SBJ strives to produce students with a well rounded, comprehensive understanding of karate and its surrounding principles.

In addition to continuous improvement of their technique, students of SBJ must expand and demonstrate their knowledge and related skill if they wish to grade. Further, students must be in good standing, and demonstrate commitment to the dojo. Below are the guidelines for those wishing to grade for shodan or above. Please note, this is a living document and subject to change as the dojo evolves over time.

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1st Dan (Shodan):

  • All requirements met for previous ranks, plus:
  • Minimum 6 months, and 60 classes since last grading
  • Technical demonstration:
    • Ability to lead/demonstrate warm-up and cool-down
    • Kata:
      • Gekisai Dai Ichi: kata, moving sequences, bunkai (standard), bunkai (Taira) renzoku kumite, can demonstrate sufficient understanding.
      • Gekisai Dai Ni: kata, moving sequences, bunkai (standard), renzoku kumite, can demonstrate sufficient understanding.
      • Saifa: kata, bunkai (standard), renzoku kumite (form), can demonstrate sufficient understanding.
      • Shisochin: kata, sufficient understanding.
      • Sanchin: kata, sufficient understanding.
    • Paired drills:
      • San Dan Gi Harai #1 and #2
      • Basic kaki-e and open hand drills
    • Hojo Undo:
      • Chi-ishi – minimum four basic movements
      • Kongo-ken – basic exercises
      • Kettlebells – two-hand swing
    • Mobility exercises, e.g., neko-undo, tactical stand-up, pistol squat.
    • Sparring:
      • Able to complete multiple rounds of continuous sparring (students under age 45).
    • Basic break-falls
  • Academic requirements:
    • Book Report – Introduction to Applied Karate, by Iain Abernethy
    • Book Report – Kaki-e: The Close Combat Practice, by Sydney Leijenhorst
    • Book Report – Comprehensive Karate, by Michael J. Rosenbaum
      • Reports should be 4 – 8 pages in length (excluding covers, citations, tables of contents, graphics, etc).
  • Event participation:
    • Minimum 1 tournament or competition per year
    • Attend minimum 8/12 yudansha classes per year
    • Minimum 1 newaza class/workshop per year
  • Dojo contribution:
    • Regular class attendance, minimum 2 classes per week
    • Attend and assist with minimum 2 kids classes per month
  • Specialized training to complete:
  • Administrative requirements:
    • Current Police Background Check (required to assist with kids classes)
    • Current First Aid + CPR certification
    • Club membership fees paid up to date
    • Club insurance fee paid up to date
    • Grading fee paid ($100.00, ages 16 and below; $150.00, ages 17+)
    • Student passbook, logging sufficient number of specialized training sessions.
    • Candidate portfolio, including, but not limited to:
      • Portrait photo
      • Passbook records
      • Sample class notes
      • Records of any additional training, certifications or award
    • Uniform is well-kept, crest attached

2nd Dan (Nidan):

3rd Dan (Sandan):

  • All requirements met for previous ranks, plus:
  • Minimum 2 years since last grading
  • Technical demonstration:
    • Kata:
      • Sanseru: kata, sufficient understanding.
      • Tensho: kata, sufficient understanding.
  • Academic requirements:
    • Research essay (approx. 10,000 words) on topic approved by head instructor
  • Specialized training to complete:
    • One of the following certifications, different from previous rank:
      • Agatsu Club/Mace Level 1 – Mandatory
      • Agatsu Upper Body Movement Level 1
      • Agatsu Lower Body Movement Level 1
      • National Coaching Certification Program
      • WAKO Ontario Coaching Certification, Level 1
      • CanFit Pro Personal Trainer Certification
      • CanFit Pro Fitness Instructor Specialist Certification
        • NOTE: chosen course must be a different category than completed for Nidan (ex. if you previously completed an Agatsu fitness course, you must complete a coaching theory course)