Dan Ranking and Teaching Titles

SMAA dan and teaching titles are based on technical ability, teaching ability, and character development. In the case of dan grades, more emphasis is placed on technical ability. Teaching titles, which are more difficult to achieve, place emphasis on personal development and teaching ability. (Teaching titles allow instructors to recommend individuals to the SMAA for ranks within one level of their own.)

The support one has given the SMAA, the recommendations of one's seniors in the SMAA, and the contributions that one has made to the martial arts, are major considerations for promotion. SMAA time requirements for promotion apply to members with prior SMAA rank. In the case of uniquely talented individuals and/or professional instructors, an altered schedule of promotion may be approved by the officials of SMAA. Time requirements for Fuku-shihan, Shihan, and So-shihan can be waived for qualified instructors when they initially join the SMAA. 

All applicants for title/rank are thoroughly examined by the SMAA Directors and Advisors. Rank issued by mainstream, well-known Japanese associations will frequently by recognized by the SMAA. Ranking from lesser-known groups, will possibly legitimate, may require an in-person examination conducted by an appropriate SMAA official.

Requirements for SMAA Dan Promotions
Shodan At least 2 years of training and over the age of 16
Nidan More than 18 months after Shodan
Sandan More than two years after Nidan
Yodan More than three years after Sandan and at least Fuku-shidoin title
Godan More than four years after Yodan and at least Shidoin title
Rokudan More than five years after Godan
Shichidan More than six years after Rokudan and at least Fuku-shihan title
Hachidan More than seven years after Shichidan, at least Shihan title, and at least 50 years old

Requirements for SMAA Teaching Titles
Fuku-shidoin Written essay, magazine article, or book (500 word minimum) about any aspect of budo or bujutsu (minimum rank of Shodan)
Shidoin Written essay, magazine article, or book (500 word minimum) about any aspect of budo or bujutsu (minimum rank of Sandan)
Fuku-shihan At least two years after Yodan and written essay, magazine article, or book (2000 word minimum) about any aspect of budo or bujutsu (minimum rank of Yodan)
Shihan At least two years after Rokudan and written essay, magazine article, or book (2000 word minimum) about any aspect of budo or bujutsu (minimum rank of Rokudan)
So-shihan At least two years after Shichidan and written essay, magazine article, or book (2000 word minimum) about any aspect of budo or bujutsu (minimum rank of Shichidan)

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