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 Kendo Shiai (Match) Regulations & Refereeing Rules

Kendo Shinsa (Promotion Test) Requirments

Iaido Shinsa (Promotion Test) Requirements


 
KENDO SHIAI (Match) REGULATIONS & REFEREEING RULES
KENDO Match Regulations & Refereeing
Revised May 27, 1988
International Kendo Federation
CONTENTS

I.     Prologue
II.    MATCH REGULATIONS
Chapter 1:  Match Definitions
Chapter 2:  Match Arena
Chapter 3:  Equipment
Chapter 4:  Match Types/Styles
Chapter 5:  Start; Suspension/Resumption/Ending
Chapter 6:  Match Time Periods
Chapter 7:  DATOTSU (Strike/Types)
Chapter 8:  HANSOKU (Fouls)
Chapter 9:  BASSOKU (Penalty)
Chapter 10: Injury or Accident
Chapter 11: IGI (Protests)
Chapter 12: SHINPAN (Refereeing)
Chapter 13: KAKARI (Court Personnel)
Chapter 14: Flag & Ribbon Specifications

III.   REFEREE REGULATIONS
Chapter 1:  Match Winner (Decisions)
Chapter 2:  SHINPAN (Referee)
Chapter 3:  YUKO DATOTSU (Valid Strikes)
Chapter 4:  Major Points in Refereeing
Chapter 5:  Handling other court decisions
IV.  SUPPLEMENT: OTHER MATCH/COURT ITEMS
Chapter 1:  Participant items
Chapter 2:  Referee items
Chapter 3:  Score Board Posting
I.   Prologue

Kendo Match (Shiai) and Judging (Referee) Regulations.
The Concept of Kendo: kendo is to discipline the human character through the application of the
principle of the KATANA.
On the basis of the proceeding Concept of Kendo, the following regulations of kendo shiai and
judging are hereby enacted.
II. KENDO SHIAI REGULATIONS
Chapter 1 - Shiai definitions back to contents
Article 1.  
A kendo match (shiai) is herein defined as a contest between two contestants for YUKO
DATOTSU using kendo equipment and conducted in an area as stipulated in accordance with the
Regulations of Kendo Shiai and Refereeing as herein set forth. 
Chapter 2 - Match Area back to contents

Article 2.  The match (court) area shall have the following specifications: 
1.   A match area shall be a square or rectangle of 9 to 11 meters on each side, the width of the line
tape inclusive.
2.   The center of the court shall be marked with an "X" made of two pieces of
white tape, 30 centimeters in length each.
3.   An extra area shall be provided outside a court when
next to another court. The area should be at lease 1.5 meters wide from the boundary line.4.  
The boundary lines shall be made with white tape, 5 to 10 centimeters wide. 

Chapter 3 - Equipment  back to contents

Article 3.   
SHINAI shall be made of four split pieces of bamboo or a synthetic material than can
substitute bamboo. The shinai shall not include any other articles than the SHIN which is stuffed inside
the point cover or the CHIGIRI that is added inside the end of hilt.
 
Article 4.  The following table establishes shinai weight and length.                            
JR. HIGH 
 
	Male	Length 114cm max	Weight 425gram min
	Female	Length 114cm max	Weight 400gram min

SR. HIGH

	Male	Length 117cm max	Weight 470gram min
	Female 	Length 117cm max	Weight 410gram min      

COLLEGE - ADULT

	Male	Length 120cm max	Weight 500gram min
	Female 	Length 120cm max	Weight 420gram min                
 
The length refers to the total length including accessories, and the weight to the total weight
of the SHINAI, including all accessories excluding the TSUBA.
 
Shinai Construction
Article 5.   Shown are the parts and names of a SHINAI: 

               sakigawa     nakayui   tsuru(string)  	 tsuba    tsuka-gawa  
                     \______|___________|___________|_______/             
  ken-sen>    <______||______________________|_______ ]-tsuka-gashira          
                  	        |^           \ jin or ha                                                                                          
                             datotsu-bu                                    
                     |<---------------Jin-Bu----------------------->< tsuka> 

DATOTSU-BU refers to the point (about one-third the length) of the JIN-BU from the KEN-SEN.
Article 6.  
The TSUBA is round in shape and made of leather or a synthetic material. It shall not exceed 8cm in
diameter and be fixed at the specific position on the shinai.
 
EQUIPMENT & CLOTHING
Article 7. 
KENDOGU or BOGU (equipment) refers to the MEN (head gear), KOTE (gloves), DO
(body), TARE (waist protector) as a set and the kendo costume consisting of the KEIKOGI
(jacket) and HAKAMA (skirt).

a.   The match player shall wear a folded ribbon, red or white,worn at the crossing point of the DO
laces (HIMO) on the contestants back.

The contestant shall also wear a cloth name tag (ZEKKEN) on the center piece of the TARE,
showing the contestant's name and dojo.
 
Chapter 4 - Match Type/Styles  back to contents

Article 8.  
INDIVIDUAL match winners shall be decided in the following manner:
 
a.   The individual match shall be decided by SAN-BON-SHOBU (three point scoring) as a rule.

b.   In SAN-BON-SHOBU, the contestant who scores two points within the given time shall be
the winner. However, if only one competitor scores a point within the match period, they shall be
declared the winner of the match.

c.   If neither player scores a point within the match period, a match extension(s) (ENCHO) may
be allowed until a point is scored. The person scoring the point shall be declared the winner.
Or, the match may be decided by a referee's judgment (HANTEI) or by lot (CHUSEN),
or be declared a draw (HIKIWAKE).

d.   If a match is decided by a referee's decision or by lot, the winner shall be given one point.

e.   Referee's decisions shall be based on the following overall points:

	1.   Posture and manner           
	2.   Skill           
	3.   Fouls 

Article 9.  
A TEAM match shall be carried out as follows:

a.   Individual's matches shall be carried out in a pre-determined order.

b.   The TEAM match may have a majority winner and a successive winner.

c.   A majority winner means that in the individual matches, the team with the highest number
of winners shall be declared the winner.
If both teams have an equal number of winners, the team that scores the highest number of points
shall be declared the winner.
If the number of points happens to come to a draw, two individuals from each team shall fight until a
winner is declared.

d.   A successive winner means that a player of a team continues to fight against opponents, as
long as the individual keeps winning.
The team which beats the last player on a team shall be declared the winner.
 
