International Gradings

MKF Grading Procedures 

This article is a guide to the MKF regulations in line with the IKF/EKF regulations for Dan examinations. Gradings taken in all member countries should as closely as possible, follow the pattern set out below.

1. Recognised Grades

2. Applicants Eligibility for Kendo

3. Examination Method for Kendo

4. Examination Subjects: Kendo

5. Kata” requirements for Kendo grading candidates

6. Kendo Examiner’s Qualification, Required Number of Examiners and Eligibility Criteria for Kendo

7. Criteria for Awarding Kendo Dan Grades

[Guidelines for Assessing the Pass-Fail in Kendo Examinations]

8. Grading Fees for Kendo

 

1. Recognised Grades

The recognised grades for which examinations shall be taken are 1st Dan up to and including 8th Dan (Hachidan). These shall be granted by the representative organisation according to their overall ability and shall be mutually recognised as being equivalent among member organisations.

2. Applicants Eligibility for Kendo

The applicant shall be a registered member of an IKF/EKF member country/organisation. Note: – If taking a grading overseas then the permission of the MKF President must be obtained in writing prior to going to the country where you wish to take your grading Also overseas students wishing to take a grade in the Malta must obtain similar permission from their own national organisation.

The Applicant shall have the following periods of practice

Grade                         Minimum Delay                                      Minimum Age

1st Dan                        12 Months or a minimum of 52 sessions     14 years

2nd Dan                       1 year or more after 1st Dan

3rd Dan                        2 years or more after 2nd Dan

4th Dan                        3 years or more after 3rd Dan

5th Dan                        4 years or more after 4th Dan

6th Dan                        5 years or more after 5th Dan

7th Dan                        6 years or more after 6th Dan

8th Dan                        10 years after 7th Dan                              46 years

All MKF members must maintain full membership for the entire period between grades, failure to do so will result in the grading clock being reset to zero for the grade you wish to take.

Once you have satisfied the required time delay in years, your next grade can be taken in the same calendar month. e.g. After 1st Dan on the 20th August in one year then you may take 2nd Dan any time after the 1st of August the following year, but if 1st Dan was taken on the 1st of September, then the applicant will not be eligible on August the 31st of the following year, but must wait until the next grading after 1st September.

Note: – If for some reason you feel that you have a case for permission to be granted to take a grading despite not keeping up regular membership then you must write to the President, so that your case can be considered.

3. Examination Method for Kendo

The host organisation shall provide the examiners. In cases where member countries lack the required number other member organisations may provide qualified examiners subject to necessary permissions being obtained and granted. In the case of European or World Championships then the examiners will be selected by the EKF/IKF respectively in conjunction with the host nation.

4. Examination Subjects: Kendo

Grade being taken                 Graded on

1st Dan                                   Kirikaeshi. Matches and Kata [ Tachi 5 forms ]

2nd Dan                                  Kirikaeshi. Matches and Kata [Tachi 7 forms]

3rd Dan                                   Kirikaeshi. Matches and Kata [Tachi 7 & Kodachi 3 forms]

4th Dan                                   Matches and Kata [Tachi 7 & Kodachi 3 forms]

5th Dan                                   Matches and Kata [Tachi 7 & Kodachi 3 forms]

6th Dan                                   Matches and Kata [Tachi 7 & Kodachi 3 forms]

7th Dan                                   Matches and Kata [ Tachi 7 & Kodachi 3 forms]

(i) Note:- If during the examination of Kata a recognised technical error is made by any candidate, the panel may at their discretion request for a further demonstration to be given, thus allowing the candidate one further attempt to correct the error. If any candidate realises that they or their respective partner have made an error, then they should indicate this to the panel by raising their hand, they will then be permitted one further attempt to correct the error. Compounding a technical error will result in the candidate failing the Kendo examination

We trust that this will assist candidates in their preparation for examination, instigate the pursuit of higher standards in performance and understanding, through the increased study of Kata.

Kata seminars are held on a regular basis in order to advance this pursuit.

5. Kata requirements for grading candidates

SHODAN: To complete the first five forms.

NIDAN: To complete the first seven kata forms without error, distance and timing also the manner of all actions should be clearly visible. Overall an understanding of practical application of the forms should be evident. (Why you are doing what you are doing)

SANDAN: To complete all ten kata forms without error using the correct Utsu-maai and manner (pace of the form and cutting timing) The forms should show the correct purpose and intention with regard to the action/reaction principles.

