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Growth Track

Kendo students achieve higher ranks by passing shinsa (examination).

A shinsa is a test of kendo skills and knowledge necessary for beginning the next level. CKK hosts an in-house shinsa up to earn kendo clothing and armor. In-house shinsa is administered on the first day of the following quarter.

After armor is earned, kenshi (kendo practitioners) take shinsa administered by a federation accredited by the Federation of International Kendo. Our regional and national federation is the Pacific Northwest Kendo Federation (PNKF) and the All United States Kendo Federation (AUSKF). 

Our dojo requires 36 practices at CKK to qualify to test for the next rank. 

Rank order:

(Beginner) 6 Kyu, 5 Kyu, 4 Kyu, 3 Kyu, 2 Kyu, 1 Kyu, 1 Dan ("black belt"), 2 Dan, 3 Dan, 4 Dan, 5 Dan, 6 Dan, 7 Dan, 8 Dan (highest achievable rank)

First three shinsa:

1) "Beginner's Shinsa" (in-house) after first 36 practices earns kendo clothing

2) "Intermediate Shinsa" (in-house) after next 36 practices earns kendo armor

3) Shinsa (administered by regional federation) after previous 36 practices earns first rank recognized by the Federation of International Kendo

Beginner's Shinsa
1) Help a brand new student learn...
Japanese vocabulary
  • "Hello/good afternoon"
  • "Thank you"
  • "Yes"
  • "Please teach me"
  • Counting 1-10
  • Meaning of "Ki ken tai ichi"
  • Setting up and cleaning up dojo
  • Greeting others especially sensei
  • Bowing into the dojo, to shomen, to each other
  • Seiza
  • Mokuso
  • zarei (sitting bow)
  • ritsurei (standing bow)
2) Perform
  • Body posture
  • Arms
  • Grip
  • Foot position
  • Bow (Rei)
  • On-guard (Tai-to)
  • Draw (Nuke-to)
  • Courtesy (Sonkyo)
  • Ending courtesy (Sonkyo)
  • Release-guard (Sage-to)
  • Bow (Rei)
  • Ashisabaki
    • okuriashi forward and backwards
    • suriashi forwards and backwards
    • fumikomi
Intermediate Shinsa
1) Help a beginner student learn...
  • How to wear keiko-gi and hakama properly
  • The meaning of the pleats of hakama
  • How to fold the keiko-gi and hakama properly
  • How to wash
2) Perform
  • Uchikomi - men, kote, dou
  • Kirikaeshi
  • Kakarigeiko
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