Chapter 5 - Match Start/Time outs/Finish  back to contents

Article 10.  
The contestants shall step into the court, place themselves approximately nine steps apart and
exchange REI (bow). Then, move three steps forward, take the SONKYO (knee bend squat)
at the same time drawing the SHINAI with the tips about one inch apart and getting into the
KAMAE (ready position). At the HAJIME (start) command from the Chief Referee they shall
stand up and begin fighting.
 
Article 11.   
A match "time out" can be called by any court referee. The match can only be resumed by a command
form the Chief Referee.
 
Article 12.  
A match is ended upon a win (two or one points) or a draw as indicated by the Chief Referee.
The contestants will stand at KAMAE on CHUDAN (ready position) after the match has been halted by
the Chief Referee.
The Chief Referee will then identify the winner. 
The contestants will take the SONKYO position, replace their SHINAI, stand up, take five steps
backward and bow and leave the court.
 
Chapter 6 - Match Time  back to contents

Article 13.  
The standard match time period is five (5) minutes after the Chief
Referee has commenced the match.
 
Article 14.  
The standard extension (overtime) shall be three (3) minutes.
 
Article 15.  
The time required to complete the following shall not be counted as
 match time:
a.   The time from the moment the Chief Referee announces a valid YUKO DATOTSU
(point or strike)until the match is resumed.

b.  The time from the calling of a time our (suspension) until the match is resumed by the Chief Referee.
 
Chapter 7 - DATOTSU (valid strikes/hits)  back to contents

Article 16.  
The valid strike points on the body shall be the following:

a.   MEN (head). The forehead and the left and right areas above the temple.
The forehead is the cushion part of the MEN and not the metal screen. However, the screen
may become a valid strike point if player throws their head back.

b.  KOTE (hand). The area on the forearm covered by the round patterned covering.
Generally the right forearm,  the left forearm can also be a valid point during
CHUDAN-NO-KAMAE (left hand forward holding the sword);

JODAN-NO KAMAE (a KAMAE where the SHINAI is held over the head);

WAKI-KAMAE (a KAMAE where the SHINAI is held downward by the right foot);

NITO-NO-KAMAE (KAMAE using two SHINAI); AGE-KOTE

(where the KOTE is held above the pit of the stomach, except when executing

(DATOTSU); and  KAMAE variations from CHUDAN.
The top of the hand is not a valid DATOTSU.

c.  DO (torso). The left and right sides of the DO.

d.  TSUKI (throat). The TSUKI-TARE
(throat flap on the MEN) and the breast section of the DO when JODAN-NO KAMAE
and NITO-NO-KAMAE are used.        
 
Article 17.  
YUKO DATOTSU is defined as the accurate striking or thrusting made to
DATOTSU spots with the SHINAI at its DATOTSU-BU edge with KIAI (spirit and positive voice),
 the right posture, and ZANSHIN (mental and physical alertness against the opponents attack;
positive follow through of attack and strike),

a.  One handed DATOTSU and DATOTSU in retreat, however, must be executed after a clear positive
strike.

b. GO-NO-WAZA (DATOTSU countering an opponent's DATOTSU) as a counter or parry to
TSUBA-ZERIAI (when both opponents establish contact with TSUBA) must be clear and precise.
 
2.  An accurate DATOTSU in the following instances shall be valid: 

a.  When a DATOTSU is made immediately after a player loses their grip on the
SHINAI or drops it.

b.  DATOTSU made simultaneously when the opponent steps out of bounds (court).

c.  DATOTSU made simultaneously when the match is signaled as ended.

3.  DATOTSU in the following cases will not be considered valid:a.  AIUCHI
(valid DATOTSU made mutually and simultaneously by both opponents).

b.  DATOTSU made to an opponent who is parrying his opponent effectively. 
Chapter 8 - HANSOKU (Match Fouls/Penalty)  back to contents

Article 18.  
Actions made by a contestant as defined in Articles 19, 20, and 21 shall be considered foul actions:

Article 19.  
An insult to an opponent or referee.Article 20.  Use of a SHINAI which has not been inspected
and approved or which contains foreign materials.

Article 21.
The following actions by a contestant:a.  JOGAI (stepping out of bounds during the match)
except when the competitor's YUKO DATOTSU is taken and then canceled.

JOGAI includes the following:

1.  Placing one foot totally outside the court line.
2.  Bracing the body with a part of the body or
SHINAI outside the court line.

3.  Falling on the floor with part of the body crossing the court line.b.  Unfair shoving or pushing
an opponent out of bounds. In this case, the player pushed out of bounds shall be free from
JOGAI HANSOKU.

c.  Losing the grip of the SHINAI and being unable to use it. No foul of SHINAI-HANASHI
will be made, unless the opponent makes YUKO DATOTSU immediately upon the player
who has lost the SHINAI.

d. TSUBA-ZERI-AI (TSUBA to TSUBA contact) without intention of making DATOTSU.

e.  Tripping or sweeping an opponent off their feet intentionally.f.  The following unacceptable
actions:
1.  TSUBA-ZERI-AI in an unacceptable form.

2.  Intentionally pushing an opponent
with the tip of the SHINAI to break TSUBA-ZERI-AI contact.

3.  Intentionally grabbing or holding an opponent.
4.  Grabbing an opponent's SHINAI or grabbing one's own SHINAI beyond the TSUBA.

5.  Calling "Time" without good reason.

6.  Using unnecessary force on an opponent.
7.  When falling to the floor, falling and lying "face down" without trying to counter the opponent's
moves.

8.  Intentionally wasting time.9.  Any other acts or actions considered to impeded or hinder fair
competition.
 
Chapter 9 - BASSOKU (Penalty) back to contents

Article 22.  
he competitor that commits the foul in Article 19 shall lose the match and leave the court.
The opponent will be given two points. If the player committing the foul has scored
up to this point, the points shall be forfeited completely.
 