YONDAN: To complete all ten kata forms without error and showing effective use of the bokken. Also the connection between Uchidachi and Shidachi in regard to timing and spirit should be at a high level. The performance should also reflect the principles of Juho and Goho.

GODAN: To complete all ten kata forms and the performance should contain the virtues of Grace, Sincerity, Dignity and Wisdom. Effective action and reaction should be visible, mental contact between Uchidachi / Shidachi should also be un-broken.

ROKUDAN: To complete all ten kata forms and the performance should contain the virtues of Grace, Sincerity, Dignity and Wisdom. Effective action and reaction should be visible, mental contact between Uchidachi / Shidachi should also be un-broken. Understanding of ‘Riai’ (The candidate must be able to execute Waza and move in a way that is rational and purposeful) together with‘Fuukaku’ and ‘Hinkaku’ (Demonstrating one’s own style which is dignified and elegant)

Procedures in the event of an error being made during presentation:

1 further attempt to demonstrate the correct procedures if either candidate feels they have made an error or if asked by the panel to demonstrate again. This applies 1st Dan to 3rd Dan only.

For 4th Dan and above 1 attempt only to demonstrate the correct procedures if either candidate feels they have made an error.

Further to this Notification the following concession will be made for all persons taking 1st Dan to 5th Dan:

If on passing the Shinai section of their grading and then failing the Kata section, a further one off attempt at the Kata section will be permitted within a set time frame of 12 months after the date of the failed grading.

Further attempts after these periods will not be permitted and an applicant will have to re-apply to take all of the sections [Shinai and Kata] of the Kendo grading.

This concession will apply to MKF National gradings only and will not forfeit a member wishing to take a full overseas grading in the interim.

Period of validation: For those failing 1st Dan to 5th Dan: 12 months

In all cases a further full MKF grading fee will be required

(iii) Note:-international level.

The Procedures and Regulations which follow are driven by the following principles:

Fairness and transparency,

Accessibility to all members,

Ease of administration

6. Examiner’s Qualification, Required Number of Examiners and Eligibility

Criteria for Kendo

Dan Examined                ExaminerNumber              Criteria

1st Dan                           5 @ 4th Dan & above            Consent of min. 3 Examiners

2nd Dan                          5 @ 5th Dan & above            Consent of min. 3 Examiners

3rd Dan                          5 @ 5th Dan & above             Consent of min. 3 Examiners

4th Dan                          6 @ 6th Dan & above             Consent of min. 4 Examiners

5th Dan                          6 @ 7th Dan & above             Consent of min. 4 Examiners

6th Dan                          6 @ 7th Dan & above             Consent of min. 4 Examiners

7th Dan                          6 @ 7th Dan & above             Consent of min. 4 Examiners

(iiii) Note:-

Special Treatment

Concerning examinations for 4th Dan and above, if the required number of qualified and suitable examiners cannot be appointed, the number of the examiners may be reduced to 5. In this case, the consent of a minimum of 4 examiners shall determine the final decision. This ONLY after prior permission from the EKF Technical Director has been requested and granted

7. Criteria for Awarding Kendo Dan Grades

[Guidelines for Assessing the Pass-Fail in Kendo Examinations]

At a Kendo examination, examiners evaluate candidates for promotion for each grade based on the evidence of an appropriate level of training and the degree of technical proficiency and stability acquired through the course of their study.

The central concern for evaluation in examinations for the grades of  1-dan, 2-Dan and 3-Dan is the level of ‘Kihon’ (basic techniques) demonstrated by the examinee. The examiner assesses whether the candidate has learnt and correctly acquired the basic Kendo skills.

The central concern for evaluation in examinations for the grades of 4-Dan and 5-Dan is the level of basic Kendo techniques and advanced techniques (Kihon and Oyo). The examiner assesses whether the candidate has fully acquired and is able to utilise basic and advanced Kendo skills.

The central concern for evaluation in examinations for the grades of 6-Dan and 7-Dan is the ability to demonstrate ‘Jiri’ (technique and theory). Besides the basic and advanced Kendo techniques, the examiner assesses whether a candidate has acquired sufficient knowledge and understanding of Jiri, the techniques of Kendo accompanied with theory or principles.

