DAN RANK CERTIFICATION

Black Belt Dan Rank Certification

The Black Belt Dan Rank Certification is established by the World Fighting Martial Arts Federation (WFMAF) to promote a unified standard for traditional and modern martial arts styles, to regulate the quality of martial arts, and to recognize the achievements of martial arts students. The requirements specified below serve as guidelines for the black belt dan rank certification. To apply for black belt rank certification, the applicant must meet all the requirements listed here. Black belt dan rank certification is based on the specific style or system that the applicant is getting tested/evaluated for, therefore, an applicant can submit multiple applications and be evaluated for multiple styles or systems.

The instructor of the applicant or the applicant must document the black belt dan rank testing in video, and then submit the testing video online (e.g. YouTube) addition to the application form on this page. The black belt dan rank testing shall include the demonstration of form/kata/fighting techniques and self-defense techniques or a sparring session. All applicants must receive the approval of their instructor in order to be eligible to apply for black belt certification. An approval letter by the applicant’s instructor must be submitted by mail or email. The black belt certification examination will be evaluated by a panel of specialist officials appointed by the WFMAF according to the style or system of the applicant.

A black belt dan rank awarded by other reputable martial arts organizations will be evaluated and considered toward the applicant’s grading. An honorary Dan rank certification may be given to individuals who have made significant contributions to the development of traditional fighting martial arts.

  • Certification General Requirements
  • Certification Level Specific Requirements

Basic Requirements

  • The applicant must meet the minimum age requirement of 16 years old.
  • The applicant must have taken a minimum of 300 Class hours.
  • The applicant must have a minimum of 3 years of experience in learning martial arts.
  • The applicant must have earned a brown belt prior to applying for the black belt certification.
  • The applicant must submit a passport style digital photo to show the applicant’s face.
  • The black belt test must be conducted by the applicant’s instructor and documented in video.
  • The format of the test must contain demonstration of a martial arts form/kata/fighting techniques, self-defense applications or a sparring session, and a brief purpose statement of learning martial arts.

Form/Kata Basic Requirements

  • Form/kata/fighting techniques demonstration can be a complete form or a combination of fighting techniques.
  • The form/kata/fighting techniques must be performed with a minimum duration of 30 seconds.
  • Fighting techniques can be standup techniques, ground techniques, or a combination of standup and ground techniques.
  • The applicant must state the style and the name of the form/kata/fighting techniques before beginning the performance.

Form/Kata Evaluation Standards

  • Proper sequence of movement and correct accuracy of the techniques.
  • Showing the key elements of the form/kata: strong command of movements, whole-body coordination, speed, power, and fighting spirit.
  • Following the proper course of direction and showing smoothness in the feet movements.
  • Demonstrating an understanding of the meaning of each movement.
  • Overall performance and illustrating the essential characteristics of the chosen form/kata.
  • Proper use of stances and postures, and the ability to focus the mind.

Self-Defense Applications Evaluation Standard

  • For self-defense techniques, the applicant must choose a minimum of 5 techniques from the form/kata, sequence of movements, or combination of techniques to show self-defense applications.
  • Self-defense techniques can be hand-to-hand, hand-to-weapon, or weapon-to-weapon.
  • The applicant must show strong command of the self-defense techniques and its effectively.

Sparring Session Evaluation Standard

  • Instead of self-defense techniques, the applicant can choose to show combat skill by a sparring session.
  • The sparring session must be 3 rounds, each round again different partner, with 2 minutes each round. The applicant must win 2 out of 3 rounds.
  • The applicant must show effective execution of offensive and defensive techniques, and good control of range, reflex, and sense of timing.

Martial Arts Written Essay Requirements

  • The applicant must submit a purpose statement in writing on the history and the unique characteristics of the techniques of the style or system.
  • The purpose statement in written format must contain at least 300 words with a maximum of 2 pages.

Martial Arts Video Essay Requirements

  • The applicant must submit a recorded video explaining the reason the applicant decided to learn martial arts, and how martial arts has shaped or impacted his/her life.
  • The length of the video must be no less than 2 minutes and no more than 5 minutes.

1st Dan Requirements

  • Minimum age of 16 years old
  • Demonstration of form and practical fighting/applications
  • Written essay and video essay
  • Application Fee: $100

2nd Dan Requirements

  • Minimum 3 year required after earning black belt 1st dan
  • Holder of 1st Dan for at least 1 year (Optional)
  • Minimum age of 23 years old
  • Minimum 3 years of teaching experience (assistant instructor also qualify)
  • Demonstration of form and practical fighting/applications
  • Written essay and video essay
  • Application Fee: $130

3rd Dan Requirements

  • Minimum 6 year required after earning black belt 2nd dan
  • Holder of 2nd Dan for at least 2 years (Optional)
  • Minimum age of 26 years old
  • Minimum 6 years of teaching experience (assistant instructor also qualify)
  • Demonstration of form and practical fighting/applications
  • Written essay and video essay
  • Application Fee: $160

4th Dan Requirements

  • Minimum 10 year required after earning black belt
  • Holder of 3rd Dan for at least 3 years (Optional)
  • Minimum age of 30 years old
  • Minimum 10 years of teaching experience
  • Demonstration of form and practical fighting/applications
  • Written essay and video essay
  • Application Fee: $200

5th Dan Requirements

  • Minimum 15 year required after earning black belt
  • Holder of 4th Dan for at least 4 years (Optional)
  • Minimum age of 35 years old
  • Minimum 15 years of teaching experience
  • Demonstration of form and practical fighting/applications
  • Written essay and video essay
  • Application Fee: $230

6th Dan Requirements

  • Minimum 21 year required after earning black belt
  • Holder of 5th Dan for at least 5 years (Optional)
  • Minimum age of 40 years old
  • Minimum 20 years of teaching experience required
  • Demonstration of form and practical fighting/applications
  • Written essay and video essay
  • Application Fee: $260

7th Dan Requirements

  • Minimum 28 year required after earning black belt
  • Holder of 6th Dan for at least 6 years (Optional)
  • Minimum age of 50 years old
  • Minimum 30 years of teaching experience
  • Demonstration of form and practical fighting/applications
  • Written essay and video essay
  • Publication of media materials: Articles, Books, and/or Instructional DVDs (Optional)
  • Application Fee: $360

8th Dan Requirements

  • Minimum 36 year required after earning black belt
  • Holder of 7th Dan for at least 7 years (Optional)
  • Minimum age of 55 years old
  • Minimum 35 years of teaching experience |
  • Demonstration of form and practical fighting/applications
  • Written essay and video essay
  • Publication of media materials: Articles, Books, and/or Instructional DVDs (Optional)
  • Application Fee: $480

9th Dan Requirements

  • Minimum 45 year required after earning black belt
  • Holder of 8th Dan for at least 8 years (Optional)
  • Minimum age of 60 years old
  • Minimum 40 years of teaching experience
  • Demonstration of form and practical fighting/applications
  • Written essay and video essay
  • Publication of media materials: Articles, Books, and/or Instructional DVDs (Optional)
  • Application Fee: $600
Dan Rank LevelsMinimum Years Required After Earning Black BeltMinimum Age RequirementMinimum Teaching Experience
1st Dan-16-
2nd Dan3233
3rd Dan6266
4th Dan103010
5th Dan153515
6th Dan214020
7th Dan285030
8th Dan365535
9th Dan456040