This examination has been derived from my experiences of witnessing and being examined many times by Hamada Hanshi (President of DNBK) and panels of Japanese Sensei since 2004. The examinations have varied but they always put the candidates under pressure. I have tried to stay true to the spirit of DNBK with this examination process.
There are many different styles of Karatedo and Jujutsu so it is not possible to examine each individual style. You can however examine the effectiveness of the style. Which is what this examination attempt to do. This is done by implementing “pressure tests”. One of the best pressures is “time”. Using time constraints means the candidate must continuously perform at their peak. There is a treasured Japanese saying “Ichi-go ichi-e”, which means “One meeting, one chance”. The same is true of a fight, you only get one chance.
The examination duration is approximately 10 minutes and consists of two tests.
1. Waza (Technique)
Demonstration of your art
This test will be timed to 4-5 minutes. You need to condense and showcase your art within this time limit. Be careful to stay within the time limit, going outside the limit will have a negative impact upon your overall grading regardless of the quality of the demonstration. All demonstrations in Japan are time limited. Being able to distil your art and ability into 4-5 minutes is a test within itself.
|Time Taken||Shodan - Nidan||Sandan and above|
|under 4 min||Penalty||Penalty/Fail|
|over 5 min||Penalty||Penalty/Fail|
2. Goshin-Jutsu (Self defence)
Jujutsu – Tanto defence from seiza
Karatedo – Tanto defence from shizentai
This test consists of multiple attacks each lasting about 30 seconds. The attack style will vary depending upon the grade being attempted. The attacker could come from the front, back or side; could have one knife or two; could be two attackers. It is imperative to use techniques that demonstrate your chosen art during the self defence segment. For example; when examining for Karatedo do not use grappling techniques as you are trying to showcase your skill in Karatedo not Judo or Jujutsu. You are not expected to win all rounds – perhaps no rounds. This can be dependant on the Uke you are against. What is expected is the courage, strategy, techniques attempted and intestinal fortitude to persist. It is also important to realise that it is NOT a life and death battle so care MUST be taken to ensure you do not injure the Uke. Lack of control will result in failure.
|Shodan - Nidan||Sandan and above|
|Techniques not representing art||Penalty||Penalty/Fail|
|Few varied techniques||Penalty||Penalty/Fail|
|Not complete section (except due to injury)||Fail||Fail|
|Lack of control||Fail||Fail|
Multiple penalties can result in failure
This test is designed to highlight “Heroic Courage”, one of the defining principles of Bushido as defined by Nitobe Inazō in his book BUSHIDO The soul of Japan. First published in 1900 and still in print today.
Heroic Courage (勇, yū) – A true warrior must have heroic courage. It is absolutely risky. It is living life completely, fully and wonderfully. Heroic courage is not blind. It is intelligent and strong.
Primary points relating to the examination:
Techniques not representing art
For example: Osae Waza (Grappling) is not considered to be within the realm of Karatedo.
As the Tanto attacks are about 30sec in duration there is no time to move away from the attacker to look for weakness or analyse the attack. You need to act quickly but not without thought. You need to have the courage to trust that your years of training will prevail. You will find the opening in the heat of battle!
Being courageous does not mean blindly attacking, “heroic courage is intelligent and strong”. A common error is, “Repeatedly trying the same strategy and expecting a different result.”
Few varied techniques
You should try to vary the techniques you use. This will showcase the depth of your knowledge. You may win five rounds but you may only show one technique. Winning is not the primary objective of the examination.
Not complete section
This examination is designed to put the candidates under physical and mental pressure. Do not cave into the mental pressure and quit before the section is complete (unless you are injured).
Lack of control
If the panel feel your techniques are dangerous or using excessive force then the test will be terminated. You may or may not receive a warning prior to the test being terminated. This will result in a failure.
Eligibility, Conditions & General information:
The fee depends upon the rank/title being attempted. You will be advised of the examination fee after your application has been submitted.
Certification requests from the Australian Representative are forwarded to Japan and submitted to the Honbu board of Directors for approval. If approved, the time duration to receive a certificate from Japan can be between 3 – 9 months (depends upon the meeting schedule of Honbu board).
The fee is refunded if the member does not pass the examination.