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May 19 2010

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Uechi-ryu “Titles”

Gold Bars on your belt. What do they represent?

In 1967 the All Okinawa Karate Federation was formed and one of its primary functions was to bestow “titles” to deserving martial artist. These titles were Renshi (one gold bar), Kyoshi (two gold bars) and Hanshi (three gold bars). There was also a “Hanshi-sei” award, for martial artist still continuing their study of Karate after the age of 70. (No additional gold bars are awarded)

The titles were created, not for the purpose of identifying physical rank (1-9th dan), but for the purpose of recognizing individuals who not only met standard rank requirements, but who distinguish themselves as exemplatory individuals who have advanced the martial arts generally and their style specifically.

The All Okinawa Karate Federation didn’t last very long and soon individual styles began adopting their own methods for awarding stripes. . . generally students would simply sew them on at what they determined was appropriate ranks. In other words, the spirit of the gold bars and titles were lost.

When IUKF was created, one of my goals was to re-institute the “titles” program to represent something more than the ability to sew a stripe on one’s belt. I am very pleased to report that the program is progressing very well and I believe will become once again, an important part of the Uechi-ryu ranking process.

Dr. Joan Neidi heads up this program and has created the following documents which can also be found on the IUKF website:

 

INTERNATIONAL UECHI-RYU KARATE FEDERATION
SENIOR TITLES
Renshi – Kyoshi – Hanshi – Hanshi-sei

QUALIFICATIONS

MINIMUM REQUIREMENTS
The IUKF has set the minimum requirements for honoring individuals for their excellence in martial arts and reputation as a member of the Uechi-Ryu karate community.  The awarding of a senior title is a separate and distinct process from a dan (physical) rank. Nominations for all senior titles must be recommended by an IUKF member who is senior to the candidate or a recommendation can be submitted collectively from the IUKF Board.

The procedure for nomination and selection are as follows.
1. IUKF members and Uechi-Ryu affiliates may select and submit a name for nomination
to the Titles Committee. All candidates must meet minimum requirements.

Note: Periodically the minimum requirements may be modified or revised by the IUKF Board or
a special review board.

Minimum requirements are:

Renshi:
1.    20 years of continuous and active training and/or teaching in Uechi-Ryu Karate.
2.    Godan (5th degree black belt) or above or a yondan (4th degree black belt) who is testing for a rank of godan and the awarding of a renshi title at the same time.
3.    37 years or older (justification:” adult” black belts are issued at 16 years old).
4.    Recommendation from a member of IUKF who has a minimum title of renshi or above.
5.    Documented attendance and/or presentation at Uechi-Ryu related seminars and workshops.
6.    IUKF member for at least one year.

Award: One gold bar or stripe on black belt

Kyoshi:
1.    30 years of continuous and active training and teaching in Uechi-Ryu Karate.
2.    7th degree black belt minimum
3.    47 years or older
4.    Recommendation from a member of IUKF who has a minimum title of kyoshi or above.
5.    Documented attendance and/or presentation at Uechi-Ryu related seminars and workshops
6.    IUKF member for at least one year

Award: Two gold bars or stripes on black belt

Hanshi:
1.    40 years of continuous and active training and teaching in Uechi-Ryu Karate.
2.    8th degree black belt minimum (9th degree black belt is the normal rank required)
3.    57 years or older
4.    Recommendation from the IUKF Board.

Award: Three gold stripes or bars on black belt.

Hanshi-sei:
1.    50 years of continuous and active training and teaching in Uechi-Ryu Karate.
2.    8th degree black belt minimum
3.    65 years or older.
4.    Recommendation from the IUKF Board.

Award: No special belt designation for Grand Master at this time.

2. Once the nomination period is closed (First Friday in May), recommendation of the
award recipient will be made by the IUKF Titles Committee. In making their
recommendation the Titles Committee will evaluate each nominee based upon age,
years actively participating, contribution and service to the art of Uechi-Ryu Karate,
and submitted recommendation.

3. Recommendation of candidate for title will be forwarded to the IUKF Board for
approval. Approval must be a 2/3 majority vote.

RIGHTS OF APPEAL
Any candidate who is not awarded a master title may have the rights to appeal the decision. By the candidate’s request the IUKF Board must give written justification of their decision and also provide guidance for completion of a senior title at a later date.

May, 2010


 

INTERNATIONAL UECHI-RYU KARATE FEDERATION
SENIOR TITLES
Renshi – Kyoshi – Hanshi – Hanshi Sei

APPLICATION

In order to qualify for a title you must send an electronic copy of all required documents to the head of the IUKF Titles Committee. After a review of your submitted documents, your documents will be forwarded to the other members of the Titles Committee for review.  A recommendation from the IUKF Titles Committee will be then forward to the International Uechi-Ryu Karate Federation Board of Directors for approval. Approval must be a 2/3 majority vote.

Please provide the following documents.

Letter of Recommendation
The candidate who is nominated for a title is responsible for providing a formal letter(s) of recommendation from a senior in Uechi-Ryu Karate. An email recommendation is acceptable or an attachment.

Resume that includes the following materials:
a. Educational background: Provide a chronological time line of your study of
Uechi-Ryu Karate.  This would include length of study, instructor (s), promotional
dates, etc.

b. Teaching Experience: Show evidence of where you have taught Uechi-Ryu Karate
and length of time.

c. Seminars/workshop presentations: Include a listing of seminars, invitations
as a guest instructor, or workshop presentations in Uechi-Ryu Karate.

d. Publications, if any, that contributed to the art of Uechi-Ryu Karate.

e. Professional recognition, if any, this can include a listing of awards or special
recognitions given to you from your peers in Uechi-Ryu Karate.

Special Contributing Project
The IUKF Board encourages candidates seeking a senior title to share their knowledge and expertise with the Uechi-Ryu Karate community. A designated space on the IUKF website will be provided in order for all seniors to share their expertise with the Uechi-Ryu Karate community at large. A member of the Titles Committee will be assigned to the candidate for guidance and direction. Suggested areas of subject/work-life experiences that a candidate might want to submit are:
a.    Written article
b.    Film/DVD
c.    Project
d.    Reflection paper of candidate’s years in Uechi-Ryu Karate

Please submit all documentation to:
Joan Neide
Title Committee, Chair
neidej@csus.edu

If you have any questions please contact me by email or phone. Thank you.
Home:    916 452-6964
Work:     916 278-5383                                May, 2010


Permanent link to this article: http://uechi-ryu.com/uechi-ryu-qtitlesq/

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