Southern California
Kendo Federation


Notes for Examiner and Volunteer Duties on Shinsa Day

Set Up (7:30am)

toban dojo: see toban list

  • set up tables, chairs, and courts (see court set up) and dressing area

Coordinators Meeting (7:30am)

  • brief meeting to review the plans for the day

Announcers and Tachiai (8:00am)

  • check in with your court's coordinator and help with sign in
  • when sign in closes, start helping to set up the first division

Sign In (8:00-8:30am)

sign in will be conducted by the court coordinators inside the gym (see court set up)

  • sign in sheets
    • a kenshi who does not sign in before the 8:30am deadline will not be allowed to test
  • written tests
    • applicants testing for 1kyu, 1dan, 2dan, 3dan, or 4dan must turn in their completed written test at the time of sign in
    • check that the written test includes the kenshi's name and participant number

Examiners Meeting (8:15am)

  • there will be a brief meeting to explain the contents of the examiner binders
    • grouping sheets
    • kendo evaluation sheets
    • kata evaluation sheets
    • injury summaries
  • please thoroughly review the examiner guidelines before shinsa day
  • keep in mind that some dojo do not follow the recommended guidelines for requesting ranks

Opening Rei (9:00am)

  • examiners and volunteers at their stations
  • tachiai: line up the kenshi on the courts in parallel rows (not the columns as we normally have in taikai) facing the examiner tables
  • on chief coordinator's command, all stand and rei
    brief instructions for recording kata pairings (1kyu immediately, dan after division)
    rei and start divisions

Division Preparation (Kendo)


  • note absences, adjust groupings if necessary
    ideally the groupings are of four kenshi and two kenshi from the same dojo do not play each other, but sometimes it cannot be helped
  • communicate any changes to examiners, tachiai, and announcer (have them mark up their own grouping sheets or you may mark them all up, whichever makes the division proceed in a more timely manner)
  • announce division and participant number range
  • use adjusted groupings sheet (if any) to line up new division by participant number
    (after the first division of the day, free tachiai start doing this during the last 2 groups of the previous division)
  • have 1st group of new division put on mens
  • prepare evaluation sheets from revised grouping sheets
opening rei
  • coordinator: make sure everyone is ready
  • all stand, tachiai says "rei"

Kendo Examination

for each group (typically 4 people per group):

  • announcer says numbers of group members (eg "86, 87, 88, 89")
  • for each match:
    • wait until all examiners ready
    • announcer says participant numbers ("86 and 87" or "87 remain, #88")
    • tachiai repeats indicating players ("86, 87" or "87,88")
    • kenshi do reiho (rei, 3 steps forward, sonkyo)
    • tachiai says "hajime"
    • examiners mark "X" or "O" and make comments on the evaluation sheets
    • if necessary, tachiai stops and restarts the kenshi
      (for safety reasons or to keep kenshi centered in court)
    • head examiner raises timer flag after sufficient evaluation time
      (guideline: about 1.5 minutes)
    • tachiai says "yame" (right arm up) to return kenshi to X, then "soremade" (arm in front)
    • kenshi do reiho (sonkyo, 5 steps back, rei)
    • examiners finish marking "X" or "O" and making comments
  • while one group is up, the free tachiai gets the next group ready and assists in feeding kenshi for the current group onto the court
  • at the end of each group
    • examiners write down results
      • for dan ranks, write "yes" or "no" (Y or N, O or X)
      • for kyu ranks, write down the rank number you think is appropriate. It is permissible to put down a rank lower than the requested rank or than the current rank (all the examiner's decisions are combined to come up with the final kyu rank awarded by SCKF)
    • be sure to copy results from the evaluation sheet to the grouping sheet
      (this can be done now or at the end of the division)
  • coordinators: for kyu divisions, verify that the examiners are assigning kyu numbers, not yes/no answers. Stop and let them catch up if necessary before proceeding.

Division Completion (Kendo)

  • wait until all examiners finished
  • announcer: for yudansha divisions tell the kenshi to wait in a group on the side of the court for results and kata pairings
  • all stand, tachiai says "rei"
  • coordinator: collect examiner grouping sheets (make sure properly and completely filled in and includes examiner name)
  • if necessary, short break (< 5min, after ensuring grouping sheets are complete)
  • chief coordinator tallies results
    • kyu: throw out highest and lowest, average the remaining
    • dan: count number of "yes" scores, 3 of 5 for 1-3D, 4 of 6 for 4D
    • record kata pairings
      check off participant numbers as they are paired and recorded
      remnants pair with each other
    • 2nd performance only if odd number in division, mark with "( )"
    • create kata pairing eval sheets using pairings and random list

Kata Examination

court preparation

  • remove kaishisen
  • redo Xs. 1kyu/1D/2D will do two pairs at a time, 3D/4D one pair at a time
division start
  • pass out kata pairings (coordinator, examiners, announcer, tachiai)
  • examiners prepare kata eval sheets
kata test
  • announce uchidachi participant number first, this participant goes to uchidachi side (examiner's right)
  • tachiai: announce #, "uchidachi", #, "shidachi"
  • kenshi perform reiho (sageto rei, taito rei, 3 steps forward, sonkyo), kata, and closing reiho
  • there is no rei to the shomen or examiners table. If it happens, tachiai remind the remaining kenshi not to.
  • kata redo procedure: kenshi may request to redo one kata. Kenshi make the request to tachiai immediatly after completion of kata, tachiai passes request to examiners.
  • Examiners do not request kata redo.

Copyright 2008 by the Southern California Kendo Federation
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