Article 23.  
The player that commits a foul in Article 20 will receive the following penalties:

a.  In the case of an individual match, the player committing the foul shall lose the match by
giving two points to the opponent and shall have their points or score forfeited.

b. In the case of a team match, the team belonging to the player who committed the foul shall lose
the match by giving two point to each member of the opponents team and shall forfeit all points
or scores gained up to that point

c.  If the foul is committed during championship tournament, neither the individual
committing the foul nor that individual's team  may stay in the event after discovery of the foul
or violation.

d.  Items a and b shall not apply to matches where the player participated, prior
to the discovery of the foul. Nonetheless, in the case of league matches, player or their team shall lose
all matches concerned.
 
Article 24. 
In the case of Article 21, item a, where one player steps out of bounds, followed by their opponent,
only the former shall be penalized. However, when two players step out simultaneously, both shall
be penalized for stepping out of bounds.
 
Article 25.  
In the case of Article 21, item d, the player committing the foul shall be given CHUI (a warning) once
and shall receive a penalty at the second occurrence of the action.
 
Article 26.  
In Article 21, the person committing item d the second time shall get a penalty and the opponent shall
receive one point for the violator's two penalties.
 
Article 27.  
The number of Article 21 penalties shall be cumulative during the match of any player committing this
foul.
 
SOSAI - (offset) 
Article 28.  
In the case of an extension or when both players have scored one point each, when a second foul is
committed by both players simultaneously, the fouls shall be offset and neither player penalized.
 
Chapter 10 - Injury or Accident back to contents

Article 29. 
Request to stop a match. A contestant may request a time out during a match when they are unable to
continue do to an accident.
 
Article 30. 
Inability to continue. In the case where a contestant cannot continue the match due to an accident, if
the opponent is responsible for the accident, whether intentionally or unintentional, that opponent
shall lose the match. If the cause of the accident cannot be ascertain, the incapacitated player shall
lose the match.
 
Article 31. 

The player who cannot continue a match due to an accident or requests an end to a match shall become
the loser of  the match. 

Article 32.
Time out due to an accident. The court referees shall spend no more than five (5) minutes in handling an
accident. The shall decide, after conference, on continuance of the match. and may also seek counsel
of a doctor to do the same.
 
Article 33. 
Reinstatement of an injured player. Where a team match is concerned, the player who sought an end
to a match in accordance with Article 30 and 31 shall not be permitted to reinstate themselves in the
remaining part of the match.
 
Article 34. 
Points made during injury. The player fighting the injured competitor, in accordance with Articles 30
and 31,  shall be given two (2) points. The injured player may retain one point if already given. In the
case of an extension, however, the uninjured player shall be given one point only.
 
Chapter 11 - IGI (Protests) back to contents

Article 35.
 No one shall have the right to protest against the referee's decisions.
 
Article 35.
A competitor's manager may file a protest with the court judge or the chief judge against the
aforementioned rule regarding a specific match BEFORE another match begins.
 
Chapter 12 - SHINPAN (Judging) back to contents

Article 37.  
SHINPANCHO (Chief Judge) is entrusted will all the needed powers to see that a match is
performed in a fair and proper manner.
 
Article 38.  
SHINPAN SHUNIN (court judge) shall be appointed when two or more courts are used.
A court judge shall be appointed per court as an assistant to the Chief Judge.
The court judge shall be held responsible to the Chief Judge for the judging (refereeing) at
their respective court.
 
Article 39.  
SHINPAN-IN (court referees) A team of one SHU-SHIN (chief referee) and two FUKU-SHIN
(subreferees) shall decide on YUKO-DATOTSU and HANSOKU. They shall have equal rights for
decisions. The chief referee shall, in coordination with the subreferees, see that a match proceeds
and shall announce all court actions. The subreferees shall serve as assistants to the chief referee.
 
Chapter 13 - KAKARI (Court Staff) back to contents

Article 40.  
TOKEI GAKARI (Time Keeper). There shall be, in principle, one head time keeper and two or more
subkeepers per court who shall keep track of each match. These time keepers will signal the end of a
match at the end of the stipulated time period.
 
Article 41.
KEIJI GAKARI (Score Board Recorder). There shall be, in principle, one head recorder and two
or more subrecorders per court who shall mark the referee's decisions on the score board correctly.
 
Article 42.  
KIROKU GAKARI (Score Recorder). There shall be, in principle, one head score recorder and two
or more subrecorders per court who shall keep track of scores, points of YUKO DATOTSU,
match time, HANSOKU, etc.
 
Article 43.
SENSHU GAKARI (Court Announcer). There shall be, in principle, one head court announcer and
two or more subannouncers per court who shall call players and inspect their equipment in order
to get a match to proceed without undue delays.  
           
Chapter 14 Flag & Ribbon usage. 

Article 44. 
The specifications for the referee flags and others shall be as indicated
in Fig. 4. The handles of these flags shall be 1.5 cm in diameter.
 
Article 45.

Contestant's ribbons. The contestant's ribbon shall be  70 cm long and 5 cm wide, either red or white. 

III. REGULATIONS: KENDO REFEREES 

Chapter 1 - Decisions: Victory/defeat. back to contents

Article 1. 

The victory/defeat decision of a match shall be decided by referees in accordance with the rules
herein set forth.
 
Chapter 2. SHINPAN (Referee) back to contents

Article 2. 

Court referees shall consist of a Chief Judge, Court Judges (appointed when there are two
courts or more) and referees. In general, a match is judged by a team of a Chief Referee and
two subreferees.
 
Article 3. 

The Chief Referee shall, with the overall authority to administer a match, assign to any other judge
to motion and announce, by the use of referee flags, YUKO DATOTSU and HANSOKU;
and motion and announce victory or draw at the end of a match.
 
Article 4. 

Subreferees shall have equal authority and responsibility to those of the Chief Referee in motioning
YUKO DATOTSU and HASOKU and shall assist the Chief Referee in administering a match.
 
