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The JKA Instructor Qualification System

At JKA headquarters, all instructors are specially trained and licensed to teach. Each of them must train extensively and complete the JKA’s unique specialist instructor training program before receiving certification to fulfill the various functions they are responsible for within the JKA.

The JKA offers three basic kinds of qualifications:

  1. authorized Instructor qualifications (for teaching karate)
  2. authorized Judge qualifications (for judging and refereeing at tournaments); and
  3. authorized Examiner qualifications (for testing and evaluating Dan, instructors and other types of qualification).

Typically, it is only those who are already qualified instructors who are eligible for the other two types. In Japan, there are currently individuals who hold all three of these qualifications.

For each type of official qualification, there are four classes: D through A.

Each subsequent class authorizes the instructor to carry out an increasingly broad spectrum of activities appropriate to the individual’s experience — with Instructors and Judges outside Japan also carrying out their activites according to the rules for their country. Class A is the highest rank offered in the JKA.

To advance from one class to the next, the instructor must fulfill the certification requirements and successfully complete the formal testing procedure. Testing cannot take place until a minimum of three months after the candidate has attained the Dan and completed the other qualifications required for that class.

Testing for these various classes of qualification are carried out by authorized and certified Examiners specified by the Chief Instructor or by the Technical Committee. Overseas Examiners who have been given special Examiner’s authorization by JKA headquarters carry out their duties in their country based upon the authority given to them.

Generally, qualifications are renewed every three years, and require a training session before the renewal can be validated.

These details are summarized below:

Authorized Instructor Certification

Class D

  • Application Prerequisites: 2nd Dan, 20 years of age or older
  • Authorized Function Upon Certification: Qualified to instruct at branch dojo or group

Class C

  • Application Prerequisites: Min 3 months wait after receiving 3rd Dan, Class D Instructor Certification
  • Testing Location: Regional HQ
  • Authorized Function Upon Certification: Qualified to instruct and train at National (Prefecural) level

Class B

  • Application Prerequisites: Min 3 months wait after receiving 4th Dan, Class C Instructor Certification
  • Testing Location: Tokyo JKA HQ
  • Authorized Function Upon Certification: Qualified to instruct and train at Regional level

Class A

  • Application Prerequisites: Min 3 months wait after receiving 6th Dan, Class B Instructor Certification
  • Testing Location: Tokyo JKA HQ
  • Authorized Function Upon Certification: Qualified to instruct and train at International level, Qualified to instruct at International training sessions

Authorized Judge Certification

Class D

  • Application Prerequisites: Min 3 months wait after receiving 2nd Dan Testing
  • Testing Location: Regional HQ
  • Authorized Function Upon Certification: Qualified as Main judge for branch dojo or group level tournaments, Assistant judge for National (Prefectural) tournaments

Class C

  • Application Prerequisites: Min 3 months wait after receiving 3rd Dan, Class D Judge Certification
  • Testing Location: Regional HQ
  • Authorized Function Upon Certification: Qualified as Main judge for National (Prefectural) tournaments, Chief judge for branch dojo or group level tournaments, Assistant judge for Regional tournaments

Class B

  • Application Prerequisites: Min 3 months wait after receiving 4th Dan, Class C Judge Certification
  • Testing Location: Tokyo JKA HQ
  • Authorized Function Upon Certification: Qualified as Main judge and arbitrator for Regional tournaments, Chief judge for National (Prefectural) tournaments, Assistant judge for International tournaments

Class A

  • Application Prerequisites: Min 3 months wait after receiving 5th Dan, Class B Judge Certification
  • Testing Location: Tokyo JKA HQ
  • Authorized Function Upon Certification: Qualified as Main judge and arbitrator for International tournaments, Chief judge and arbitrator for Regional tournaments Qualified to instruct at judge training sessions

Class International

  • Application Prerequisites: Class A Judge Certification Testing
  • Testing Location: Upon recommendation of Instructor Committee
  • Authorized Function:  Upon Certification Qualified as Judge for International tournaments

 

Authorized Examiner Certification

 

Class D

  • Application Prerequisites: Min 3 months wait after receiving 3rd Dan, Class D Instructor Certification, 25 years of age or older
  • Testing Location: Regional HQ

Class C

  • Application Prerequisites: Min 3 months wait after receiving 4th Dan Min 1 year wait after receiving Class D Examiner Certification, Class C Instructor Certification, Class C Judge Certification
  • Testing Location: Tokyo JKA HQ

Class B

  • Application Prerequisites: Min 3 months wait after receiving 6th Dan, Min 1 year wait after receiving Class C Examiner Certification, Class B Instructor Certification, Class B Judge Certification
  • Testing Location: Tokyo JKA HQ

Class A

  • Application Prerequisites: Min 3 months wait after receiving 7th Dan, Min 2 years wait after receiving Class B Examiner Certification, Class A Instructor Certification, Class A Judge Certification
  • Testing Location: Tokyo JKA HQ
 

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