Requirements For Yodan

Candidates must:

  1. At the time of the examination, have been an active and AJJF registered Sandan for a minimum of three consecutive years, and must hold a current AJJF registration for one full year preceding the Yodan exam.
  2. Have been actively instructing their own classes as an instructor, or assistant instructor, or been a school head for a minimum of five years.
    1. Submit a Sandan/Yodan Instructor Activity Form
  3. Be responsible for, or help supervise, three individuals being promoted to AJJF Shodan. Names of these three AJJF Shodan and their promotions dates should be submitted to the AJJF Examinations Committee Chair on the Shodan Promotion form with the candidate’s application for Yodan, no less than 30 days prior to the date of the exam.
  4. Submit a copy of current AJJF registration card.
  5. Submit a copy of current Red Cross Standard or Community First Aid card.
  6. Submit a copy of current CPR card. CPR requirement can be met only with hands-on training.
  7. Submit an Application for Examination.
  8. Submit an Concussion Awareness Form.
  9. Submit a Letter of Recommendation from Sensei (in a sealed envelope) stating, in part, willingness to assume responsibility for applicant.
  10. Submit a notebook containing an organized list of all the arts being examined, with a short description of how to do each art.
  11. Fulfill one of the following categories:


    1. Submit an activity sheet or Budo Pass listing at least nine AJJF Sanctioned mat activities (three activities must have been attended during each of the three years preceding the exam), signed by each activity’s director, or signed by him/herself if director, OR
    2. Serve a three-year term as an active member of the AJJF Operations Committee as a National Manager or Committee Chair AND submit an activity sheet or Budo Pass listing at least six AJJF Sanctioned mat activities (two activities must have been attended during each of the three years preceding the exam), signed by each activity’s director, or signed by him/herself if the director.
      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.
  12. Request a Time-In-Grade Letter from the Examination Committee Chair.
  13. Successfully complete the AJJF Ethics and Risk Management Course and Examination (does not need to be repeated if done before.)
  14. Meet the standards of Ethics as set forth in the document Code of Conduct and Procedures for Conflict Resolution.
  15. Find out from Examinations Committee Chair:
    1. Should candidate mail his/her 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?
  16. Be able to demonstrate:
    1. Any or all of the requirements listed in the Shodan, Nidan and Sandan exams.
    2. Be able to demonstrate eight additional methods of resuscitation and basic Seifukujitsu.
    3. Shinyo No Maki #15-28
      1. Tawara Gaeshi
      2. Tonbo Gaeshi
      3. Keri Komi
      4. Riuko
      5. Haya Nawa
      6. Katate Tai Atari
      7. Tsuki Mi
      8. Ate Mi
      9. Zoo Kurawase
      10. Tora Nirami
      11. Kiai Dori
      12. Senriyu Tome
      13. Yuki Chigai
      14. Munen Musow

      Plus, one or more acceptable Kappo for each Shinyo technique, as required by examiners.

    4. Kiai No Maki
      • Tessen No Maki
        1. Katate Hazushi
        2. Muni Tori (Dori)
        3. Miken Wari
        4. Uchikomi Tome (Dome)
        5. Katate Ori
        6. Katsura Wari
      • Hanbo No Maki
        1. Ganseki Otoshi Garame
        2. Oni Kudaki
        3. Ashi Kujiki
        4. Ashi Gatame
        5. Bo Gaeshi
        6. Koku
      • Daito No Maki
        1. Nukimi Tome
        2. Shiraha Tori (Dori)
        3. Suso Harai
      • Tanto No Maki
        1. Hibara Hazushi
        2. Katate Hazushi
        3. Tsukikomi Hazushi
      • Bo No Maki
        1. Hanbo Uchikomi Tori
        2. Rokushaku Bo Furi
        3. Mune Gatame
        4. Shiho Gatame
        5. Ninin Shime
        6. Furo Shime
        7. Shichinin Shime
      • Tanju No Maki
        1. Me (Gan) Hazushi
        2. Mune Hazushi
        3. Hibara Hazushi
  17. Sandan and Yodan Exam Format Change (effective August 15, 2008)
    1. Each examiner shall choose 2 arts at random per course at the exam site for demonstration of Kata. It is expected that each candidate will demonstrate their understanding of the arts as they are described in the Kata Manual. For Shinnin, each examiner shall choose 5 arts at random for demonstration by the candidate.
    2. Each candidate shall perform 3 freestyle sessions, for a maximum time limit of 2 minutes each. The first session shall be seen after Yawara, and will primarily include the candidate’s understanding of that course with appropriate transitions between each arts shown. The second session shall be seen after Nage Te, and will primarily include the candidate’s understanding of that course with appropriate transitions between each art shown. The third session shall be seen after Shinnin, and will be a demonstration of the candidate’s understanding of all that he/she has learned in DZR.
    3. The balance of the exam for each rank shall be as it is currently formatted.

Further Information

To be thoroughly prepared to take your exam, please read the previous sections, in this handbook, Examination for Blackbelt and Regulations, Policies, Procedures For Blackbelt Exams.




  • 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.