A subreferee has authority to stop a match in the event of an emergency, foul, or
end of time, etc.
 
Chapter 3 - YUKO DATOTSU back to contents

Article 5. 
A DATOTSU shall become valid with one (1) point in scoring in the following cases:

a.   When two or three referees make the motion of YUKO DATOTSU.

b.   When one referee makes a motion of  YUKO DATOTSU and the other two show agreement.
 
WITHDRAWAL OF YUKO DATOTSU CALL 

Article 6. 

YUKO DATOTSU without ZANSHIN (spirit and completeness) may, regardless of the prior
announcement, be withdrawn and canceled upon a referees consultation.
 
Chapter 4 - Major Points in Refereeing. back to contents

Article 7.  Referees shall observe the following points in refereeing:

a.   The Chief Referee shall announce "HAJIME (Start)" when the two contestants
are in a ready stance after taking the SONKYO position in KAMAE.

b.  As soon as one referee motions YUKO DATOTSU or HANSOKU, 
the other two shall respond with their motions.

c.  The Chief Referee shall, as soon
as YUKO DATOTSU is called, announce it and get the contestants back to
center court.

d.  In case of a court consultation, the Chief Referee will announce GOGI
(consultation) and consultant with the subreferees at center court. The contestants will stop and
remain away from the center of the court.

e.  Referees shall, upon seeing a HANSOKU, stop the match, consult with one another, and
announce HANSOKU. Referees may, if a HANSOKU is obvious, save GOGI and motion
it with flags.

f.  The Chief Referee shall, at a player's request, stop the match and question the reason.

g. The Chief Referee shall, after a match is stopped, bring the contestants back to center court prior
to resuming play.

h. The Chief Referee shall, in the following cases, stop, the match if a contestant does not give
DATOTSU immediately and bring both players to center court to resume the bout:

I.  When a player falls on the court.2.  When a player lets go of their SHINAI.I. Referees shall handle
TSUBA-ZERI-AI that is prolonged without intention of DATOTSU in the following manner:

1.  The Chief Referee shall stop the match (TSUBA-ZERI-AI may be allowed for
20 seconds) when there is not indication of DATOTSU.

2.  The Chief Referee shall indicate with a flag which contestant is guilty of the infraction.

3.  Subreferees shall indicate either, neither, or both players are guilty of the infraction.

4.  The Chief Referee shall, after acknowledging the subreferee's responses, bring
the contestants back to center ourt and announce CHUI to the responsible player(s).
On a second violation, however, that player shall receive a HANSOKU penalty.

j.  The Chief Referee shall handle OFFSET or HANSOKU in the following manner:

1.  In the first instance of OFFSET, the Chief Referee shall first announce HANSOKU
to the red-ribboned player and to the white-ribboned player, in that order and then
announce SOSAI (offset) while using the flag.

2.  At the second OFFSET, the Chief Referee shall immediately announce
SOSAI and indicate with the flag.

k.  Referees shall inform the Chief Referee of a SHINAI being handled with the TSURU
(center cord) facing down at the first instance. The Chief Referee shall then stop the match,
indicate to the offending player to correct their grip, and shall invalidate the violator's DATOTSU
as long as the wrong grip is being used.

l.  In case of HANTEI (judge's decision without YUKO DATOTSU), all the referees shall indicate
their decision at the Chief Referee's command.
m.  In the case of a team match foul, the Chief Referee shall get the opponent team to line-up and
declare the latter's victory with a gesture of one hand.
 
Article 8. 
Flag's. Referee's shall use their flags in the following manner:

a.  When a referee sees a player's DATOTSU to be YUKO, they shall raise the appropriate colored
flag at a 45 degree angle and shall return to their starting position on the court, keep the
flag up, while the Chief Referee declares YUKO DATOTSU. 
If  the other two referees do not see or agree of a YUKO DATOTSU, the flag shall be dropped
at once and the match continues.

b.  Where a referee call is different than the other twojudges, they shall motion by swinging crosswise
the two flags they are holding downward.
The crossing of the flags shall stop as soon as the other judges acknowledge the motion.
The referees shall return to their original locations whenever a YUKO DATOTSU call is made.

c.   When a referee changes their the mind about a call,they shall indicate it by
crossing their two flags with their hands stretched downward; the red flag is placed on the white
without a waving motion.

d.  When the Chief Judge announces a YUKO DATOTSU they shall do so in the manner described in
Item a. They shall return to their starting position, while keeping the flag raised.

e.  As soon as the Chief Referee announces NIHON ME (begin for the second
point) or SHOBU (begin for the match point), the subreferees shall lower their flags.

f.  In order for a YUKO DATOTSU to be withdrawn, they shall consult each other for an agreement
and the Chief Referee shall indicate the withdrawal by swinging the flags the flags crosswise in front
of their knees.

g.  When a referee halts a match, they shall raise both flags straight up from wherever they are
standing and return to their original starting position maintaining both flags in the air.
Only after the referee has seen the contestants comply with the instruction made earlier
can the referee drop the flags.

h.  When a Chief Referee begin to announce HIKIWAKE (draw), they shall raise both flags, with
the red flag over the white flag and lower them after the call.

I.  HANSOKU cancellation (re: Match Regulation, Chapter 9, Article 28)

shall be announced by the Chief Referee, who shall swing the flags crosswise in front of their knees
during the announcement.

j.  A referee shall raise two flags in their right hand straight out and announce GOGI (consultation) 
when there is a need for a time out.

k. GOGI may be skipped when the foul is apparent and demonstrate their decision by extending
straight out at a 45 degrees
from the shoulder, either the red or white flag, as applicable. The referee will return to their position
and lower their flag upon the Chief Referee's announcement of HANSOKU.

l.  In the case where the Chief Referee gives one point to a player because of a HANSOKU committed
by the other player, the Chief Referee shall first declare with a gesture towards the violator, the total
number of HANSOKU and announce the call.

m. When a match must be called with a HANTEI (decision), all the Referees shall simultaneously raise
the appropriate flag as described in Article 8, Item 1 upon the Chief Referee's declaration of the winner.
In the case of HANTEI, neither HIKIWAKE nor renunciation motioning may be given.

n.  In order for the Chief Referee to declare a winner, they shall raise the appropriate
flag as described in Article 8, Item 1 and lower it upon completion of the announcement.
 
