Rank and Teaching Titles



Rank Promotion


The Kokusai Iaido Hozen Kyokai's (KIHK's) purview extends to the dojo accreditation, reviewing rank and teaching title recommendations, and issuing certificates to individuals who satisfy promotion criteria, as established during the accreditation.


Members of Fully Accredited and Provisionally Accredited dojo may apply for rank promotion according to Kokusai Iaido Hozen Kyokai policies. Those receiving rank will be formally presented with a certificate conferring rank within the Kokusai Iaido Hozen Kyokai.


Junior practitioners who have not yet met those criteria but lead study groups must be sponsored by an accredited dojo, in a sempai/kohai relationship. In these cases, the sponsoring dojo's instructor will assist the dojo in their studies and, eventually, the junior practitioners will pursue a teaching title and their own accreditation.



Kyu Ranks


Kyu ranks' (below 1st Dan) promotion criteria are determined by and issued within each accredited dojo. Fuku Shidoin-, Shidoin-, and Shihan-level instructors are authorized to independently grant Kyu rank.


Dan Ranks


Accredited dojo are eligible to recommend students for promotion according to the senior instructor's rank and authorization, in accordance with KIHK policies. Shidoin- and Shihan-level instructors from fully accredited dojo may recommend students for rank promotion up to one rank below their own.


For Dan rank tests, three to five official instructors generally sit on the testing panel to observe the test demonstration and grant rank. Testing 1st and 2nd Dans requires a minimum of two Shidoin sitting on the testing panel. Testing for 3rd and 4th Dan requires that a minimum of one Shihan sits on the testing panel.



Teaching Titles



Teaching titles may be awarded to long-serving yudansha who, in addition to the technical excellence required for rank, demonstrate aptitude for leadership, effective communication, and character that is beyond reproach. These titles confirm that the instructor's dojo is fully or provisionally accredited and operating in good standing, in accordance with KIHK's policies. Three to five official instructors generally sit on a testing panel to observe a test demonstration and grant rank. Tests for rank or promotion within the dan grades require the endorsement of one or more official instructors, as described below:



Fuku Shidoin:


Fuku Shidoin (junior instructor) is not a full teaching title and comes with no authority to promote or recommend people for dan-grade rank examinations. Fuku Shidoin may be available to those with ranks 1st Dan and above and may only teach in dojo under a shidoin dojocho. Alternatively, Those with Fuku Shidoin may be given authority to run a study group in a location where there is no consistent access to Shidoin or Shihan-level teachers. In these cases, Fuku Shidoin will be required to maintain a teacher/student relationship with, and operate under, the direct supervision of an instructor with Shidoin or Shihan-level teaching certification.


Authority: If given permission, a Fuku Shidoin-certified teacher may independently grant Kyu rank, under the direction of a Shidoin- or Shihan-level instructor.



Shidoin:


Ranks of 3rd and 4th Dan may be eligible for the teaching title Shidoin (instructor).


Shidoin Authority: Shidoin is the minimum teaching title required to operate a dojo autonomously. Shidoin may recommend student for rank promotion up to one rank below their own. Testing first and second Dans requires a minimum of two Shidoin sitting on the testing panel. Those testing for 3rd and 4th Dan requires that a minimum of one Shihan sits on the testing panel.



Shihan:


Ranks 5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th Dan may be eligible for the title Shihan (master instructor). Shidoin teaching certification is a prerequisite for consideration of Shihan title eligibility. Shihan teaching titles are awarded to 5th Dan only in extraordinary cases.