Requirements For Shodan

Candidates must:

  1. Be at least 16 years of age.
  2. Submit a copy of current AJJF registration card at the time of application, and have been registered for one continuous year immediately prior to the exam date.
  3. Submit a copy of current Red Cross Standard or Community First Aid card.
  4. Submit a copy of current CPR card. CPR Requirement can be met with training in person or online.
  5. Submit an Application for Examination.
  6. Submit an Concussion Awareness Form.
  7. Submit a Letter of Recommendation from Sensei (in a sealed envelope) stating, in part, willingness to assume responsibility for applicant.
  8. Submit a notebook containing an organized list of all the arts being examined, with a short description of how to do each art.
  9. Fill out an AJJF Activity Sheet or Budo Pass with at least 2 AJJF approved mat activities during the 12 month period immediately preceding the exam date:
    1. Events that qualify: AJJF Sanctioned Convention, Mat Clinic, Camps, Seminars, and Competitions.  Events typically span a full day or multiple days.
    2. Classes that qualify: AJJF approved Black Belt Classes, Healing Classes, and DZRSI Mod’s.  Classes generally are a half day or less.  Even though the DZRSI Mod courses are multiple days, since they are testing for their jujitsu black belt, the candidate could count one event in each qualifying year. 
    3. Shodan: At least 2 AJJF approved mat activities during the 12 month period immediately preceding the exam date:
    4. Meet the required number of events in whatever combination you want for Nidan and above.  With at least one event in each year required that precedes the exam.  For example, a Sandan candidate needs 6 total events.  They can do 1 event in the first year, 4 in the second year, and 1 in the final year.
    5. The events in a given year can be selected from any of the qualified events, but only one can be selected from the qualified classes category.  The thinking is that a 2-3 hour class isn’t the same time commitment as a convention or clinic, and should be counted differently.
    6. The contest is still a Black Belt requirement for Shodan and Nidan, but a qualifying contest no longer needs to have three different schools participating to count.  There is no minimum number of school’s needed to count, it still needs to be on the AJJF Calendar.
    7. A multiple activity event can still only count as one activity.  Since we reduced the count per year to two, this isn’t a hard requirement to meet.
    8. The director of each activity must sign the Activity Sheet or Budo Pass.
  10. Request a Time-In-Grade Letter from the Examination Committee Chair.
  11. Request for Back Ground Screen at least 8 weeks before exam.
  12. Successfully complete the AJJF Ethics and Risk Management Course and Examination (does not need to be repeated if done before.)
  13. Meet the standards of Ethics as set forth in the document Code of Conduct and Procedures for Conflict Resolution.
  14. Find out from Examinations Committee Chair or Regional Examination Coordinator:
    1. Should the candidate mail documents, or bring them to the exam?
    2. Does the candidate need to pre-register for the exam date?
    3. How much is the fee for examinations?
  15. Be prepared to demonstrate:
    1. As listed in the current AJJF Kata Manual:
      • Yawara
      • Goshin Jitsu
      • Nage No Kata
      • Shime No Kata
      • Oku No Kata
    2. Shinnin No Maki #1 through 10
    3. Eight Kappo:
      • Se Katsu
      • Ashi Katsu
      • Nuki Katsu
      • Kin Katsu
      • Hanaji Tome
      • Hon Katsu
      • Tanden Katsu
      • Eri Katsu
    4. Blocks, Kicks, Strikes, Tanto (knife) defenses, Tanju (gun) defenses:


      1. Jodan Uke – Upper level block (as in overhead knife attack)
      2. Nagashi Uke – Parry block (as in Hagai Shime)
      3. Shuto Uke – Knife hand block (as in Yama Arashi)
      4. Gedan Uke – Low level block (as from a groin kick)


      1. Tonbogaeri – Judo Roll with kick to groin
      2. Mae Geri – Upward Front Kick
        1. Kick to knee or leg
        2. Kick to groin
        3. Kick to solar plexus or face
      3. Yoko Geri – Kick with side of foot
      4. Mawashi Geri – Roundhouse kick to uke side
        Optional Kicks:
      5. Ryo Ashi Geri – Double foot kick to chest, tori land in face fall
      6. Mae Tobi Geri – Jumping snap kick to face, also called “hitch kick”

      STRIKES (1 through 5: uke punches first, tori blocks then demonstrates strike)

      1. Kasumi Dori – Hash knife (side of hand) to side of uke neck
      2. Hibara Uchi – Front elbow blow upward into uke ribs
      3. Sei Getsu – Jab into solar plexus
      4. Hon Getsu – Jab below navel
      5. Ate Mi
        1. Hash knife (side of hand) to side of uke jaw
        2. Heel of hand under chin
        3. Heel of hand under nose
        4. Hash knife (side of hand) to temple
      6. Kin Geri – Uke front bear hug. Tori break bear hug and knee to groin.

      TANTO (Knife)

      1. Hibara Hazushi – Side stab escape
      2. Kata Hazushi – Overhead stab escape
      3. Tsukikomi Hazushi – Straight stab escape
      4. Ryote Dome – Underhand stab escape

      TANJU (Gun)

      1. Me Hazushi – Face escape (formerly called “Gan” Hazushi)
      2. Mune Hazushi – Chest escape
      3. Hibara Hazushi: Ichi, Ni, San, Shi – Side escape
        1. Right side, front
        2. Right side, rear
        3. Left side, rear
        4. Left side, front
      4. Ushiro Hazushi: Ichi, Ni – Rear escape
        1. Upper
        2. Lower

Further Information

  • “Examination for Blackbelt”
  • “Regulations, Policies, Procedures For Blackbelt Exams”


  • Application for Examination
  • Sensei Recommendation Letter
  • Examination Activity Record Sheet



  • Board of Professors
  • Examinations Committee Chair – regarding exam procedures, Time-In-Grade letter, and forms
  • Regional Manager or Regional Examination Coordinator – regarding dates, times, locations of exams.