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With over 60 years of experience and technical excellence to draw on we provide only Black Belt Rank and Title recognition and accreditation to teachers, instructors, dojo leaders and students across all disciplines as a single discipline or as a multi-discipline, on recommendation only.



Each certificate has different wording in English and Japanese.

The Certificate of Grade or Rank application is normally completed by the Dojo Leader for a current member of their Dojo.

In the event of a Dojo Leader application it must come from an accredited source known to and supported by 2 current Dojo Leaders or Associates.


Scroll down for Grading Fee structure.


For many years Budokan adopted a policy of not charging students for Kyu and Dan grade certification.

This decision was justified on the common knowledge of grading systems becoming open to malpractice by officials of larger martial arts groups for the purpose of raising funds.

When was launched in 2010 we decided to ask the Dojo Leaders in the UK/EU/US and other countries, what a fair fee would be to pay for Dan Grades only issued by Budokan.

After a few months of deliberation the Dojo Leaders generally felt that Budokan had real value in the technical excellence of their Dan Grades and suggested a number of options from which Budokan settled on the fair and reasonable Fee Structure below which, needless to say is  below that which was  presented.

This is  an image of the Budokan Certificate of Rank. and is for visual purposes only.

English wording for each of the certificates will appear in the space on the left and the Japanese katakana in the space on the right.

This beautiful work of art has been designed by Katy Passmore.

They are all printed on Magnolia Parchment.

Paper size A3.

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Explanation of the Henko

The larger square Henko is the Seal of Budokan

The smaller round Henko are the personal signatures from left to right of

               Darren Waghorne           Rob Rohrey          David Passmore      Peter Bush   Roy Estabrook

                            Kyoshi                       Godan                 Saisho Sensei             Kyoshi             Godan


Recommendation is based on grading record, years of continuous training,  technical skill prowess, accomplishments, dedication and service, attitude, teaching and instruction, heart, values and excellence in personal character.


General Ranking guide to the timeline of consecutive years of training.

Shodan       1st Dan       1-3 years

Nidan          2nd Dan      3-5 years

Sandan       3rd Dan       5-8 years

Yondan       4th Dan       8-12 years

Godan         5th Dan       12-18 years

Rokudan     6th Dan       18 – 25 years

Shichidan    7th Dan       25 – 32 years

Hachidan    8th Dan       32- 45 years



1  Each Dojo leader  nominates a person or persons for accreditation and certification by Peer Review* directly to Budokan.

These requests may be retrospective.

2  Kindly go to ACCREDITATION for the detail of what is required.

3  Upon receipt of this information by email and any attached documentation, we examine the credentials and all endorsements in text, pictorial audio or video format in support of the application.

4  We defer to two of our Community Dojo Leaders to assist us in the examination of those disciplines outside of our remit - such as Ju Jitsu, Kodokan Judo, Kendo and Kobudo.  The personal Henko of each of these examiners will appear on the Certificate of Rank along with the Henko of the Doshu Richard Salmon and Kyoshi David Passmore.

5  A period of 6-8 weeks needs to be factored into the review process.  

6  Once a decision has been reached either way, the recommender is informed directly by email.

7  If approved, an appropriate certificate is drawn up, dated, numbered and photographed with the appropriate Henko in place.  This photographic evidence of Rank will be placed on the appropriate Dojo Page (in the public domain) for all to see.

It wi also be registered for copyright protection and placed in our Dan Grade (Black Belt) Register.

8  If not approved, the recommender is informed as to the reasons why this decision has been reached by email and if  appropriate offer outline measures to take that will allow a repeat application to take place within 12 months at no further cost to the applicant.

9  All certificates will be carefully rolled up and inserted into a secure tube and  sent by post to the recommender to pass on or direct to the receiver, as appropriate.  A signature will be required at each destination if possible.



* Peer Review functions as a form of self-regulation by qualified members of our Traditional Japanese Budo Community.


