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JKA Instructor Qualification System

At JKA headquarters, all our instructors are specially trained and licensed to teach. Each of them must train extensively and complete the JKA,s unique specialist instructor training program before receiving certification to fulfill the various functions they are responsible for within the JKA.

The JKA offers three basic kinds of qualifications: authorized Instructor qualifications (for teaching karate); authorized Judge qualifications (for judging and refereeing at tournaments); and authorized Examiner qualifications (for testing and evaluating Dan, instructors and other types of qualification). Typically, it is only those who are already qualified instructors who are eligible for the other two types. In Japan, there are currently individuals who hold all three of these qualifications.

For each type of official qualification, there are four classes: D through A. Each subsequent class authorizes the instructor to carry out an increasingly broad spectrum of activities appropriate to the individua's experience with Instructors and Judges outside Japan also carrying out their activites according to the rules for their country. Class A is the highest rank offered in the JKA.

To advance from one class to the next, the instructor must fulfill the certification requirements and successfully complete the formal testing procedure. Testing cannot take place until a minimum of three months after the candidate has attained the Dan and completed the other qualifications required for that class.

Testing for these various classes of qualification are carried out by authorized and certified Examiners specified by the Chief Instructor or by the Technical Committee. Overseas Examiners who have been given special Examiner's authorization by JKA headquarters carry out their duties in their country based upon the authority given to them.

Generally, qualifications are renewed every three years, and require a training session before the renewal can be validated.

These details are summarized in the following:

Authorized Instructor Certification
Class D  
Application Prerequisites Min 3 months wait after receiving 2nd Dan
Testing Location Regional HQ
Authorized Function Upon Certification Qualified as: Main judge for branch dojo or group level tournaments
Assist judge for National (Prefectural) tournaments
Class C  
Application Prerequisites Min 3 months wait after receiving 3rd Dan
Class D Instructor Certification
Testing Location Regional HQ
Authorized Function Upon Certification Qualified to instruct and train at National (Prefecural) level
Class B  
Application Prerequisites Min 3 months wait after receiving 4th Dan
Class C Instructor Certification
Testing Location Tokyo JKA HQ
Authorized Function Upon Certification Qualified to instruct and train at Regional level
Class A  
Application Prerequisites Min 3 months wait after receiving 6th Dan
Class B Instructor Certification
Testing Location Tokyo JKA HQ
Authorized Function Upon Certification Qualified to instruct and train at International level
Qualified to instruct at International training session

Authorized Judge Certification
Class D  
Application Prerequisites Min 3 months wait after receiving 2nd Dan
Testing Location Reginal HQ
Authorized Function Upon Certification Qualified as: Main judge for branch dojo or group level tournament
Assistant judge for National(Prefectural) tournaments
Class C  
Application Prerequisites Min 3 months wait after receiving 3rd Dan
Class D Judge Certification
Testing Location Regional HQ
Authorized Function Upon Certification Qualified as: Main judge for National(Prefectural) tournaments
Chief judge for branch dojo or group level tournaments
Assistant judge for Regional tournaments
Class B  
Application Prerequisites Min 3 months wait after receiving 4th Dan
Class C Judge Certification
Testing Location Tokyo JKA HQ
Authorized Function Upon Certification Qualified as: Main judge and abitrator for Regional tournaments
Chief judge for National (Prefectural) tournaments
Assistant judge for International tournaments
Class A  
Application Prerequisites Min 3 months wait after receiving 5th Dan
Class B Judge Certification
Testing Location Tokyo JKA HQ
Authorized Function Upon Certification Qualified as: Main judge and abitrator for International tournaments
Chief judge and arbitrator for Regional tournaments
Qualified to instruct at training sessions

Authorized Examiner Certification
Class D  
Application Prerequisites Min 3 months wait after receiving 3rd Dan
Class D Instructor Certification
25 years of age or older
Testing Location Reginal HQ
Class C  
Application Prerequisites Min 3 months wait after receiving 4th Dan
Min 1 year wait after receiving Class D Examiner Certification
Class C Instructor Certification
Class C Judge Certification
Testing Location Tokyo JKA HQ
Class B  
Application Prerequisites Min 3 months wait after receiving 6th Dan
Min 1 year wait after receiving Class C Examiner Certification
Class B Instructor Certification
Class B Judge Certification
Testing Location Tokyo JKA HQ
Class A  
Application Prerequisites Min 3 months wait after receiving 7th Dan
Min 2 year wait after receiving Class B Examiner Certification
Class A Instructor Certification
Class A Juge Certification
Testing Location Tokyo JKA HQ