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USJF Kata Development Committee
Yudanshakai Development Guidelines


  1. Introduce kata to beginning players. Let them observe kata being performed and require that they go through the motions of set one of Nage no Kata. They do not have to throw because they are beginners. However, just walking through the motions may help acquaint them with kata. The instructor should determine when students are able to throw. Especially at the junior level, instructors must watch carefully.
  2. Require students to learn one new set of a kata for each promotion. I suggest that at each promotion students are expected to know another set of kata. I suggest learning kata in this order Nage no Kata, Katame no Kata, and finally Ju no Kata.
  3. Offer Kata competition at each shiai. Junior and Senior divisions could be established. In the junior division, require just sets 1-3 in Nage no Kata and require all 5 sets for seniors. Young juniors under age 13 could do one set, 13 year olds could do sets one and two. Seventeen and up should do all 3 sets.
  4. Certify and engage in continued study of the kata at regional and national events. Take advantage of clinics given at regional and national events. Certify an USJF Kata Instructor and encourage your students and colleagues to do likewise.
  5. Host kata clinics. Spread of knowledge of kata in your area by hosting kata clinics with qualified instructors.


  1. Grants for kata clinics – The kata development committee can provide grants to help defray the cost of a kata clinic. Grants are generally limited to $500 and require that an A certified instructor lead the clinic. To apply for a grant fill out the “Kata Grant Application Form” and send it to the kata development committee secretary. A copy of the application form is attached. For a form that can be filled out and emailed contact the KDC secretary.
  2. Directory of certified kata clinicians – If you need assistance locating a qualified kata instructor, contact the kata development committee. A roster of certified kata instructors is kept on file.
  3. Certification Guidelines – The kata instructor certification procedure and criteria are included in this document and posted on the USJF website.


  1. The certification test program manager must have received prior approval
    for conducting the certification test from the Chairperson.
  2. Examiner Requirements for Certification Testing
    1. Examiner Requirements for Class A Certification Testing
      1. A minimum of THREE (3) Class A kata instructors who must hold the
        certification for the kata which the testing is for;
      2. and a minimum of ONE (1) examiner is a member of the USJF Board
        of Kata Examiners;
      3. Or a minimum of TWO (2) members of the USJF Board of Kata Examiners
        can conduct the certification test (but only for the kata for which
        the examiners are certified.)
    2. Examiner Requirements for Class B Certification Testing
      1. A minimum of TWO (2) Class A kata instructors who must hold the
        certification for the kata which the testing is for;
      2. Or a minimum of ONE (1) member of the USJF Board of Kata Examiners
        can conduct the certification test alone (but only for the kata for
        which the examiner is certified.)
    3. Examiner Requirements for Class C Certification Testing
      1. A Class A kata instructor can conduct the certification test alone
        (but only for the kata for which the examiner is certified.)
  3. The examiner or examiners must conduct a clinic prior to the certification
  4. The examiner or examiners will grade candidates the candidates according
    to the Certification criteria (below).
  5. Fees (Checks to be made payable to USJF)
    1. Testing Fee
      1. $10.00 per candidate, regardless of how many kata they are testing
    2. Registration Fee (Note: $5.00 from the Certification Registration Fee
      goes to the Register’s yudanshakai)

      1. Class A $20.00
      2. Class B $15.00
      3. Class C $10.00
  6. Forward a summary of certification test result, funds, application forms
    and score sheets, one-page essays and a list of the clinic participants to
    the chairman within a week from the certification date.


  1. The USJF Kata and Certification committee will be certifying kata instructors
    in the following kata:

    1. Nage No Kata
    2. Katame No Kata
    3. Kime No Kata
    4. Kodokan Goshinjitsu
    5. Ju No Kata
    6. Itsutsu No Kata
    7. Koshiki No Kata
  2. There will be three classes of kata instructor with the following rank

    1. Class A Instructor – Yondan and above
    2. Class B Instructor – Shodan, Nidan and Sandan
    3. Class C Instructor – Shodan, Nidan and Sandan
  3. The certification test will consist of a kata demonstration both as tori
    and uke, an essay about kata and an oral examination.

    1. Demonstration test criteria: A score will be given
      for the total kata demonstration or for individual techniques and total
      them at end

      1. Class A Instructor – Display a greater skill and
        shows a close to perfect execution in terms of a high degree of spirit,
        harmony, timing, smoothness and skill.
        (Note: Scoring must be 8 and higher)
      2. Class B Instructor – Display more skill, beginning
        to have more harmony, shows correct timing and smoothness
        (Note: Scoring between 7 and 7.99)
      3. Class C Instructor – Basically correct technique
        without any major errors.
        (Note: Scoring between 6 and 6.99)
    2. Essay (one page)
      1. Candidates write about what is kata, why we need to study kata,
        history of kata, etc.
      2. Write explanation of the kata that candidate is taking test for.
    3. Oral Examination
      1. Questions to be asked by Kata Examiners at the test.
  4. Standardization Publications: Kodokan Judo, by Jigoro Kano (1986 first
    edition), published by Kodansha International
    Kodokan Kata books and Instructional Kata Video Tapes, published by the Kodokan


  • 10 PERFECT
    Perfect execution of the technique with uke and tori showing skill, timing, smoothness, sprit and control, as well as progressive movement of kuzushi, tsukuri and kake.
    Displays and shows a close to perfect execution (lacking somewhat in smoothness or sprit)
    Displays a greater degree of skill and sprit shows smooth execution with harmony and correct timing.
  • 7 GOOD
    Displays more skill, beginning to have harmony, shows smoothness and correct timing.
    Basically correct technique without any major or minor errors.
    A few minor errors, but generally correct technique.
  • 4 POOR
    A few major errors, and several minor errors.
    Numerous mistakes, poorly performed

NOTE: 2 and below Criteria for Scoring are used for scoring individual technique.

    Completely wrong movements within the technique
    Numerous major and minor errors, unrecognizable movements and technique, gross lack of skill.
    Skipped technique, wrong side technique (i.e. right technique s. left technique) or totally unrelated technique.