5th degree and higher rank promotions

High Dan Rank Promotions

Rank promotions are a big deal.  Everyone wants to know where you got your rank and what you did to achieve it.  We are no exception.  We use a modified version of the guidelines put forth by the Federation of All Japan Karatedo Organizations (FAJKO).  The purpose is to maintain a simple, straightforward and understandable system for rank promotion that is fair, complete and understandable.

Testing at the Gathering of Eagles is designed for those students who have lost their instructor.  It is not an opportunity to bounce around for rank.  And while it provides the opportunity to test for further rank, it does not take the place of an experienced instructor that can lead you along your path in the martial arts.  If you are a 1st-3rd degree Black Belt then this is not for you, you need to find an instructor to train with and test for your rank through them.  If you need help finding an instructor and mentor, we can help, and you can watch the seniors that are here at the event and maybe find that one of them that is a good fit, or that you would like to start a discussion with.  This is one of the benefits of the Gathering of Eagles... You will see some of the "Best of the Best!".

The testing is conducted in front of a Board of 3-5 senior Masters and Grand Masters who are at least 2 ranks above the one you are testing for, or all 10th Degree Black Belts for ranks above 7th Dan.  The cost for testing is $500 payable to the "Gathering of Eagles" prior to testing.  If you do not meet the testing requirements prior to the test, your money will not be accepted and you will not test.  If you go through the testing but do not meet the requirements then $400 will be returned to you with the reasons for not passing in writing from the board and you will be invited to test again at the next event.  Testing consists of the following:

  • 15 minute, In-person demonstration (as opposed to video/skype/webcam etc.), consisting of kata demonstration and self defense routines.
  • Written bio and personal history in the hands of the Board a month prior to testing for evaluation, with written discussion of why you are here testing and what your future plans are in the martial arts.
  • Verifiable proof of previous ranks/instructors, certificates, etc.,
  • Previous instructors and their lineage/rank and teachers,
  • Appropriate time in grade, between all ranks,
  • Brief interview and Q and A with Board of examiners.

Ranks: 1st-3rd Dan Black Belt
Based on your skill demonstrating your systems curriculum!
Biography listing your martial arts journey, instructors and accomplishments,
History of your system and its lineage.

Ranks: 4th-6th Dan Black Belt
Based on your skill and experience as an instructor!
Based on your skill demonstrating your systems curriculum (previous),
15 Minute demonstration of Self Defense, Kata, Weapons,
Biography listing your martial arts journey, instructors and accomplishments,
History of your system and its lineage.

Ranks: 7th-9th Dan Black Belt
Based on your skill and experience as a developer of your system!
Based on your skill and experience as an instructor (previous),
Based on your skill demonstrating your systems curriculum (previous),
15 Minute demonstration of Self Defense, Kata, Weapons,
Biography listing your martial arts journey, instructors and accomplishments,
History of your system and its lineage and how you have continued to develop it.

Ranks: 10th Dan Black Belt
Based on you being the senior/head of your System/Family/Style!

Based on your skill and experience as a developer of your system (previous)
Based on your skill and experience as an instructor (previous),
Based on your skill demonstrating your systems curriculum (previous),
15 Minute demonstration of Self Defense, Kata, Weapons,
Biography listing your martial arts journey, instructors and accomplishments,
History of your system and its lineage and how you have continued to develop it.

Time in grade:
Rank:          Average Time to get it:                      Average Minimum Age for Rank:

Shodan:      3-5 Years to get your Black Belt..........16 years old  
Nidan:         3+2=5 Years..............................................18 years old  
Sandan:      5+3=8 Years..............................................21 years old

Yondan:      8+4=12 Years............................................25 years old  
Godan:       12+5=17 Years...........................................30 years old  
Rokkudan:  17+6=23 Years.........................................36 years old  

Shichidan:   23+7=30 Years.......................................43 years old  
Hachidan:    30+8=38 Years.......................................51 years old  
Kudan:         38+9=43 Years.......................................60 years old

Judan:         43+10=52 Years......................................70 years old  

Successful completion of these requirements will result in promotion and certification of your rank by the instructors sitting on your evaluation board.  Ranks are issued under the auspices of the Kenpo International Yudanshakai which is overseen by the Kenpo International Hall of Fame Members.

Rank in Tracy Kenpo will be issued under the Tracy's Kenpo International Yudansha on the traditional Black certificates.  Upgrades for additional, laminated and mounted copies, etc., are done through the Tracy family.  


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