Article 9.

Announcing calls and decisions. Referees shall call and announce their decisions in the following manner:

a.  Announce the beginning of the match with HAJIME (start) when the two contestants are at the ready
after taking the SON-KYO position after taking KAMAE.

b.  Announce the resumption of a match with HAJIME when the players take the ready position standing
at KAMAE.

c.  Announce YUKO DATOTSU, "MEN, KOTE, DO, or TSUKI-ARI." The players remain still when
the call is given.

d.  Announce the beginning of  NIHONME (start for second point) 
after the players have returned to their center position with NIHONME.

e.  Announce the beginning of a SHOBU (play-off) after the players have returned to their center position
with SHOBU.

f.  Announce HANTEI after the players have returned to their center position.

g. Announce the play-off decision with SHOBU-ARI after the players have returned to center court.

h. Announce a match extension with ENCHO, HAJIME after the players have returned to center court.

I. Announce a single point victory with IPPON GACHI, SHOBU-ARI (winner by a single point)
after the players have returned to center court.

j.  Announce a winner by default (opponent not present) with FUSEN GACHI, SHOBU-ARI.
The winning player will approach the center, SON-KYO, and rise to KAMAE for the call.

k.   Announce a winner by HANTEI (decision) with HANTEI GACHI, SHOBU-ARI after the contestants
have returned to center court.

l.  Announce a winner by CHUSEN (lot) with CHUSEN GACHI, SHOBU-ARI after the contestants
have returned to center court.

m.  Announce a play-off match by representing players with DAISHYOSHA-SEN (play-off by
representatives). An announcement is made to the managers of each team who inform the Court Judge
or Chief Judge of who will comprise the team.

n.  Announce a time out during a match with YAME. Contestants remain where they are during the call.

o.  Announce HANSOKU by identifying the HANSOKU such as "JYOGAI with,the number of times
of the infraction, such as NI-KAI two times (by showing two fingers). The announcement is
made after the contestants return to center court.
 
HANSOKU  are the following:

1.   JYOGAI - stepping out of bounds.

2.  OSHIDASHI or TSUKIDASHI - unfair pushing or shoving an opponent
outside the court.

3.  SHINAI HANASHI - letting go of the SHINAI.

4.  TSUBA-ZERI-AI - prolonging TSUBA contact without intention of DATOTSU.

5.  ASHI-KAKE or ASHI-BARAI - tripping or sweeping an opponent of their feet.

6.  KOSEI-O-GAISURU KOI (unjustifiable act) a violation of Match Regulations.
 
Chapter 8, Article 21, Item 6.

p.  Announce a point earned by HANSOKU with
 IPPON-ARI (one point). In this case the call of HANSOKU shall be made first to the
violator and then to the player receiving the point.

q. Announce a victory when a player insults an opponent or referee with JINKAKU MUSHI
(insult), SHOBU-ARI. In this case, the former announcement will be made first to the
violator and then to the player receiving the point.

r.  Announce a victory when an illegal SHINAI is used with FUSEI-SHINAI-SHIYO,
SHOBU-ARI. The call will be made to
the violator and then to the player receiving the point.

s.  Announce a stop of play requested by a player or by the judgment of a referee with
YAME (stop). The players remain where they are when the call is made.

t.  Announce CHUI to the players at TSUBA-ZERI-AI-CHUI. The referee shall point
towards the violator after the contestants have returned to center court.

u.  Announce SOSAI (offset) such as SOSAI or ONAJIKU, as the case may be,
after the contestants have returned to center court.

v.  Announce a victory when there is a match refusal or discontinuation with
SHIAI KYOHI-SHOBU-ARI, after the contestants have returned to center court.

w.  Announce an inability to fight with SHIAI-FUNO, SHOBU-ARI after the
players have returned to center court.

x.  Announce a victory when a player has committed an act discontinuing the
match with FUHO (unjustifiable) KOI (act), SHOBU-ARI after the players have
returned to center court.

y.  Announce a draw with HIKI-WAKE (draw) after the players have returned to
center court.
 
Chapter 5 - Handling Other Matters.Article back to contents

10. Referees shall handle all other matters than those discussed in the preceding chapters in mutual
consultation, subject to approval by the Court or Chief Judge.
 
Appendices:
1.  The rule hereabove set forth may be totally or partially modified for the convenience of a championship
/competition meet as a result of unusual size or nature.

2.  The rules are in effect as of April 1, 1979.Appendix a.

a.  The rules have been partially revised as of April 2, 1979.Appendix b.

b.  The rules have been partially revised as of May 27, 1988. 

IV.SUPPLEMENT: Matters Important to a Match. back to contents

No. 1. Matters which players must pay attention to:1.  Players shall act in the following manner at the
beginning and end of a match:
 
Arrival or Departure1. Upon entering the court, players shall line up at their seats, give REI to the main
stand at the
order of the Manager and take their seats. Likewise, prior to departure, they shall line up and give REI
and leave the court. Their REI shall reflect courteous appreciation for the match participation arranged by
 the administration.
REI Manner of a Team.
2. REI of players in groups (Team Match)
The two competing groups shall stand in a row facing each other. At the beginning, SENPO (the lst player)
and JIHO (second player) shall be in complete DOGU with MEN, KOTE, and SHINAI. The last player,
TAISHO, shall be the only player in DOGU at the end.
 
 
Team line-up - ONLY TWO TEAMS 

 
                                     Main Stand (Judge's Table) 
TAISHO<9 steps>	TAISHO                       
FUKUSHO    		FUKUSHO
CHUKEN           	CHUKEN   
JIHO			JIHO                            
SENPO			SENPO 
                       

In successive matches, the next two competing teams will enter the court at the end
of the preceding match and stand in rows with the preceding teams.
  
However, if two teams (starting and ending) cannot stand in a row, the two ending teams
and the two starting teams shall give REI separately.
 
