In Black Belt ranks there are generally 10 Dan grades (although some Korean systems only promote to 9th). Under Association standards, 1st through 8th Dan are “earned” ranks and are awarded after an extensive resume review and, typically, a physical examination/performance.
AKBBA/CSHK can certify promotions of 1st through 5th Dan awarded by a Black Belt Affiliate Instructor Member who holds a rank at least two degrees higher (i.e. a 4th Dan may award a 2nd Dan, etc.). Certificates must be ordered well in advance of the event. Arrangements can often be made to have a High Dan Board Member present—usually for an honorarium.
We do NOT require that all your Black Belt promotions be certified by the Association although it would seem advantageous to your school to have your Black Belts certified by an internationally recognized association.
AKBBA/CSHK promotions of 6th Dan to 8th Dan are determined solely by the High Dan Board and are only available to Black Belts who have been members in good standing for at least two years and who have demonstrated outstanding contributions to the martial arts AND to this Association.
Note that merely having possessed a given rank for a certain number of years is not sufficient reason for a high-dan promotion. After a thorough resumé review (which can take up to 8 weeks) and the subsequent determination of the Board that a promotion is warranted, at least one member of the High Dan Board must be present on the examination/presentation board. In additional to the certificate fee, there is an honorarium charge for HDB members to attend. Review our “Standards” (available to BB Members) for time-in-grade requirements and other details.
In the AKBBA/CSHK, as in most other organizations, the 9th and 10th Dan are “honorary” or “positional” ranks. These highest ranks are awarded exclusively by vote of the High Dan Board based on a long tenure and exceptional accomplishments in the martial arts and to this Association. They may be awarded to Black Belt Members of the Association who are, usually, over 50 years of age and have in excess of 40 years training and distinguished service to the martial arts. These obviously rare promotions are presented at a formal ceremony (i.e. a belt exam, a tournament, or banquet).