2nd Dan Judo Certification in Korea

2nd Dan from the KJA

I’ve been training at a local judo school since I arrived in Busan in August of 2011.  I really wanted to receive a certification from the Korea Judo Association, more for nostalgia’s sake than anything.  The difficult part was verifying my rank in the United States.

Promotional guidelines are universal in the sport of judo.  That is one of the great things about the sport.  It’s an Olympic sport and therefore there needs to be a standard for promotions regardless of the country you’re from.  Japan and the Kodokan has gone to great lengths to preserve the promotional curriculum of the sport to ensure it’s integrity and presence in the Olympic Games.

2nd Dan from USA Judo

Therefore, getting promoted in the United States has the same requirements (i.e. technical demonstration, time in grade, etc.) as does France, the U.K., Russia, South America, or Korea.  I just needed to provide proof of my rank back home and I would be ok here in Korea.

I am a 2nd Dan in the United States.  I was therefore qualified to receive a certification from the KJA for the same rank, given I provide proof of rank.

On the wall of dans at my judo school in Busan

That said, I did need to brush up on my kata.  Nobody likes to do kata in judo.  The essential kata for lower grade dans is called “Nage No Kata”, one of the free practice forms of the “Randori No Kata” group.

Well, for a few weeks I reviewed (or should I say relearned) the kata while documents were being completed.  I had to ask my co-teacher to help me complete mine as it was all in Korean.  The application was basically a history of your experience in judo, including dates of promotions.  How the years erase memory!

I received my certification a few months ago, along with my Korean Judo Association card.  If I don’t look like a serial killer in the photo, I don’t know what one looks like.  Photo aside, I am so happy and proud to be part of the KJA system now.  I’m also happy to have the certificate with the red stamp on it.  I don’t know why, but I just really like the red stamp on things in Asia.  I feel more authentic now!


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