Points for Observation

Each Dan examiner is required to make a decision after paying careful attention to the following points in accordance with the above criteria:

1-Dan,  2-Dan, 3-Dan

1. Chakuso and Reiho. The candidate’s appearance and whether they are correctly wearing the Keiko-gi and Hakama, and are holding the Shinai correctly (Chakuso); appropriate manners and deportment (Reiho)

2. Correct posture

3. Datotsu (strikes and thrusts) in accordance to the correct basic Kendo techniques

4. Strong spirit (Kisei).

 

4-Dan, 5-Dan

1. Chakuso and Reiho. The candidate’s appearance and whether they are correctly wearing the Keiko-gi and Hakama, and are holding the Shinai correctly (Chakuso); Appropriate manners and deportment (Reiho)

2. Correct posture

3. Datotsu (strikes and thrusts) in accordance to the correct basic Kendo techniques

4. Strong spirit (Kisei)

5. Level of proficiency acquired in advanced Kendo techniques

6. Level of mental and physical discipline demonstrated

7. Strategic skills to control and win a match

 

6-Dan, 7-Dan and higher Dan

1, Chakuso and Reiho. The candidate’s appearance and whether they are correctly wearing the Keiko-gi and Hakama, and are holding the Shinai correctly (Chakuso); Appropriate manners and deportment (Reiho)

2. Correct posture

3. Datotsu (strikes and thrusts) in accordance to the correct basic Kendo techniques

4. Strong spirit (Kisei)

5. Level of proficiency acquired in advanced Kendo techniques

6. Level of mental and physical discipline demonstrated

7. Strategic skills to control and win a match

8. Understanding of ‘Riai’ (The candidate must be able to execute Waza and move in a way that is rational and purposeful)

9. ‘Fuukaku’ and ‘Hinkaku’ (Demonstrating one’s own style which is dignified and elegant)

The examiners are expected to make their evaluations and final decisions based on the above mentioned criteria within the prescribed examination time.

8. MKF Grading Fees for Kendo

Fees for MKF gradings are as follows (all prices are in € (Euro))

Grade                     Application                        Registration (menjo)

1st Dan                        15                                           20

2nd Dan                       20                                            30

3rd Dan                        30                                           50

4th Dan                        50                                            70

5th Dan                        70                                            100

6th Dan                   EKF/IKF                                  EKF/IKF

7th Dan                   EKF/IKF                                  EKF/IKF

 

A full current MKF membership must have been in place for 12 months before applying to take 1st Dan

For gradings abroad:- Application must be made with the MKF and an administration charge of €10 will be made for such applications up to and including 5th Dan.

All application fees are payable in advance.

Registration fees must be paid by successful applicants on the day of the grading, before collecting their menjo.

Applications for gradings will not be taken on the day.

Please send in your application one calendar month before the date of the grading at the latest.

Your application form must include the following.

Your name MKF number (if applicable) and date of birth.

A photocopy of the menjo of your current grade.

The relevant fee to the MKF for the correct application fee only.

Only when you are successful the following applies:-

You will need:

Your MKF membership book

Cash to pay the registration fee which includes the cost of your menjo. You must pay the full amount on the day, if not the grade will not be awarded.

Your yellow EKF card if you have one. You also need to collect a green EKF Registration form from the grading official; this in turn should be sent to the address on the form.

It is hoped these guidelines prove helpful to the membership and will help make everybody’s day a little easier and that you have a reasonable idea of what to do when you register for a grading.

Shogo

The Maltese Kendo Federation in accordance with the statutes of the European Kendo Federation have introduced awards for Renshi & Kyoshi.

The following criteria must have been met in all cases.

Maltese Shogo Award System – Conditions for Approval

Renshi

Has held 6th Dan for a minimum of 6 months

Assists in the running of a Club & events

Has National Coaching experience.

Has National Refereeing experience.

Has National experience as a Grading panellist

Has contributed to the development of Maltese Kendo

Kyoshi

Has existing Renshi Qualification.

Has held 7th Dan for a minimum of 2 years.

Runs or is head of a Club

Organises events both Nationally & Internationally

Has International/National Coaching experience.

Has International & National Refereeing experience.

Has International & National experience as a Grading panellist

Has contributed to the development of Maltese Kendo

As defined in the Cambridge English Dictionary:

National(ly) – relating to or typical of a whole country and its people, rather than to part of that country or to other countries

International(ly) -involving more than one country

Maltese Kendo Federation 2010

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