Roku (6) kyu Requirements
- Correct Hakama & Keikogi
- Correct Bogu
- Rei and Sonkyo
- Kihon Men
- Kihon Kote
- Kihon Do
- Kihon Kote-Men
- Kihon Kote-Do
Go (5) kyu Requirements
- Kihon Kote-Men
- Kihon Kote-Do
Yon (4) kyu Requirements
As for go-kyu plus:
- Kiri-Kaeshi as Motodachi
- Uchi-Komi Geiko
San (3) kyu Requirements
Ni (2) kyu Requirements
- Kakari Geiko
- Ji Geigo
Ik (1) kyu Requirements
- Kata - 0-dachi Ipponme (1) to Sanbonme (3)
Sho (1) dan Requirements
Kiai - the application of kiai to be in harmony with yoko-datotsu, i.e. ki-ken-tai ichi
Chudan No Kamae - Chudan-no-kamae is maintained before and after striking.
Grip of shinai - correct grip on shinai should be automatically assumed in Chudan-no-kamae with Te-no-Uchi immediately after the strike.
Ashi-waza - the main point being correct foot placment and attention to the height of the left heel.
Appearance -the reflection of the spirit of Kendo in dressing.
Kihon-waza - basic big techniques are exhibited.
Rei - correct attitude and manners displayed.
Shisei - correct posture and attitudes maintained appropriate to the actions being carried out.
Kiri-kaeshi - fluency of Kiri-kaeshi is maintained without loss of maai and correct striking of Men with the mono-uchi.
Kata: 0-dachi: Ipponme (1) to Gohonme (5)
- What do you want to learn from training in Kendo?
- Explain Maai.
Ni (2) dan Requirements
Shikake waza - ability to display correct form in executing methods of shikage-waza.
Ojiwaza - ability to display correct form in executing methods of oji-waza.
Shin - Spirit - demonstrate a true spirit during shiai.
Timing of strikes
Kata - 0-dachi: Ipponme to Nanahonme
- Explain why etiquette is important to Kendo.
- Explain the opportunity for Datotsu.
San (3) dan Requirements
Seme - pushing in to gain centre
Usage of Maai
Attitude and posture
Zanshin Kata - o-dachi lpponme (1) to Nanahonme (7), ko-dachi: Ipponme (1) to Sanbonme (3)
- Explain why it is important to practice Kendo Kata.
- Explain why it is necessary to practice Kiri-kaeshi.
Yon (4) dan Requirements
Kigurai - nobility - for Yondan, nobility and near perfect kendo spirit are required. Nobility is something naturally generated as one progresses to a higher level in terms of technique and spirit.
Rei - this requirement applies to any grade but for Yondan, a clear refinement should be shown.
Rational strike - in short, this means that one never misses opportunities to attack, use of maai to the advantage demonstrate a good body maneuver and utilize San-sappo (Kill sword, kill spirit and kill technique of opponent). A state of Kendo where one does not miss opportunities to attack, control Maai, do not engage in unnecessary attacks and utilizes San-sappo.
Seme with effective Kensen (shinai tip) - for Sandan a strike using Seme was a requirement. For Yondan, additional types of Seme are also required, including Seme with Spirit and Seme the sword. To place oneself in a state of total concen tration and coerce opponent with Kensen.
Qualifications as an instructor - after achieving requirements for Shodan, Nidan and Sandan, the candidate is required to obtain a higher level of techniques such as Suri-age, Kaeshi-waza, Uchi-otoshiwaza, Nuki-waza and apply these techni ques depending on opponents.The candidate is required to understand Kendo both in technique and in theory with achievement in a higher level of Kendo than Sandan. Also required to perfect all ten Kata and able to instruct them.
Rational response (to opponents attacks and change in techniques) - the more senior one becomes, more rational response to a change is required, such as not to be perturbed by opponents, show rational response to attacks or a change in op ponents attacks. It is a condition to be Yondan that one remains calm against any changes in opponents techniques and respond rationally to it with desirable techniques.
Zanshin - the more senior one becomes, the better the Zanshin is required.
Speed and Te-no-Uchi - quick, fast and crisp strikes
Kata - o-dachi 1-7, ko-dachi 1-3
- What is the important thing about learning basics in Kendo?
- Explain the meaning of Zanshin.
- Explain the correct manner of Kendo.
Go (5) dan Requirements
The process from Yondan to Godan involves polishing through further training what has been achieved so far. For Godan, one would have to have mastered all requirements for Shodan up to Yondan through long persistent training. While the requirements to be qualified as Godan are similar to that for Yondan, there is a certain variation in the order of priority. That is, ones' quality as an instructor becomes more important. For instance, the following are the requirements for Godan in order of priority.
Rational strike - in techniques, Godan should be able to utilise Shikake-waza, Oji-waza spontaneously in a match and should never miss opportunities to attack. One is also required to demonstrate a good footwork, manoeuvre well and good Z anshin after blows. Rational strikes are the highest state in Kendo technique one can achieve. There should be no unnecessary movements or strikes, it is a result of perfect balance, hit, techniques and spirit. Once one achieves this level of Kendo it becomes a beauty in its style and makes ones sense of the art in it.
Kigurai - If one trains both physical and mental aspects of kendo and face opponents with a belief of winning rather than being possessed by winning, his or her Kendo will achieve high nobility.
Qualifications as an instructor - as with yondan, quality as an instructor is important for Godan and it should be more refined.
Zanshin - Kensen must be 'alive'. Kata - o-dachi 1-7, ko-dachi 1-3
- Explain your own mental attitude toward being a Kendo Instructor.
- Explain the meaning of Yuko-datotsu.
- Explain the importance of Kihon (Fundamentals) in Kendo.
- Explain the Referee's duties.
- Explain when it is the best time to attack.