The JKA Kyu and Dan Rank Certification System

There are 10 Kyu and 10 Dan inJKA karate.

To obtain certification for each rank, you must fulfill the certificationrequirements and completethe testing procedure. Testing—or grading—iscarried out by a panel of instructors authorized as JKA technical examiners.Typically, Dan grading sessions take place 4 times per year, and Kyugrading takes place twice. In order to be eligible for testing, youmust first have gained the appropriate amount of continuous experienceat 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              
 2 yr Branch dojo or group
1st Dan 3 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  - same as 2nd Dan
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 - same as 4th Dan
6th Dan 6 yrs at 5th Dan rank Tokyo JKA HQ
7th Dan 7 yrs at 6th Dan rank - same as 6th Dan
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

To progress to the next Kyu or Dan, JKA students must demonstrate skill and near flawless execution of a prescribed set of techniquesand kata.