Policy On Rank Promotions in JuJitsu

Basic USJA Promotion Policy.

The standard USJA promotion policy is the same for both Judo and JuJitsu. That is, USJA JuJitsu Examiners may recommend promotion to any rank up to the rank below their own JuJitsu rank. For example a JuJitsu Nidan may recommend promotions up to and including JuJitsu Shodan.

Ranks obtained through other Ryu.

The USJA will recognize JuJitsu ranks awarded by other legitimate JuJitsu organizations, if proof of rank is provided. A certified English translation and copy of the certificate are required. The rank will be registered with the USJA and marked on the membership card in the "Other Martial Arts" section. Promotion to a higher rank and to obtain an USJA certificate, requires examination by a certified USJA JuJitsu Examiner, under the current USJA JuJitsu rank requirements.

Promotion ratification and timing.

All JuJitsu promotions are ratified through the USJA National Office. Promotions are made at two levels. For Kyu ranks and Dan ranks up to Yondan, accredited "JuJitsu Examiner" Sensei may test and evaluate candidates, and send promotion recommendations to the National Office. Yondan and above ranks must be approved by the USJA National JuJitsu Board of Examiners, which evaluates recommendations quarterly. All recommendations must be properly documented. Supporting evidence and appropriate fees must be included.


USJA members, regardless of age, may be eligible for promotion in JuJitsu when they have completed the appropriate time in grade and can demonstrate the rank requirements. Each individual must be recommended by a USJA JuJitsu Examiner.

Technical Demonstration Requirements.

USJA members, who are candidates for USJA JuJitsu rank, must demonstrate – with balance, effectiveness, and skill – the techniques required for the rank for which they are being examined. Other than time in grade and demonstrating the technical requirements for that rank, there are no other requirements for promotion in JuJitsu.

Promotion Fees.

Fees for all USJA JuJitsu ranks are the same as for Judo.

USJA JuJitsu Seminar Program.

In 1995, the USJA launched a nation wide JuJitsu Certification Seminar program. High Dan Examiners in USJA JuJitsu will conduct JuJitsu promotion and certification seminars in many states. Contact the USJA for a list of JuJitsu examiners or instructors in your area whom you can contact for a USJA sponsored JuJitsu seminar.

How Do You Get a JuJitsu Rank Certification and Promotion Seminar For Your Club?

To schedule a USJA JuJitsu Rank certification and promotion seminar call or write the USJA Executive Director (719-633-7750). The director will arrange for a high Dan JuJitsu Examiner to visit you. The USJA will pay his travel expenses. The only requirements are that you must guarantee that there will be at least 20 people on the mat paying a weekend seminar fee of $50 each, and you must provide room and board for the clinician(s) while he/they is/are with you.

For singular students, remote from a local Dojo, clinics will be held throughout the year, which may be conveniently located near them. Another alternative is to attend one of the annual Judo/JuJitsu camps, such as Camp Bushido, at the USJA headquarters.

What JuJitsu Rank Will You Be Promoted To?

The general policy of the USJA is that those Judo Sensei who already have much experience in JuJitsu, may well be promoted in JuJitsu to the same rank they hold in Judo. They may be promoted to a different JuJitsu rank from their Judo rank depending on their technical knowledge of JuJitsu. This will be decided by the JuJitsu Examiner conducting the seminar. However, a high rank in Judo does not automatically qualify one for the same rank in JuJitsu. Obviously, there is a great difference in the singular sport of Judo, and the sport of JuJitsu, the combat aspects of combat JuJitsu and the art of JuJitsu. Even though JuJitsu can be described as "Judo with and attitude," JuJitsu knowledge, techniques and ability are different from Judo knowledge, techniques and ability, and employs quite a different outlook on what actions are performed. The competition rules mindset in Judo conflicts with the "no rules" mind set on combat JuJitsu.

Certification As A USJA JuJitsu Rank Examiner.

The USJA certifies JuJitsu Examiners according to JuJitsu rank as listed on the "Application For Certification as a USJA JuJitsu Rank Examiner." Examiner certification is not automatic as part of a promotion. JuJitsu sensei can only be certified for Examiner, after examination by USJA JuJitsu board members. Only examiners certified by the USJA, are eligible to recommend candidates for JuJitsu rank promotion. The latter is an important qualification, to ensure that the candidates are truly reviewed on their JuJitsu ability and teaching quality, in addition to their abilities in self defense techniques learned in other martial arts.

Policy On Rank Registration. 

The USJA JuJitsu Division would like to accommodate all practitioners in the various styles of the art, in getting their legitimate ranks registered. To protect the validity of these ranks, we require that all requests for rank registration are accompanied by a photo copy of the latest rank certificate, and the completely filled out JuJitsu rank form, describing all the dates and times in grade in each previous Dan rank.

Upon entry as members, the provided rank registration will be added to our database, as described on the candidate's provided certificate copy. No one will be promoted or accepted at a higher rank level, until reviewed and tested by a qualified USJA JuJitsu examiner of higher rank, and/or by the USJA JuJitsu Ranking Board. This provides for formal rank registration, and for future rank promotion.

The USJA realizes that there are instances, where JuJitsu Sensei have been teaching independently, or have been teaching their own system for many years, and may even be Hanshi or Soke (highest ranked individual in their organization) of their own style. Since these Sensei may not have been ranked by a national organization, and no knowledge of their style and ability may be evident, the USJA requires that evidence of quality is provided in the form of a written curriculum for the various ranks, and/or an unedited video tape of the techniques in that style.

Corroborating evidence may also need to be collected through visual observation by higher ranking members of the USJA's JuJitsu Ranking Board. In other words, the Ranking Board needs to be convinced that the described rank compares with other national standards, particularly as it relates to total time in the various ranks.

The USJA cannot accept higher Dan ranks that are not within the time in grade schedule, as defined on the JuJitsu application form. The USJA will neither accept rank promotions that are not deemed to conform to an acceptable standard.

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