The Bu believes that Gradings are a cornerstone for the improvement of the standard and the advancement of Kendo in the UK. In order to continue to deliver high quality grading events the Bu has created a set of training criteria aimed at expanding the number of available panellists. Initially those members holding the rank of 5th Dan are targeted.

Minimum Requirements

The requirements for certification for an aspiring panellist are as follows:

* Minimum grade, at the moment, 5th dan
* Assessment interview with a qualifying senior grade (6th-7th dan)
* Approval from two different senior grades (6th-7th dan)

For this new system to work the help and advise of senior grades (6th-7th dan) is paramount.

1) Assessment:

The aspiring panellist must complete an assessment interview with a qualifying senior grade (6th-7th dan) and obtain their agreement to progress to the next stage. Information on grading requirements are available on BKA webpage.

  • This material needs to be understood, absorbed and supplemented with other information, by assisting at gradings and conversation with senior sensei.
  • Candidates can book a session with a BKA senior grade (6th-7th dan) to go over the basic elements and highlight the important points that a panellist needs to bare in mind during the grading process.
  • Their suitability is then tested and if deemed suitable a candidate is recommended to progress to the approval stage.

2) Approval

  • All candidates will need to gain practical experience by sitting on at least two grading panels as a student and to be tested. Each panel must be chaired by a different sensei.
  • If the candidate understanding and skills is deemed suitable the panel chair (senior grade) notifies the Grading Officer and updates the candidate’s BKA Booklet.

EKF certification

When all the above requirements are satisfied the candidate can forward a request to the Grading Officer to be registered on the EKF’s database of approved panellists. At this point the basic certification is completed and the successful candidate may sit on grading panels up to Shodan level, unsupervised.

All EKF certified members will be listed on a dedicated BKA webpage so they may be selected as panellist by Panel Chairs.

Growth and Further Approvals

To move up to sitting on grading panels for higher grades (e.g. nidan) a candidate needs to go through the approval process one grade at a time up to the limit imposed by EKF regulations for the rank held. In this instance one moderator sitting is sufficient.

Veteran Panellist

Existing 5th dan who can provide evidence of having sat on at least one grading panel will only need to pass the Assessment section to be approved as a panellist for the grade level they have already judged. They must forward sensei approval and date of panel participation to the Grading Officer to be added into the EKF database.