Certificate without completing performance requirements (see eligibility chart).

Candidates seeking Full USA Karate Dan Rank Certification shall be evaluated in accordance with the following requirements:

 

Note for Junior 1st – 7th Dan:

To demonstrate Ippon or Nihon Kumite, the candidate shall bring a partner to demonstrate such techniques to the Examining Board. The candidate shall demonstrate one or two Step/Partner- Drill Sparring techniques, which must include varied punching and kicking attacks to the head, midsection, and lower section.

Junior Shodan (Junior 1st Dan) Level:
• Minimum age 12 and up to 15 years
• Demonstrate/Perform two Katas from candidate’s style with skill appropriate to the rank.
• Demonstrate five Ippon Kumite Techniques (one Step/Partner-Drill Sparring) at the option of the candidate.
• Demonstrate three each technique of Yuko, Wazaari, and Ippon techniques with partner.

Shodan (1st Dan) Level:
• Junior Shodan holder who become 16 years old and older may apply
• Minimum age is 16 years old
• Demonstrate/Perform two Katas from candidate’s style with skill appropriate to the rank.
• Demonstrate five Ippon Kumite Techniques (one Step/Partner-Drill Sparring)
• Demonstrate three each technique of Yuko, Wazaari, and Ippon techniques with partner.

Junior Nidan (2nd Dan) Level:
• Junior Nidan holder who become 18 years old and older may apply.
• Minimum age is 18 years old
• Minimum of two years at Shodan rank to be eligible for promotion
• Demonstrate/Perform two Katas from candidate’s style with skill appropriate to rank
• Demonstrate Bunkai of one of the demonstrated Katas from the candidate’s style.
• Demonstrate five Ippon Kumite Techniques (one Step/Partner-Drill Sparring)
• Demonstrate three each technique of Yuko, Wazaari, and Ippon techniques with partner.

Nidan (2nd Dan) Level:
• Junior Nidan holder who become 18 years old and older may apply.
• Minimum age is 18 years old
• Minimum of two years at Shodan rank to be eligible for promotion
• Demonstrate/Perform two Katas from candidate’s style with skill appropriate to rank
• Demonstrate Bunkai of one of the demonstrated Katas from the candidate’s style.
• Demonstrate five Ippon Kumite Techniques (one Step/Partner-Drill Sparring).
• Demonstrate three each technique of Yuko, Wazaari, and Ippon techniques with partner.

Sandan (3rd Dan) Level:
• Minimum age is 21 years old
• Minimum of three years at Nidan rank to be eligible for promotion
• Demonstrate/Perform two Katas from candidate’s style with skill appropriate to rank.
• Demonstrate Bunkai of one of the Katas performed and respond to questions on the application and principles of the Kata.
• Demonstrate 10 Ippon Kumite Techniques (one Step/Partner-Drill Sparring).
• Demonstrate three each technique of Yuko, Wazaari, and Ippon techniques with partner.

Yondan (4th Dan) Level:
• Minimum age is 25 years old
• Minimum of four years at Sandan rank to be eligible for promotion
• Demonstrate/Perform three Katas: two Katas from candidate’s style and another one from another style with skill appropriate to rank.
• Demonstrate Bunkai of one of the Katas performed and respond to questions on the application and principles of the Kata.
• Demonstrate five Ippon Kumite Techniques (one Step/Partner-Drill Sparring).
• Demonstrate three each technique of Yuko, Wazaari, and Ippon techniques with partner.
• Provide written essay explaining history of the candidate’s style of Karate and/or lineage.

Godan (5th Dan) Level:
• Minimum age is 30 years old
• Minimum of five years at Yondan rank to be eligible for promotion
• Demonstrate/Perform three Katas: two Katas from candidate’s style and another one from another style with skill appropriate to rank.
• Demonstrate Bunkai of one of the Katas performed and respond to questions on the application and principles of the Kata.
• Demonstrate five Ippon Kumite Techniques (one Step/Partner-Drill Sparring).
• Demonstrate three each technique of Yuko, Wazaari, and Ippon techniques with partner.
• Provide written essay explaining history of the candidate’s style of Karate and/or lineage

Rokudan (6th Dan) Level:
• Minimum age is 36 years old.
• Minimum of six years at Godan rank to be eligible for promotion
• Demonstrate/Perform three Katas: two Katas from candidate’s style and another one from another style with skill appropriate to rank.
• Demonstrate Bunkai of one of the Katas performed and respond to questions on the application and principles of the Kata.
• Demonstrate five Ippon and five Nihon Kumite Techniques (one and two Steps /Partner-Drill Sparring) with skill appropriate to rank.
• Demonstrate three each technique of Yuko, Wazaari, and Ippon techniques with partner.
• Provide written essay explaining history of the candidate’s style of Karate and/or lineage

Nanadan (7th Dan) Level:
• Minimum age is 43 years old
• Minimum of seven years at Rokyudan rank to be eligible for promotion
• Demonstrate/Perform three Katas: two Katas from candidate’s style and one from another style with skill appropriate to rank
• Demonstrate Bunkai of one of the Katas performed and respond to questions on the application and principles of the Kata
• Demonstrate five Ippon and five Nihon Kumite Techniques (one and two Steps/Partner-Drill Sparring) with skill appropriate to rank
• Provide written essay explaining history of the candidate’s style of Karate and/or lineage

Hachidan (8th Dan) Level:
• Minimum age is 55 years old
• Minimum of ten years at Nanadan rank to be eligible for promotion
• Demonstrate/Perform three Katas: one from candidate’s style and two from two other styles with skill appropriate to rank
• Provide written essay explaining history of the candidate’s style of Karate and/or lineage
• Provide written materials summarizing Karate experience, history, and contributions to the Art and to USA Karate.

Kyudan (9th Dan) Level:
• Minimum age is 67 years old
• Minimum of thirteen years at Hachidan rank to be eligible for promotion
• Demonstrate/Perform three Katas: one from candidate’s style and two from two other styles with skill appropriate to rank
• Present/explain general history of the candidate’s style of Karate and/or lineage
• Provide written materials summarizing Karate experience, history, and contributions to the Art and to USA Karate