The Council recognises that many Associations have existing policies and practices regarding Dan grading and technical standards which have worked for them over many years.

The Council accepts that Associations should continue with their current practice and procedures but recommends that whatever method is used there are clearly defined procedures setting out progression routes at all Dan grade levels.

There are five areas in which the Council makes general recommendations:

1. Styles of Karate

2. The Dan grading examination

3. Minimum length of time between grades

4. The candidate’s age

5. Composition of Dan grading panels

 1. Styles of Karate

Goju Ryu, Shito Ryu, Shotokan and Wado Ryu are widely accepted as the original styles of Karate all of which originated from Japan or Okinawa. Variations have since evolved which have been universally accepted as sufficiently different to be accepted as a new style. There are however others that could not be considered as new styles as they were a continuance of existing styles but allocated a different name.

The English Karate Council believes that these styles comprehensively cover the wide range of approach to the development of Karate. No new style will be recognised unless it can demonstrate that it offers some completely new approach. New Associations may use any name but cannot claim to be practicing a new style in any supporting literature.

 2. The Dan Grading Examination

There is a wide range of Karate Associations within the Council member organisations. The Council agrees that it cannot recommend what should or should not be the specific content of a Dan grading examination.

However, where candidates are required to attend an examination at which they must demonstrate attitude, skills and knowledge to a grading panel, the Council does recommend that the three K’s – Kihon, Kata and Kumite should form part of that examination

Associations test Dan grades attempting 4th Dan (Yondan) and above in different ways. Some test by technical examination, others by considering the candidate’s contribution to the development of Karate in general. © English Karate Council 2012 – November 2012

 Where consideration is given to the award of a Dan grade which does not require the candidate’s attendance at an examination, this will include: -

• Details of the individuals Karate history

• Their contribution to Karate

• Their age and seniority

• Any other contributory factor

Any confirmation or consideration should not be unreasonably withheld.

 3. Minimum Length of Time between Grades

The following table sets out the minimum requirements for progression within the Dan grade structure and the Council recommends that this structure should apply to all Karate styles (*All the following would normally be on average at least twice a week).

                    Minimum Times                Minimum Age

Beginner to 1st Dan – 3 years

1st Dan to 2nd Dan – 2 years

2nd Dan to 3rd Dan – 3 years                     -21 years

3rd Dan to 4th Dan – 4 years                      – 25 years

4th Dan to 5th Dan – 5 years                       – 30 years

5th Dan to 6th Dan – 6 years                       – 36 years

6th Dan to 7th Dan – 7 years                       – 43 years

7th Dan to 8th Dan – 8 years                        – 51 years

8th Dan to 9th Dan – 9 years                        – 60 years

9th Dan to 10th Dan – 10 years                   – 70 years

It is not possible to apply any catch up or aggregate time when considering eligibility for grade examinations. For the avoidance of doubt, a Yondan practitioner who had been a Sandan for eight years could not be considered for Godan a year after achieving Yondan. The time restrictions apply to each grade from the date of the award.

 4. The Candidate’s Age

The English Karate Council accepts that Associations may wish to promote young people under the age of 16 years to Dan grade status. Within reason, the Council does not see this as a barrier. The Council agrees that Associations may therefore maintain their own structures for Dan grade promotion up to and include second Dan (Nidan) provided that they can fulfill the relevant criteria.

 5. Composition of Dan Grading Panels

The Council accepts that there will be differences in the composition of such panels. Some Associations may wish to establish a panel composed of more than one person while others rely on the Chief Instructor as the single examiner.

 The Council recommends that where candidates are required to attend a Dan grading examination then the panel should consist of a senior Association Karateka of at least one grade higher than the candidate in the style being examined.

Where consideration is for a Karateka to be awarded a Dan grade which is not tested by a physical grading examination, the panel should consist of the most senior Association Karateka in the style being examined, unless the award is to the Association Chief instructor, who would then be excluded from the panel.

English Karate Council

November 2012

© English Karate Council 2012 – November 2012