Please note that as of 2011 the IKF regulations are being revised 


Article 1: The purpose of this Standard Guideline for Dan/Kyu Examination is to define the basic standards of examination, which shall be common to every affiliated organization (herein after called Organization) of International Kendo Federation (hereafter referred to as IKF. When an Organization conducts a Dan/Kyu examination this standard guideline applies.

(General Provision)

Article 2: The Dan/Kyu stipulated in this Standard Guideline shall be from 1 Kyu (Ikkyu) through 10 Dan (Jyu Dan) shall be granted by the President of Organization according to the overall Kendo ability of an applicant and shall be mutually recognized as being equivalent among Organizations.

(Applicants Qualification)

Article 3: (1) An applicant shall be a registered member of Organization and shall have the following period of practice.

Dan/Kyu                                Practice Periods                               Lowest ages

1 Kyu (Ik kyu)                                   --                                                  --

1 (Sho Dan)                    1 Kyu holder                                          14 years and over

2 (Ni Dan)                      One year or more after 1 Dan

3 (San Dan)                   Two years or more after 2 Dan

4 (Yon Dan)                   Three years or more after 3 Dan

5 (Go Dan)                      Four years or more after 4 Dan

6 (Roku Dan)                 Five years or more after 5 Dan

7 (Shichi Dan)               Six years or more after 6 Dan

8 (Hachi Dan)                Ten years or more after 7 Dan            46 years and over

9 (Kyu Dan)                   After granting of 8 Dan                       65 years and over

10 (Jyu Dan)                 After granting of 9 Dan

(2) Those who desire to apply for a 6, 7 or 8 Dan examination 60 years old or older and have practiced for a certain years as below shall be allowed to apply.

Dan/Kyu                                        Practice Periods

6 Dan                                  Two years or more after 5 Dan

7 Dan                                  Three years or more after 6 Dan

8 Dan                                  Five years or more after 7 Dan

(Examination Methods)

Article 4: An examination shall be conducted by Organization; however in case wherein the Organization lacks qualified examiners to meet the required number given below, other Organization(s) may provide qualified examiners with the approval of the President of the Organization(s).

(Examination Subject)

Article 5: (1) Examination subject are as follows:

Dan/Kyu Applied For                                                        Examination Subject

1 Kyu                                                           Matches (Jitsugi)

1 Dan ~ 5 Dan                                           Matches (Jitsugi), Nippon-Kendo-Kata and Written Test

6 Dan, 7 Dan                                            Matches (Jitsugi), Nippon-Kendo-Kata

 (2) Nippon-Kendo-Kata shall be examined as follows:

Dan/Kyu Applied For                                                        Examination Subject

1 Kyu

1 Dan                                                          Tachi-no-Kata 3 or more forms

2 Dan                                                         Tachi-no-Kata 5 or more forms

3 Dan                                                         Tachi-no-Kata 7 forms

4 Dan ~ 7 Dan                                          Tachi-no-Kata 7 forms and Kodachi-no-kata 3 forms

(3) When success of jitsugi, Nippon-Kendo-Kata and written test are separately announced after each occasion, if an applicant fails in Nippon-Kendo-Kata or in written test after the success in Jitsugi he/she may be allowed to take that subject only again at an examination held afterwards. This special treatment shall apply only once for one occasion per applicant.

(Examiners Qualification, Required Number of Examiner and Eligibility Criteria)

Article 6: Examiner�s qualification, required number of examiners and eligibility criteria are as follows:

Dan Examined                  Examiner                           Number                            Criteria

1 Dan                           4 Dan & over                             5                   Consent of min. 3 Examiners

2 Dan                          5 Dan & over                             5                   Consent of min. 3 Examiners

3 Dan                          5 Dan & over                             5                    Consent of min. 3 Examiners

4 Dan                          6 Dan & over                             6                    Consent of min. 4 Examiners

5 Dan                          7 Dan & over                             6                    Consent of min. 4 Examiners

6 Dan                          7 Dan & over                            6                     Consent of min. 4 Examiners

7 Dan                          7 Dan & over                            6                     Consent of min. 4 Examiners

Special Treatment

  Concerning the 4-Dan or higher Dan Examination; if the required number of qualified and suitable examiners cannot be appointed by the method stipulated in the Article 6 the number of the examiners may be reduced to 5. In this case the consent of minimum 4 examiners shall suffice for the decision of passing.

(Examination for Kyu and 8 Dan & Over)

Article 7: The examination for Kyu and 8 Dan and over shall be determined by each organization. Regarding the 8 Dan and higher Dan examination, each Organization shall determine a rigorous way of examination including Jitsugi evaluation.

(Method to Appoint Examiners)

Article 8: Examiners shall be appointed by the President of Organization after a discussion with the officials and fully-competent Dan holders. Fully-competent Dan holders here means persons with equal or higher grades stipulated in the Article 6 Examiners Qualification.

(Fees for Examination and Registration)

Article 9: Fees for examination and registration shall be stipulated by Organization.

