Rank - Shodan to Judan

The following rank requirements is believed Shimabuku Tatsuo Sensei used—which might be slightly liberal in some opinion. Isshin ryu was his style and his right to do so. I am not sure his age requirements were exactly the same or not as those required by Okinawa's Traditional Okinawa Karate Association or by the Japan Karate Association.

Blackbelt rank for Isshin-ryu Okinawain Karate:

Shodan 9-16 months Black Belt
Nidan 3 years continuous practice Black Belt
Sandan 4-6 years continuous practice Black Belt
Yondan 7-9 years continuous practice Renshi title Black Belt
Godan 10-12 years continuous practice Renshi title Black Belt
Rokudan 13-15 years continuous practice Renshi title Black Belt
Nanadan 16-20 years continuous practice Kyoshi title Red and White Belt
Hachidan 20-25 years continuous practice Kyoshi title Red and White Belt
Kudan 25-30 years continuous practice Hanshi title Red Belt
Judan 30 years and up continuous active participation Hanchi title Red Belt
Please note the "Continuous" practice requirement.

At Armstrong Sensei's you had to be 16 years old to be a Brownbelt and 18 years old to be a Blackbelt, at least in my early years at the dojo.

Blackbelt rank for Okinawain Karate according to the Traditional Okinawa Karate Association (Rengokay):

40 years old with 20 years experience to be promoted to 7th Dan
50 years old with 30 years experience to be promoted to 8th Dan
60 years old with 40 years experience to be promoted to 9th Dan
70 years old with 50 years experience to be promoted to 10th Dan

Blackbelt rank according to theFederation All Japan Karate Association Grading Standards:

Shodan 3 years eligible Black Belt
Nidan 1 year after last rank total years 4 Black Belt
Sandan 2 years after total 6 years continuous practice Black Belt
Yondan 3 years after 9 years total Renshi title Black Belt
Godan 3 years 12 years total Renshi title Black Belt
Rokudan 5 years 17 years total Renshi title Black Belt 35 or older
Nanadan 7 years 24 years total Kyoshi title 42 or older
Hachidan 8 years 32 years total Kyoshi title age 50 or older
Kudan 10 years 42 years total Hanshi title Red Belt age 60 or older
Judan 10 years 52 years total Hanchi title Red Belt Must be 70 or older

When all said and done, in my opinion, each dojo really has three ranks: Sensei, senior student, student. All working together. And I like that. ___ Michael E. Odell

Isshinryu Northwest Okinawa Karate Association ®

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