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Instructions for obtaining Kodokan Rank 

The U.S. Kodokan Committee was established in 1982 by USJI (USA Judo) president Frank Fullerton and Kodokan president Yukimitsu Kano to avoid the travel and other expenses for U.S. Judoka to take Promotion test at the Kodokan.

A U.S. citizen who lives in Japan and practice judo in Japan would be eligible for taking the test for the Kodokan rank at the Kodokan.

A U.S. citizen who lives in the USA and has a USA Judo, USJF or USJA rank may seek Kodokan Rank. Usually, the Kodokan does not skip rank. However starting in 2009, if candidates have a high rank with another country or USA rank, and they meet Kodokan requirements for higher than Sho Dan rank, it is possible that the U.S. Kodokan Committee will recommend to Ni Dan of higher. The U.S. Kodokan Committee recommends some cases even though they are borderline candidates to meet Kodokan rank requirements.Therefore after this recommendation is made, it is still possible.for the Kodokan Institute in Japan to reject or table the application for the necessary time in grade.

You must complete an application and send it to the U.S. Kodokan Committee, 12042 SE Sunnyside RD #346, Clackamas, Oregon 97015.  The application form may be downloaded here. A $20.00 processing fee must accompany the application. Make check or money order payable to the U.S. Kodokan Committee.

If the U.S. Kodokan Committee approves your application, then we recommend your application to the Kodokan in Tokyo. We will send you a final statement including promotion fee, postage and bank fees. These fees do not change by Kodokan however due to change rate between U.S. dollar and Japanese yen the conversion rate may change form time to time.

You must include copies of your current U.S. or other country’s Rank Certificate and current Kodokan Rank certificates if you apply for higher than Sho Dan.



Important! For non-competitors, in the section marked “Shiai Record”, you must fill in this space with old records if necessary. Due to the enormous amount of applications the Kodokan receives, attachments will not be read, only the completed application.

Original Committee Members – 1982
Takahiko Ishikawa
Yasuyuki Sakabe
Ben Cambell
Mits Kimura
Sachio Ashida
George Harris
Henry Okamura
Don Kikuchi
Yoshisada Yonezuka (Chairman)
Keiko Fukuda

Committee Members – 2015
Michael Swain, 7th Dan, Chairman
Toshio Ichinoe, 7th Dan, Executive Secretary
Teimoc Johnson Ono, 7th Dan
Joseph Marchal, 7th Dan
Dr Sandy North, 7th Dan
Doug Tono, 6th Dan
Leo White, 6th Dan
Nicholas Yonezuka, 6th Dan

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