Rules Regarding Dan Examinations
Students should be first given permission to test by their local sensei and then they must be approved for testing by the CIA vice-president and the CIA president. The final testing is to be done at the annual seminar by the ZNIR representatives. Both the student and their sensei should be confident that they will meet or exceed the required standard.
- Before testing for shodan students should expect to spend two to three years (or more) depending on their personal progress in iaido and be at least age 16.
- For dan levels above shodan there are no set time limits.
After successful completion of the examination, Jyushinsha will immediately receive a Temporary Certificate, followed within 2-5 months by the official ZNIR dan certificate.
Section A: Practical Examination
The practical examination will be five waza for Shodan to Sandan and six waza for Yondan to Godan.
|Testing for||1st Waza||2nd Waza||3rd Waza||4th Waza||5th Waza||6th Waza|
|Shodan||Maegiri||Mae||Seiza no Bu||Battouho||Battouho||–|
|Nidan||Zengogiri||Mae||Seiza no Bu||Battouho||Battouho||–|
|Sandan||Kiriage||Mae||Seiza no Bu||Battouho||Battouho||–|
|Yondan||Shihogiri||Mae||Seiza no Bu||Seiza no Bu||Battouho||Battouho|
|Godan||Kissakigaeshi||Mae||Seiza no Bu||Seiza no Bu||Battouho||Battouho|
The first waza must be the required Toho waza (i.e. Maegiri if you’re testing for Shodan, Zengogiri if you’re testing for Nidan, etc). The second waza must be Mae from Seiza no Bu. Kaishaku is not permitted and Oikaze is not recommended.
Section B: Written Exam
The written exam may include questions about the parts of the sword, the names of waza, and the history and philosophy of iaido. Questions will be selected from a pool of questions that will be made available at least two months before the examination date.
These are the questions:
For Shodan to Sandan, questions 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7.
For Yondan and Godan, questions 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, and 9.
- Write down the distinctive features of the Zen Nippon Iaido Renmei (ZNIR):
A: Our proud federation is the only Iaido specialist organization in Japan. Established in accordance with the bushido spirit, it aims to correctly transmit to future generations the time-honoured schools of kobudo Iaido.
- What is the name of your school?
Muso Jikiden Eishin-ryu (unless from different school)
- Write down the name and date of birth and death of the founder of Iaido, and the name of the location of the iai jinja (shrine)?
Founder: Hayashizaki Jinsuke Minamoto no Shigenobu
Date of Birth: 1546 AD
Date of Death: 1621 AD
Name of Iai Jinja: Hayashizaki Iai Jinja
Location of Iai Jinja: Tateoka, Murayama City, Yamagata Prefecture
- List the five waza in Zen Nippon Iaido Renmei Toho and the schools from which they originate:
- Maegiri (Eishin ryu)
- Zengogiri (Mugai ryu)
- Kiriage (Shindomunen ryu)
- Shihougiri (Suio ryu)
- Kissakigaeshi (Houki ryu)
- Draw a diagram of a Japanese sword and its fittings, and name each part.
Parts of the Sword:
- mekugi ana
- shinogi ji
- List the eleven waza in Seiza No Bu.
- List the eleven waza in Eishin-Ryu Battou Ho.
- Kihon no Kata
- Junto sono ichi
- Junto sono ni
- Shihoto sono ichi
- Shihoto sono ni
- Zenteki gyakuto
- Koteki gyakuto
- Koteki nukiuchi
Oku no Kata
- List the ten waza in Tatehiza no bu:
- Explain the meaning of “Saya no Uchi” with regards to Iaido
The moment one releases the sword from the saya, with the unwavering intent to prevail, one defeats the opponent without hesitation. This, “saya no uchi”, is the heart of Iai.