ITMA Certificate of Rank Recognition

Rank Recognition

Certificates of Rank Recognition are isssued to invited members who hold legitimate rank (black belt or equivalent) from an accredited national/international organization. The purpose of the Certificate of Rank recognition is to add another layer of legitimacy to an existing rank, especially for members who belong to legitimate but less visible organizations (as is often the case with some less well known traditional systems). The Certificate of Rank Recognition is also a way for our members to feel connected with the University of New Mexico, especially for those who may have graduated from UNM.

There are additional benefits to obtaining a Certificate of Rank Recognition. There are many dubious organizations in existence around the world whose legitimacy is questionable. Employers, universities, YMCA's, Community Center Administrators, School Principals and the like, are often at a loss as to whether a particular individual who they may be interested in hiring to teach for them possesses legitimate credentials. A Certificate of Rank Recognition from ITMA and the University of New Mexico, a well known major national university, can quickly dispell any doubts they may have about the legitimacy of a particular individual's credentials.

In issuing a Certificate of Rank Recogntion it is also expected that under normal circumstances a recipient also satisfies ITMA Time in Rank and minimum Age Requirements as listed below:


1. Shodan to Godan, $40/certificate
2. Rokudan to Kudan, $65/certificate
3. For Judan and/or Founder recognition, $100

Typical Normal Time in Rank (for active participants)

We also recognize "early promotion" if the candidate provides adequate proof in terms of such accomplishments as leadership, book authorship and/or articles published, contributions to various orgnizations in terms of service, the production of instructional videos, and his/her impact in local, national or international areas.

To Shodan: Twelve months in rank as a registered Ikkyu and a minimum age of 18
To Nidan: Two years in rank as a registered Shodan
To Sandan: Three years in rank as a registered Nidan
To Yodan: Four years in rank as a registered Sandan
To Godan: Five years in rank as a registered Yodan
To Rokudan: Six years in rank as a registered Godan
To Shichidan: Seven years in rank as a registered Rokudan
To Hachidan: Eight years in rank as a registered Shichidan and a minimum age of 50 years
To Kudan: Nine years in rank as a registered Hachidan and a minimum age of 55 years
To Judan: A minimum of ten years in rank as a registered Kudan and a minimum age of 60 years

For Recognition as a 10th dan and/or Founder of a System

A candidate must show proof that:

1. Their Judan is recognized by at least TWO independent legitimate national organizations
2. They must be at least 60 years of age
3. In case of Founders their system must ALSO demonstrate longevity - at least 30 years
4. They must provide ITMA with their Densho (System, Philosophy and Principles, or equivalent document)
5. They must provide ITMA with a detailed martial arts bio

NOTE: The Institute of Traditional Martial Arts at UNM does NOT award promotions.

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