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 with training in person or online.
  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. Submit an activity sheet or Budo Pass listing at least six AJJF approved mat activities, OR 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 four AJJF approved mat activities.
      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. Yodan: At least 6 AJJF approved mat activities during the 36 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.
  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. Kata Hazushi
        3. Tsukikomi Hazushi
        4. Ryote Dome
      • 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
        4. Ushiro Hazushi
  17. Sandan and Yodan Exam Format Change
    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 4 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 Shime Te, and will primarily include the candidate’s understanding of that course with appropriate transitions between each art shown. (optional until Apr 2022) The fourth 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. Forms



  • 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.