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 only with hands-on training.
  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 3 AJJF sanctioned mat activities during the 12 month period immediately preceding the exam date:
    1. Activities include, but are not limited to: mat clinics, blackbelt classes, mat seminars, conventions, jujitsu camps, competitions
      • All activities MUST be posted on the AJJF Online Calendar of Events
      • For Shodan and Nidan applicants only, at least one activity must be a AJJF sanctioned competition, occurring during the 12 months immediately preceding the exam date
      • (Effective only for mat activities and events listed AFTER 11/12/2018…activities and events listed prior to this date are exempt from the following rule) When an event includes multiple activities (i.e. National Convention includes convention classes, national freestyle contest, exams, healing arts classes), only one activity per the event qualifies for this exam requirement
      • Blackbelt classes MUST be open to participation by all registered AJJF students of appropriate rank.
      • Healing arts classes count as mat activities with the following caveats:
        • Attendance during a DZRSI Module 1 or 2 can count as one mat activity per year of time-in-grade (maximum of one of the three mat activities per year).
        • Massage Continuing Education and Healing Arts classes taught by Standards Committee Members (or instructor who is approved by the committee) also qualify.
        • Attendance at an approved Danzan Ryu Restorative Therapy class taught by an approved DZRSI instructor can count for one activity per year of Time-In-Grade. To verify that the instructor of the class is approved, contact the DZRSI Administrator before attending the class.
      • 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. Katate 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.