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Professional Titles in Uechi-ryu Karate




Renshi � Kyoshi � Hanshi � Hanshi Sei

What Candidates Need To Do

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 [By candidate's teacher, if possible]

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:

Materials Are:

  1. 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.
  2. Teaching Experience: Show evidence of where you have taught Uechi-Ryu Karate and length of time.
  3. Seminars/workshop presentations: Include a listing of seminars, invitations as a guest instructor, or workshop presentations in Uechi-Ryu Karate.
  4. Publications, if any, that contributed to the art of Uechi-Ryu Karate.
  5. Professional recognition, if any, this can include a listing of awards or specia recognitions given to you from your peers in Uechi-Ryu Karate.
  6. 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:

  • Written article
  • Film/DVD
  • Project
  • Reflection paper of candidate�s years in Uechi-Ryu Karate

Please submit all documentation to:

Bruce Witherell Award and Titles Chairman:

If you have any questions please contact me by email or phone. Thank you.

Title Requirements: Award: One gold bar or stripe on black belt

Renshi: Qualifications:


  • Must hold at least the rank of 4th dan.
  • Sound conduct having a sufficient knowledge of Uechi-Ryu karate.
  • Be at least 28 years old.
  • Be an IUKF member for at least one year
  • Must submit a thesis or other acceptable accomplishment.
  • The candidate must be actively contributing to the art of Uechi-ryu,
  • Must be recommended by another black belt of at least Godan or above and
  • Reviewed by the IUKF certification committee.


  • Certificate signifying Renshi rank title
  • One gold stripes on black belt signifying Renshi title

Award: Two gold bars or stripes on black belt

Kyoshi Qualifications:

  • Having Renshi title and at least 7th dan rank
  • Sound conduct and having knowledge of Uechi-Ryu karate.
  • Must be at least 45 years old.


  • Certificate signifying Kyoshi rank title
  • Two gold stripes on black belt signifying Kyoshi title.

Award: Three gold stripes or bars on black belt.

Hanshi Qualifications:

  • Having Kyoshi title and still continuing study of karate after the age of 55.
  • High ethics with the perfection of his or her techniques and must be exemplary in his or her Uechi-Ryu karate.
  • Meritorius service must be recognized.
  • Must be at least 55 years old.


  • Certificate signifying Hanshi rank title
  • Three gold stripes on black belt signifying Hanshi rank title

Award: Hanshi-sei:

Hanshi-sei Qualifications:

  • Having Hanshi title and still continuing his or her study of Uechi-Ryu karate after the age of 65.
  • High ethics with the perfection of his or her techniques and must be exemplary in his or her Uechi-Ryu karate.
  • Meritorious service must be recognized..


  • Certificate signifying Hanshi-Sei rank title
  • There are no special belt designation at this time for Grand Masters who attain this title.

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.

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


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.