REI to the Main Stand3.  The REI to the main stand shall be conducted as follows and is
applicable to both team and individual matches:

a.  At the beginning of the first match of the day and at the beginning and ending of the
final match of a tournament (three times).

b.  If competition runs more than a day, at the beginning of the first match and at the
end of the last match of the day (twice per day); except for the last day, when the final match
of the tournament is performed.
 
Match Points.

4.  Prior to the beginning of a match, the two contestants shall enter the
court, standing nine steps apart. They shall exchange RITSU-REI (standing REI)
with SAGETO (SHINAI at the left side of the body), take three steps forward,
take SONKYO position while drawing the SHINAI and wait in KAMAE with the tips
of the SHINAI close but not touching. At the Chief Referee's command of HAJIME
they will stand and begin the match.

5.  The players shall stop promptly upon the Chief Referee's command of YUKO
DATOTSU or YAME, return to the center and take
CHUDAN-NO-KAMAE.

6.  A contestant shall motion to the Chief Referee when a break is needed during a match
and explain the reason for the request.

7.  To resume a match after a time out, the contestants shall take CHUDAN-NO-KAMAE
at center court and commence the match at the announcement of the Chief Referee.

8.  At the Chief Referee's announcement of GOGI, the contestantswill take CHUDAN-NO-
KAMAE at center court, replace their SHINAI, step back to the inside court line and wait at
the SONKYO position.

9.  Contestants will also follow the preceding (8) when they must make adjustments or
correct equipment or apparel. Corrections shall be made
while kneeling.

10. At the end of a match, the contestants shall first return to center court, take
CHUDAN-N0-KAMAE and receive the Chief Referee's announcement of
SHOBU-ARI or HIKI-WAKE, take SONKYO, replace the SHINAI, stand and take three to five
steps backward in TAITO position (holding the SHINAI at belt level), lower the SHINAI to SAGETO
and exchange a standing REI.

11. When a contestant receives a call of FUSEN GACHI, they shall proceed with normal starting
actions until the SONKYO position as stated in (4) as if they were engaged in a match.
At the announcement they will rise from SONKYO, replace the SHINAI and return to the standing
position.

12. For a FUSEN GACHI announcement during a team match, they victory team shall stand in a
row and receive the announcement.
 
NITO (two SHINAI) KAMAE Procedure.

13.  The contestant(s) will handle two SHINAI in the following manner:

a.  Both DAITO (long) and SHOTO (short) SHINAI are carried in
the left hand.

b.  In taking KAMAE, the SHINAI being held by the left hand shall be drawn by the right
hand and passed to the left hand.
The second SHINAI in the left hand will be drawn for KAMAE.

c. In replacing the two SHINAI, first the one held in the right hand will be passed to the left hand
and the second one replace to the same.

d. The remainder of procedures is the same as for ITTO (single SHINAI).
 
REI after a match.14.  Contestants shall refrain from REI to the Referees or from
ZA-REI to the opponent, in order to save time in a match.
 
Alternating Players and Referees.15.  When players alternate in a court, they shall not
engage in shaking hands or other unnecessary act.

16.  Players shall not enter the court until the Referees take their positions.

17.  When alternating players, the latter shall not enter the court until the finished player
leaves the court.
 
Time for TSUBA-ZERI-AI.1.  Players shall not waste time locked in TSUBA-ZERI-AI
without intention of DATOTSU. No more than 20 seconds is allowed.
 
Correct TSUBA-ZERI-AI. 

2.  Contestant will establish contact with SHINAI by crossing each other's SHINAI at
 the left side of the TSUBA.
3.  Other:

a.  TABI (footwear), taping, supporter, etc. may be used on one foot only.
It shall be approved by either the Chief Judge or Court Judge beforehand.
Other footwear such as rubber or leather soled shall not be used.

b.  No time keeping devices shall be kept in the player's waiting area. The audience shall
refrain from giving players any advice by gestures
or rooting.  Only encouragement by applause is allowed.

c.  Players shall wear a name
tag of cloth (ZEKKEN) that identifies their dojo and family name as stipulated in the
rules of the meet.

d.  Contestants shall wear their DOGU tightly to avoid it coming off or loose during a
match, and observe the following:

1.  The extra length of MEN HIMO (cord) over the knot shall not be longer than 40
centimeters.

2.  The DO HIMO knot shall be tied in bow. 
No. 2. Matters which Referees must pay attention to.1.  Signals from Chief Judge: 
Start up.The Chief Judge shall give the signal to start the match or
matches for the day in the following manner:

1.  When there is one court, the first contestants shall enter the court and take their
 starting positions. The Chief Judge shall rise to their feet and let the Chief Referee signal the
start of the match.

2.  When there is more than one court, when all the contestants have entered their
respective courts, the Chief Judge shall rise to their feet and signal to begin with a whistle or horn.
 
2.  Handing the Referee Flags.Prior to the start.

1.  The Court Judge shall receive the referee flags from the Chief Judge beforehand.
The referees shall enter the court, receive their flags and
stand in the following locations:

a.  Referees enter with the Chief Referee in the middle, from the side opposite the
main stand and just inside the court line. The referees will REI towards the main stand.

b. After standing in a row inside the court, the Chief Referee
will walk to the Chief or Court Judge and receive  three pairs of flags.c.  The Chief
Referee shall then hand a pair of flags to each sub referee, turning the flag handle to
the receiver and returning to their original position.
 
fig. 7 
Referees Original Position.2.  Referees shall mutual exchange REI, carry the flags in
their right hand and position themselves in the appropriate location.
 
fig. 8 
a.  The Chief Referee's position shall be about one meter inside the court line and in
the middle of the contestants.
b.  Sub referee's positions shall be about one meter inside the court line near the main
stand. Their two locations and that of the Chief Referee's shall make a triangle.
The contestants stand in the center of the court.
 
Holding Flags.3. 

The Chief Referee shall hold a red flag in their right hand and the
 white flag in their left. Subreferees shall hold their flags just the opposite. After the flags
are in the correct hands, the referees simultaneously REI.
 
Alternating Referees.4. 