Recommendations for a person to be awarded a Certificate of Rank, who is no longer active in Budo may also be considered in appropriate circumstances.




          All fees are shown in £GBP


 1          2          3           4          5          6           7          8

Shodan             Nidan            Sandan           Yondan            Godan           Rokudan           Chichidan        Hachidan

75.00         100.00         130.00         175.00        220.00         260.00           300.00         340.00


The Certificate of Title is conferred as an huge honour to bestow upon an individual Budoka deserving of  this honour - see below for further definition.  


We undertake to seek the majority approval from all current Dojo Leaders for each recommendation.  If no such majority is reached then Budokan will withdraw its application for a minimum of 12 months.


(Only a small production cost  for the Certificate of Title and Posting and Packaging)

The award of Titles is made using the ancient Shogoo system, as used by the Dai Nippon Butokukai of Kyoto in Japan, to those who have made an outstanding contribution to the development of Traditional Japanese Budo, shown leadership in teaching and the maintenance of a high level of Budo skills over decades of continuous service.

Shogoo is bestowed upon a highly qualified individual of integrity ad honour with a proven record of achievement in all phases of their Budo.


Renshi - Polished Samurai Warrior

Kyoshi  -  Master Teacher Samurai Warrior

Hanshi - Exemplary Illustrious Warrior - Master of the Samurai Way


In Reference to the three titles Renshi, Kyoshi and Hanshi

Ren = A Trainer of the Way                                                                

Kyo = A Teacher of the Way                                                                

Han = A Model of the Way


Dojo Officials

Sempai - a leading instructor

Shidoin - a leading head instructor

Shihan - a master instructor

(For more details please email us at



1.     Sensei "Teacher or One who has gone before": This title is by far the most often used title in karate and generally refers to someone of Yon-Dan level (4th Degree Black Belt.) Many senior instructors including Hanshi Masami Tsuruoka, will state that this is the most honorable title that a student can use when referring to the senior as their  teacher. The title Sensei implies a close bond between the student and teacher's relationship.

2.    Shihan: "Master or Expert Teacher":  It is important to understand that the meaning Master as used in the martial  arts is someone who has mastered the basic and advanced understandings {Principles} of a particular style or system, thus the title Shihan means someone who has mastered the basic and advanced techniques as well as the principles, concepts, and theory of their respective style of karate. The title Shihan does not mean that this person has stopped learning because they know all of the answers. On the contrary, they are considered to be the most serious and dedicated students in any style of martial arts. The title Shihan is generally considered to be an organizational title alone and has little meaning (May not be recognized) outside of the holders style or organization.

3.    Doshi:  "Leading Teacher": Title sometimes used before Renshi (3rd dan)

4.    Renshi: "Senior Expert Teacher": This is the first of the three generally  used teacher titles. Although this title is independent of rank, it is seldom given to anyone below the rank of Go-Dan.  (5th dan)

5.    Tasshi or Tesshi:  "Apprentice Master Teacher": This title was originally the title used instead of Kyoshi.

6.    Kyoshi: "Master Teacher, Teacher of Teachers": This is the second of the three generally used teacher titles. Although this title is independent of the ranking system, it is seldom given to anyone below the rank of Roku-dan and in most cases Shichi-dan).  (7th dan)

7.    Hanshi: "Senior Master Teacher": This is the third and highest of the three generally used teacher titles. Although this title is independent of the ranking system, it is seldom given to anyone below the rank of Hachi-Dan (8th Degree Black Belt)


8. Iemoto / Soke

An iemoto may be addressed by the title Iemoto or O-iemoto, or by the title Sōshō or Ō-sensei In English.

"Grand Master" is often the title that is used. The Iemoto's main roles are to lead the school and protect its traditions, to be the final authority on matters concerning the school, to issue or approve licenses and certificates and, in some cases, to instruct the most advanced practitioners

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