General Documents

Dan Syllabus Updates

January 2024

New ITF Grading Requirements now include completing a IDC for promotion to 4th degree and higher (comes into force April 2025).

"Candidates who apply for promotion to 4th, 5th, and 6th degree are currently required to participate in at least one (1) IIC during the preparation period (ITF By-Laws No. 1, Art. 7.1.1 – Graduation preparation - periods - additional requirements). Starting on April 1st, 2025, these requirements will change and all candidates who apply for promotion to 4th, 5th, and 6th degree will be required to participate in at least one (1) IIC and one (1) IDC (International Do Course) during their preparation period."

The 2024 edition of the black belt handbook has these requirements added.


June 2023

2023 Edition of the Black Belt Handbook published.

Summary of updates:

  • Language made more gender-inclusive
  • Small corrections to names of techniques
  • Moral culture section (3rd-4th dan) condensed for clarity and ease of learning
  • Senior dan grading requirements such as supervised monthly assessments
  • Senior dan grading criteria in accordance with ITF bylaws
  • 7th and 8th dan grading requirements
  • Senior dan information that was previously only published on the itkd website
  • Appendicies sections updated and consolidated
  • Run scoring added to fitness test (1-3 dan) and senior dan fitness (4-6 dan)
  • Examples of credit points and the acceptable format
  • Examples of acceptable certificate photos
  • Senior dan scoring criteria

June 2023

1-3 dan gradings

  • Return of the 2.4km run
    We will revert back to to the 2.4km run (instead of the Beep Test) from December 2023 black belt gradings. Scoring will be the same as previously:

Full fitness test requirements

Senior dan gradings

Additions to the role of the supervisor and the monthly accessments:

  • The supervisor role is extended to include 1) ongoing feedback to the candidate of their progression in terms of (a) fitness, (b) technical competency (including technical & syllabus knowledge) and (c) performance,  and 2) give an unbiased recommendation to the candidate on whether they are ready to grade or not at least 1 month prior to the grading date.  The supervisor would therefore need to be senior in rank to the candidate to be qualified to give such recommendation.

  • In consultation with the supervisor, a candidate may replace a specific exercise as per the listed requirements if he/she is unable to perform the exercise due to a preexisting condition/injury or limitation. This must be approved prior to the first assessment. 


April 2023

Clarrification on Credit Points

  • Candidates applying for 1st degree black belt can fulfill their credit requirement by earning either Attendance Credits or Contribution Credits, as outlined in the black belt handbook. So if there are limited events to attend, candidates may explore ways to assist their club or region by organising events, hosting gradings, assisting with extra sessions and so on, to gain Contribution Credits.

    Community service can be utilised to acquire Contribution Credits for clubs outside of the main centres only, with a maximum of two (2) points to achieve the 10 point threshold.

  • Attending an instructor induction or update course can be claimed as an attendance credit point (even though it may be a separate grading requirement).

March 2021

Please note the following excerpt from the ITF By Laws pertaining to the senior dan grading waiting times and the requirement to have maintained an ITF Teaching Licence between testing periods.

ITF By-laws 7.1.2:
In case a member Black belt from 4th to 9th degree does not pay the annual Teaching license (plaque) fee during a certain period of time, then the waiting time for promotion will be extended for a period of time equal to the period of the delay in payment without derogating from the duty to pay for the plaques. In addition the amount of the annual teaching license will be increased by 20%.

Please remember that each member must pay for plaques equal with waiting time between degree test.

5th degree - 4 years - 4 plaques
6th degree - 5 years - 5 plaques
7th degree - 6 years - 6 plaques
8th degree - 7 years - 7 plaques
9th degree - 8 years - 8 plaques

Moratorium is a gesture for people who hadn't pay plaques regularly but want to pass degree test in normal time. Normally
for past plaques they will need to pay normal price plus 20% more (this is fair to the people who are paying regularly every year). But for time of moratorium plaques for past years will have got the same price.

Black Belt HandbookJune 2019

  • 2.4kn run replaced with the 15m Beep Test.
    NB. We also added a Fitness Test page to the website here.
  • Updated fitness test requirements for over 60 years of age (not required)
  • Added Ground Self-Defence Guidelines to the 1st to 2nd dan syllabus.

October 2017

  • Changed to Perfect Binding to accommodate thickness of the handbook.
  • Website links updated to "members.itkd.co.nz in various places in the handbook.
  • A few small typographical corrections.

March 2017

  • Grading requirement for pre-arranged sparring (2-3 dan) changes to 2 routines of 30 sec each instead of 3.  Total of one minute minimum required in total.
  • Black belt point allocations for step sparring, free sparring and self defence all to become 15 points each (was 20, 15 and 10).
  • The introduction of on-line exams introduced. More information on the test is here.
  • The Technical Advisor Group are also revising the self defence syllabus to include static Knife Defence. This is being worked on with the view to introduce it in 2019.

January 2016

The following updates will be included in the 2016 edition of the Black Belt Handbook, available in February 2016.

2016 Changes (changes are in green).

Summary of changes

  • Step sparring changed: All candidates must know all previous levels of all step sparring.
  • Vital spots corrected (thanks Dr Pearson)
  • ITF teaching license requirement added for senior dans
  • 5th to 6th dan breaking modified
  • Removed requirement to be a current instructor for 7th dan.
  • Credit points for tournaments now based on days and half days (so Nationals can be 2 points if you officiate on both days)
  • Fitness test for 50+ that were introduced last year have been added

July 2015

The following changes to 1st - 3rd dan gradings have approved by the Technical Advisor Group and come into force as of 1 July 2015.

  • Contribution credits points can now be earned by umpiring/officiating at a tournament for half a day (for half a point) instead of being required for the duration of the whole tournament. It is hoped this will encourage more black belts to assist at tournaments as they can compete as well if they wish, or help for part of the day and still get official acknowledgment for it.
  • Those 50 years and over have the option of completing the fitness test up to 4 weeks prior to the black belt grading. The fitness test must be conducted after the application is submitted, and overseen by an examiner (unless in an isolated location). The examiner would pass on the test results to the grading examiners. On the day of the grading the candidate would be encouraged to assist with the test or join in parts of it if they wish.

August 2013

Black Belt HandbookThe 2014 edition of the Techniques Handbook is now available.

Summary of main changes

  • Red belt and above must attend an Instructors Induction Course and complete 6 months of assisting in a class before they can test for their next dan grading.
  • Senior dan grading requirements added, such as the requirement to have supervisor and fitness test.
  • Change to women's push ups in the fitness test

You can view a PDF of the handbook
in the Member Downloads Page »

ITFNZ Black Belt Grading Fees »

ITFNZ Black Belt Grading Fee Policy »

Previous Updates »

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