Referees shall move or alternate in the following manner:

a.  Change of referee positions with the court shall be Chief Referee to their right, and
each subreferee to their right, one position.


b. Alternating of referees without moving across the court
shall be made when
a replacement enters from the side of the court next to the referee.

c.  Alternating a referee by moving to the next position to the right or by crossing
 the court line perpendicularly to the location of the present referee. The relieved
referee will exit by crossing the court line directly behind them.
 
fig. 11 & fig. 12. (Under development) 

The current court referee will rotate their positions. At the appropriate time the
ex-Chief Referee (now a subreferee) will be relieved by a new subreferee.

d.  Alternating referees in a group will be made upon completion of a team match
as shown in fig. 13. (under development)

a.  The retiring referees shall, after REI towards the main stand, turn around,
hand the flags to the new group of referees by turning the flag
handles to the new referee.

b. The retiring referees shall leave the court together in a file.
 
Return of Flags at the end of the Tournament.At the end of the matches, referees
shall return their flags as follows:

a.  After mutual bowing, referees roll the flags with the white flag inside, carrying
them in the right hand. They shall then return to the original starting position,
standing in a line.

b.  The Chief Referee will receive the flags from the subreferees, 1 and 2, in that
order and return them to the Chief Judge or Court Judge.

c.  The Chief Referee will return to join the other two referees REI to the main
stand and leave the court in a file.

d.  The Court Judges will return the flags to the Chief Judge after all court matches
have been completed for the day.
 
Referee's Attire:Referees shall wear the following: however, modifications
are allowed in accordance with the rules of each particular tournament.
 
1.  Jacket: Blue or black, plain.  The Chief Judge may decide whether the jacket
should be worn or not according to the weather and other conditions.

2.  Trouser: Gray, plain.3.  Shirt: White4.  Neck-Tie: Deep red (maroon), plain.5. 
Socks: Blue 

No. 3 Score Board Posting 

1.  Match results shall be posted on the scoreboard in the following manner: 

(1)  TSUBA-ZERI-AI CHUI. An orange colore rectangular tag () shall be posted
near the applicable name and in the upper
half of the space.

(2)  HANSOKU-A. Red triangle tag (() shall be posted near the applicable name
And below the rectangular one.

(3)  Upon two HANSOKU being committed, a tag () shall replace the HANSOKU ()
tag but shall be posted near the name of the contestant not in violation.

(4)  YUKO DATOTSU tags shall be posted in the same manner as the previous example.

(5)  HANTEI victory will be shown with the following tag (   ).

(6)  In the case of SOSAI,
the tag ( and/or ( shall be left intact; however, the frequency of SOSAI will be recorded
 separately.

(7)  When the match period is over, showing only one point taken, a tag ( ) IPPON GACHI
will be posted.

(8)  When an overtime match has been fought, the tag ( ) ENCHO will be posted over
 the center line and in the lower half of the space.

(9)  When a win is given due to a foul, inability to continue or unjustifiable act, two
 tags with a red circle on each side ()  will be posted on the side of the winner. Likewise, in the case
of a win in
an overtime, one tag will be posted on the side of the winner.

(10) When a match ends in a draw, a tag ( (  ) will be posted over the center line.

back to contents
 

Requirements for Grading

Dan/ Kyu
Challenged

Minimum 
Practice Time
Since Last Grade

Kata 
Required

Minimum 
Age

Testing

Bogu

Criteria

6 Kyu Over 3 Months of Practice Not Required none Correct Hakama & Keikogi 
Rei and Sonkyo 
Kihon Men 
Kihon Kote 
Kihon Do 
Kihon Kote-Men 
Kihon Kote-Do 
Kiri-Kaeshi
Not Required Consent from
3 out of 5
Examiners
5 Kyu Over 3 Months after granting of 6 Kyu Not Required none Same as above &
Kihon Kote-Men 
Kihon Kote-Do 
Kiri-Kaeshi
Not Required Consent from
3 out of 5
Examiners
4 Kyu Over 3 Months after granting of 5 Kyu Not Required none Same as above &
Correct Bogu 
Nidan-waza 
Sandan-waza 
Kiri-Kaeshi 
Kiri-Kaeshi as Motodachi 
Uchi-Komi Keiko
Required Consent from
3 out of 5
Examiners
3 Kyu Over 3 Months after granting of 4 Kyu Not Required none Same as above Required Consent from
3 out of 5
Examiners
2 Kyu Over 3 Months after granting of 3 Kyu Not Required none Kakari-Keiko and/or
Ji Keigo
Required Consent from
3 out of 5
Examiners
1 Kyu Over 3 Months after granting of 2 Kyu Tachi 1~3 none Kakari-Keiko and/or
Ji-Keigo
Required Consent from
3 out of 5
Examiners
1 dan Over 3 Months after granting of 1 Kyu Tachi 1~5 14 years+ Ji-Keiko + Written Test Required Consent from
3 out of 5
Examiners
2 dan Over 2 Years after granting of 1st Dan Tachi 1~7 16 years+ Ji-Keiko + Written Test Required Consent from
3 out of 5
Examiners
3 dan Over 2 Years after granting of 2 Dan Tachi 1~7 &
Kodachi 1~3
18 years+ Ji-Keiko + Written Test Required Consent from
3 out of 5
Examiners
4 dan Over 3 Years after granting of 3 Dan Tachi 1~7 & 
Kodachi 1~3
21 years+ Ji-Keiko + Written Test Required Consent from
5 out of 7
Examiners
5 dan Over 4 Years after granting of 4 Dan Tachi 1~7 & 
Kodachi 1~3
25 years+ Ji-Keiko + Written Test Required Consent from
5 out of 7
Examiners
6 dan Over 5 Years after granting of 5 Dan Tachi 1~7 &
Kodachi 1~3
30 years+ Ji-Keiko + Written Test Required Consent from
5 out of 7
Examiners
7 dan Over 6 Years after granting of 6 Dan Tachi 1~7 &
Kodachi 1~3
36 years+ Ji-Keiko + Written Test Required Consent from
5 out of 7
Examiners
8 dan Over 10 Years after granting of 7 Dan Tachi 1~7 &
Kodachi 1~3
48 years+ Ji-Keiko + Written Test Required Round 1
Consent from
9 out of 10
Examiners

