February 28, 2015 – Rank can be earned in Kendo just as in other martial arts. One doesn’t have to take part in tournament competition to earn rank in Kendo.

Kendo ranking system is similar to other martial arts.  10th Kyu through 1st Kyu are the ranks below black belt and 1st Dan through 8th Dan are the black belt ranks.

Spokane Kendo Club holds testing several times each year for the first several ranks below black belt (10th Kyu through 4th Kyu). We attend testing in Seattle for higher ranks. The Pacific Northwest Kendo Federation (PNKF) holds testing every February and August.

Promotional testing usually includes a kata portion where Kendoists must complete a set of prearranged patterns with a partner to demonstrate sound basics and a match portion where sparring is demonstrated.  

February 2015, we had the following ranks awarded to our members who made the trip, tested, and passed:

Michael Ciesielski – 3 Kyu (3 degrees under the blackbelt rank)

Max Miller – 2 Kyu (2 degrees under the blackbelt rank)

Isaac Deal – 1 Kyu (1 degree under the blackbelt rank)

Nathan McRae – 1 Dan (1st degree black belt)

Chris Ruiz – 3 Dan (3rd degree black belt)

Spokane Kendo Club member Chris Ruiz is on the left. Kendoists usually were a name plate on the front of their armor during training and at tournaments. These are removed for testing so the judges can focus on the quality of their Kendo instead of who they are.