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NMAA Grading Standards and Time in Grade

It is the goal of the NMAA to afford all eligible members the opportunity to participate in the Dan Certification process. Applicants whose current rank was not awarded by NMAA member school/organization, 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 NMAA Technical Committee.

RANK (DAN) CERTIFICATION TESTING AND PROCEDURES

The following is the testing protocol and statement of requirements for the National Martial Arts Association 'Dan Rank' certification program. The goal of the program is to encourage a broad understanding of the techniques and different schools, which make up modern Karate-do. The NMAA 'Dan certification program' is based upon the requirements of the World Karate Federation program. It is not the intent of the NMAA Dan Certification program to replace or promote any particular style of Karate-do.

Each candidate for certification must hold a karate rank and validate that ranking by presenting: a copy of their rank certificate and/or verifiable evidence of the candidate’s current karate rank, a NMAA Karate Dan Certification application and/or other required documentation, if requested, to the NMAA for consideration.

Note that instructor teaching ranks are separate from Dan level ranks and have a different award criteria.

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Shodan (1st Dan) Level:

  • Minimum age is 16 years.
  • Minimum time in grade 1 year
  • Demonstrate/Perform one Kata from candidate’s school with skill appropriate to the rank.
  • Demonstrate Jiyu Kumite (free sparring).
  • Candidate must be able to fulfill other requirements specific to their branch at the request of the examiner.

Nidan (2nd Dan) Level:

  • Minimum age is 18 years.
  • Minimum of two years at Shodan rank to be eligible for promotion.
  • Demonstrate/Perform one Kata from candidate’s school with skill appropriate to rank.
  • Demonstrate Bunkai of the demonstrated Kata and respond to questions on the application and principles of the Kata.
  • Demonstrate Jiyu Kumite (free sparring)
  • Candidate must be able to fulfill other requirements specific to their branch at the request of the examiner.

Sandan (3rd Dan) Level:

  • Minimum age is 21 years.
  • Minimum of three years at Nidan rank to be eligible for promotion.
  • Demonstrate/Perform two Katas from candidate’s school 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 Jiyu Kumite (free sparring)
  • Candidate must be able to fulfill other requirements specific to their branch at the request of the examiner.

Yondan (4th Dan) Level:

  • Minimum age is 25 years.
  • Minimum of four years at Sandan rank to be eligible for promotion.
  • Demonstrate/Perform two Katas from candidate’s school with skill appropriate to rank.
  • Demonstrate Bunkai of one of the Katas performed and respond to questionson the application and principles of the Kata.
  • Demonstrate Jiyu Kumite (free sparring).
  • Candidate must be able to fulfill other requirements specific to their branch at the request of the examiner.
  • Present/explain general history of the candidate’s school of Karate and/or lineage.

Godan (5th Dan) Level:

  • Minimum age is 35 years.
  • Minimum of five years at Yondan rank to be eligible for promotion.
  • Demonstrate/perform two Katas from candidate’s school with skill appropriate to rank.
  • Demonstrate Bunkai of one of the Katas performed and respond to questionson the application and principles of the Kata.
  • Demonstrate Jiyu Kumite (free sparring).
  • Candidate must be able to fulfill other requirements specific to their branch at the request of the examiner.
  • Present/explain general history of the candidate’s school of Karate and/or lineage.

Rokudan (6th Dan) Level:

  • Minimum age is 45 years.
  • Minimum of six years at Godan rank to be eligible for promotion.
  • Demonstrate/perform two Katas from candidate’s school and skill appropriate to rank.
  • Demonstrate Bunkai of one of the Kata performed and respond to questions on the application and principles of the Kata.
  • Candidate must be able to fulfill other requirements specific to their branch at the request of the examiner.
  • Present/explain general history of the candidate’s school of Karate and/or lineage.

Nanadan (7th Dan) Level:

  • Minimum age is 50 years.
  • Minimum of seven years at Rokudan rank to be eligible for promotion.
  • Demonstrate/Perform two Katas from candidate’s school with skill appropriate to rank.
  • Demonstrate Bunkai of one of the Kata performed and respond to questions on the application and principles of the Kata.
  • Candidate must be able to fulfill other requirements specific to their branch at the request of the examiner.
  • Present/explain general history of the candidate’s school of Karate and/or lineage.

Hachidan (8th Dan) Level:

  • Minimum age is 55 years.
  • Minimum of seven years at Nanadan rank to be eligible for promotion.
  • Demonstrate/Perform two Katas from candidate’s school with skill appropriate to rank.
  • Demonstrate Bunkai of one of the Kata performed and respond to questions on the application and principles of the Kata.
  • Present/explain general history of the candidate’s school of Karate and/or lineage.
  • Candidate must be able to fulfill other requirements specific to their branch at the request of the examiner.
  • Provide written materials summarizing Karate experience, history, and contributions to the Art.

The higher ranks of 7th Dan and above could be awarded at the discretion of the Board of Directors and/or Chairman.

 

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