Round 2
Consent from
9 out of 10
Examiners

Total Consent
18 out of 20
Examiners
9 dan Special Committees          
10 dan Special Committees          
back to contents
Iaido Shinsa (Promotion Test) Requirements

Ikkyu

Requirements: written test
Embu: torei, three Z.N.K.R. kata as desired, torei

  • Correct dress and basic reiho
  • General understanding of the kata
  • Safety

Shodan  back to contents

Requirements: minimum age 14 years; qualifying period: three months, written test
Embu: torei, five Z.N.K.R. kata, torei

  • Knowledge and understanding of the kata
  • Correct reiho and dress
  • Correct nukitsuke, kiritsuke
  • Correct (angle of) chiburi
  • Correct noto

Nidan back to contents

Requirements; qualifying period one year, written test
Embu: torei, five Z.N.K.R. kata, torei

  • Knowledge and understanding of the kata
  • Correct reiho and dress
  • Correct nukitsuke, kiritsuke
  • Correct (angle of) chiburi
  • Correct noto
  • Ma-ai
  • Zanshin

Sandan back to contents

Requirements: minimum age 18 years; qualifying period two years, written test
Embu: torei, five Z.N.K.R. kata, torei

  • Knowledge and understanding of the kata
  • Correct reiho and dress
  • Correct nukitsuke, kiritsuke
  • Correct (angle of) chiburi
  • Correct noto
  • Ma-ai
  • Zanshin
  • Hasuji

Yondan back to contents

Reqirements; qualifying period three years; written test
Embu: torei, one koryu kata as desired, four Z.N.K.R. kata, torei

  • Knowledge and understanding of the kata
  • Correct reiho and dress
  • Correct nukitsuke, kiritsuke
  • Correct (angle of) chiburi
  • Correct noto
  • Ma-ai
  • Zanshin
  • Hasuji
  • Metsuke
  • Ki ken tai ichi
  • Katsu jin ken - satsu jin ken
  • Peace of mind
  • Adequate fighting spirit

Godan back to contents

Requirements: qualifying period four years; written test
Embu: torei, two koryu kata as desired, three Z.N.K.R. kata, torei

  • Knowledge and understanding of the kata
  • Correct reiho and dress
  • Correct nukitsuke, kiritsuke
  • Correct (angle of) chiburi
  • Correct noto
  • Ma-ai
  • Zanshin
  • Hasuji
  • Metsuke
  • Ki ken tai ichi
  • Katsu jin ken - satsu jin ken
  • Peace of mind
  • Adequate fighting spirit

Rokudan back to contents

Requirements: qualifying period five years; mandatory use of shinken; written test
Embu: torei, two koryu kata as desired, three Z.N.K.R. kata and torei within six minutes

  • Knowledge and understanding of the kata
  • Correct reiho and dress
  • Correct nukitsuke, kiritsuke
  • Correct (angle of) chiburi
  • Correct noto
  • Ma-ai
  • Zanshin
  • Hasuji
  • Metsuke
  • Ki ken tai ichi
  • Katsu jin ken - satsu jin ken
  • Peace of mind
  • Adequate fighting spirit
  • Ri-ai
  • Fukaku
  • Hingurai

Nanadan back to contents

Requirements: qualifying period six years; mandatory use of shinken; written test
Embu: torei, two koryu kata as desired, three Z.N.K.R. kata and torei within six minutes

  • Knowledge and understanding of the kata
  • Correct reiho and dress
  • Correct nukitsuke, kiritsuke
  • Correct (angle of) chiburi
  • Correct noto
  • Ma-ai
  • Zanshin
  • Hasuji
  • Metsuke
  • Ki ken tai ichi
  • Katsu jin ken - satsu jin ken
  • Peace of mind
  • Adequate fighting spirit
  • Ri-ai
  • Fukaku
  • Hingurai

Hachidan back to contents

Requirements: minimum age 48 years; qualifying period seven years; mandatory use of shinken; written test
First day embu: torei, seven Z.N.K.R. kata and torei within eight minutes
Second day embu: torei, seven koryu kata as desired and torei within eight minutes

  • Knowledge and understanding of the kata
  • Correct reiho and dress
  • Correct nukitsuke, kiritsuke
  • Correct (angle of) chiburi
  • Correct noto
  • Ma-ai
  • Zanshin
  • Hasuji
  • Metsuke
  • Ki ken tai ichi
  • Katsu jin ken - satsu jin ken
  • Peace of mind
  • Adequate fighting spirit
  • Ri-ai
  • Fukaku
  • Hingurai

Z.N.K.R. shogo back to contents

These shogo or official titles for teachers are conferred by the Z.N.K.R. based on the following criteria:

Renshi

  • The candidate should still actively practise iaido
  • The candidate should be active as a teacher and have knowledge and understanding of iaido
  • The candidate should lead a sound social life
  • The candidate should have participated in a seminar on technique, kata, didactics and judging organised by a federation associated to the Z.N.K.R.
  • The candidate should be a rokudan for at least one year
  • The candidate should be nominated by the president of the federation associated to the Z.N.K.R.
  • The candidate should pass a Z.N.K.R. written exam

Kyoshi back to contents

  • The candidate should still actively practise iaido
  • The candidate should be active as a teacher and have knowledge and understanding of iaido
  • The candidate should lead a sound social life
  • The candidate should have participated in a seminar on technique, kata, didactics and judging organised by a federation associated to the Z.N.K.R.
  • The candidate must be an experienced judge
  • The candidate should be a nanadan for at least two years
  • The candidate should be nominated by the president of the federation associated to the Z.N.K.R.
  • The candidate should pass a Z.N.K.R. written exam

Hanshi  back to contents

The title of hanshi may be obtained after eight years of being hachidan at an age of at least fifty five years. The substance of this examination is extremely difficult. Since 2000, there are no higher examinations above that of hachidan, making 'hanshi' the highest level in iaido.

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