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Next Exam:  Sunday, May 30, starting at 10am for BOE/BOM members, with all promotions handled remotely.


Deadline: Monday, May 17, 2021 for electronic and paper+payment submission. Corrected submissions will be requested if needed.


Candidates should NOT attend.  The Board of Examiners will meet on its own via Zoom meeting and notify candidates of its decisions.

USJF Requirements:

1. CDC Heads Up Certification

2. USOC SafeSport Certification

All Shodan promotion applications are now required to meet new requirements:

  • Requirements are met by submitting copies of the certificates of completion for both Heads Up & SafeSport with the applicants completed USJF form 20. 
  • Certifications must have been completed NOT more than one (1) year prior to the submission of the Shodan applicant’s USJF form 20.
  • Shodan applications that do not have the accompanying copies of the certification of completion are incomplete and will not be processed until the deficiencies are corrected.

Please use the following links for training on the CDC and USOC websites.  If you need detailed instructions they are available here:



Referee Clinic Requirements:
CENCO requires Shodan candidates to have attended a Referee Clinic recognized by CENCO.  NOTE:  Candidates are not required to pass the written test and practical evaluation needed to be certified as a Referee by CENCO, but must at a minimum have evidence of having attended a recognized clinic.  For this promotion, CENCO will offer a Referee Clinic via Zoom.  Attendance via Zoom will satisfy the requirement.  Candidates who need to attend the clinic must email their intention to attend by April 30, 2021 to

Kata Requirements:  (Kata not required this one time as CENCO cannot provide training sessions due to shelter in place orders)
Shodan: Nage No Kata (First 3 sets as tori)
Nidan: a. Competitor – Complete set of Nage-No-Kata (Tori)
b. Non-competitor – Complete set of Nage-No-Kata (Tori and Uke); Katame-No-Kata (Tori)

Options for kata requirement: (not required this one time for Shodan.  The Board of Examiners will rely on the honor system for the candidates to eventually fulfill the requirement when possible.  Higher dan should submit prior kata experience, or videos.)

  • Complete required number of Nage No Kata Clinic sessions at Soko Joshi and submit certificate from CENCO with other paperwork prior to deadline. Alternately, candidate may also complete required sessions with another qualified clinician and submit statement from clinician.
    • Shodan: 2 Sessions
    • Nidan: 3 Sessions
  • Nage No Kata competition record
  • Nage No Kata certificate from another Yundanshakai
  • Candidate may perform kata in person at promotional exam in lieu of certificate.

Checklist for All Yudansha

(Black Belt Candidates: Shodan and higher)

NOTE: Late, incomplete, or non-conforming documentation by the posted deadline will be rejected and the candidate will not be eligible for promotion consideration. You will receive confirmation of receipt by CENCO, if you do not, please contact the secretary immediately

  • USJF registration for the entire time in grade period required (or back fees paid)
  • USJF Background Check Form and $16.00 payment for background check payable to “USJF” (not required for those under 18)
    • Mailed to USJF before the paperwork deadline:
      United States Judo Federation
      P.O. Box 338
      Ontario OR 97914
  • USJF-approved Waiver of liability (Not needed this one time since no live testing will occur):  Notwithstanding regular instructions, you may send it ahead of time or bring it on the day of the event.  The Waiver form(s) have to be signed by adults for themselves or by guardians/parents of any minors participating in the test, even if the adult or child is just participating as an Uke.
  • Send digital copies of the following documentation to CENCO board of examiners secretary well before paperwork submission deadline so you can get feedback on any needed corrections
    • Form 20, preferably with your digital signature already on it
    • Indication you submitted and paid for your Background check (unless you’re under  18)
    • Digital head-shot photo (standard “passport” dimensions OK, larger, higher resolution copies better)
    • Kata certificate (if required) or dates of kata clinic
    • Proof of previous rank (Nidan and higher candidates)
    • Any supporting documentation such as other certificates
  • After getting feedback, mail the following to:
    CENCO Board of Examiners
    Ramin Khaksar
    131 Santa Clara Ave.
    Redwood City, CA 94061
  • Form 20 – Please have your instructor review the completed form before submission
  • Form 20 Instructions checklist
  • Complete CENCO promotion flyer which will be posted once a sanction is granted.
  • Check written to CENCO for the $20 processing fee (icl. candidate’s name).  Processing fee applies to all candidates.
  • Check written to USJF for the applicable promotion fee if candidate is not a USJF Lifetime Member (promotion fees are waived for USJF lifetime members):
    • Shodan: $125.00
    • Nidan: $150.00
    • Sandan: $175.00
    • Yondan: $200.00
    • Godan: $225.00
    • Rokudan: $250.00
    • Shichidan: $300.00
    • Hachidan: $350.00
  • For non-competitors candidate and Instructor Must Attend Board of Examiners Promotion Meeting unless the BOE grants an exceptional exemption.
  • Non-competitor candidates: Complete skills testing at promotional examination demonstrating rank required skills
  • Sandan and higher ranks (Due to shelter in place orders, will accept video submissions instead): CENCO board of examiners would like a demonstration of the candidate’s teaching techniques. This demonstration must presented in person at the exam and be brief and to the point. The demonstration should show the creativity of the candidate by integrating techniques required for their rank in either Tachiwaza, Osaekomi waza , Shimewaza, or Kansetsu Waza. It should highlight combinations, transitions, defenses or turnovers to and from the technique selected for teaching. The Board of Examiners listens to the candidate’s description and explanation of these techniques as well as the drills and the methods he or she uses to teach these techniques. It should not just be a variation of a technique. See the example below.


Rank Requirements (PDF)

Obtaining Kodokan Rank

Use the following documents to apply for a Kodokan Rank Certificate