(Return or Deprivation of Dan/Kyu)

Article 10: The President of Organization may in consultation with the concil or the investigation committee of the Organization order a Dan/Kyu grantee of Organization to return his/her Dan/Kyu or deprive him/her of the same, in case where the grantee disgraced the Dan/Kyu.

(Issuing Certificate and Recording)

Article 11: Organization shall issue a certificate with the signature of the President of Organization to each successful applicant. Organization shall keep the Dan/Kyu records properly.

(Criteria for Awarding Dan Grades; 'Fuyo Kijun'))

Article 12: The acceptability criterion of each Dan 'Fuyo Kijun' shall be stated separately as 'Guidelines for Assessing Pass-Fail in Promotion Examinatiom'.

(Iaido and Jodo)

Article 13: The Dan/Kyu examination for Iaido and Jodo shall be conducted conforming to this standard guideline.

(Dan/Kyu Examinations in a non-affiliated Country)

Article 14: In case a Dan/Kyu examination held in a non-affiliated Country, the 'Memorandum of Dan/Kyu Examination in a IKF Non-affiliated Country' as of May 23, 2005 shall apply.


Article 1: This standard shall be established and put in force as of April 11, 1975
Article 2: This standard shall be revised and put in force as of May 11, 1987
Article 3: This standard shall be revised and put in force as of March 26, 1997
Article 4: This standard shall be revised and put in force as of July 3, 2003

 NKL Samurai knight

With Honorary Tital & Membership.

By this decree & official order of the samurai knight of the Empire.


Go forth & accomplish great act's

Ranking Players are created through months & years of playing the game of kendoball & training in the art of  traditional Kendo & other styles of swordsmanship.

The system I call Shinai Bo-Ru.


Pawns are first time players.

In order to ascend from the rank of pawn, you must train a bit and gain skill. Knowing the rules and regulations of sword play and the sport are just part of a Pawns training.


Once a Pawn has shown skill or incredible natural talent, or gone through basic training and played a minimum of 8 games they can move up to the rank of Gambit.

At this point you'll know the basics of swordsman ship as well as the games more strategic points.

A Gambit gets the NKL mark.

The NKL is branded on their sword and they are on their way to earning their Rune Sword by obtaining every rank, title and honor, that can be bestowed to the Knights of the National Kendoball Leagues.

After another eight games you are ready. You've been thrown into the battle enough to be forged and tested in the heat of it all. Survived dozens of epic battles and fought, and trained with many of the pro's out there one on one. You're ready to challenge one of the Knights, to become a Knight yourself.


Challenging or accepting the challenge of one of the higher ranking Players on the field, is the only way to obtain your level of Knighthood. The higher ranking Knight usually chooses the Gambit they wish to train. However, in some cases a challenge is made by the Gambit. After the 8 games.

A Gambit may challenge any Knight. Tho the Knight may not except if she or he feels the Gambit is not ready.

As a Knight you get your player number branded onto the sword.

A Knight now continues their training courses and gains eight more titles.

Titles are like ranks.

They are also specific training systems.

Each title is a series of lessons and challenges that teaches and tests every aspect of your skill and prowess as a warrior on the Kendoball field.

Level 1: Knight Sword Training

Level 2: Pirate Ball & Sword Training

Level 3: Ninja Ball & Obstacle Course

Level 4: Viking Two Swords Training

Level 5: Trojan Tactics & Strategy

Level 6: Spartan Training Grounds

Level 7: Samurai Shinai Bo-Ru 

Level 8: Samurai Knight Gauntlet Training

Two achievement awards can be earned after Level 1 along with a possible third, special award in the category of tactics and strategy.

There are also a number of rune symbols that are awarded to a player during their ten years. For such things as honor, loyalty, creativity and a dozen others that eventually lead to having a full rune blade.

Ranking System

After one full year or 52 games a player takes her/his test to obtain their first rank.

1st Rank: Earth.... First Year

2nd Rank: Wind.... Second Year

3rd Rank: Water..... Third Year

4th Rank: Fire..... Year Four

5th Rank: Void..... Year Five

Kendo Rankings

A Player may also chose to study Traditional Kendo after their first rank as Knight.

A written examination & matches are required for each rank of 1-Ikkyu and higher. There is a time limit and age limit as well.

Age Limit is 3-6

6-Rokkyu to 2-Nikyu. Examination for Kyu

1-Ikkyu. Kata 1 - 3.

No time or age limit 

1-Shodan. 3 months. Kata 1-5,

Age 14+

2-Nidan. 1 year. Kata 1-7

3-Sandan. 2 Years. Kata 1-7 & Kodachi Kata 1-3

4-Yondan. 3 Years. Kata 1-7 

5-Godan. 4 years 

6-Rokudan. 5 Years, & Refereeing

7-Nanadan. 6 Years, & Refereeing

Hatchi-Dan. 10 Years. Kata 1-7. Kodachi Kata 1-3

Written Examination & Thesis, Age limit 46