Qualification & Acceptance Criteria

To qualify for certification testing, the examinee will need to fulfil the following criteria:


Iwama Buki branded Jo - by Sensei Sargeant1. Any individual wishing to take certification testing shall start at Shodan Bukiwaza (Level One). There will be no exceptions.


2. Successfully complete a pre-examination interview in person or online (Zoom/Skype, etc.) if a face-to-face is not possible.


3. Any individual may apply for testing as long as they are students who personally study Iwama style weapons, regardless of their organisation affiliation.


4. Have appropriate Iwama-style weapons (Jo and Ken) and present techniques in Gi (no Hakama to be worn).


5. Hold a Shodan certificate (minimum entry level) or be tested for Dan grade Taijutsu and associated Dan grade Bukiwaza certification within the same exam.


6. Be available to test on a date and at a location designated by Sensei Sargeant.


7. Be limited to one Bukiwaza certification test per grading session with a minimum gap of 6 months until the next opportunity to test. The higher the level, these gap periods will increase:


  • 1st level (Shodan) to 2nd level (Nidan) : six months


  • 2nd level (Nidan) to 3rd level (Sandan) : twelve months


  • 3rd level (Sandan) to 4th level (Yondan) : eighteen months


  • 4th level (Yondan) to 5th level (Godan) : two years


Please note: The only exceptions to these rules may be those who already hold a high rank of 2nd Dan Iwama style and above and who have been tested by either Saito Sensei or Sensei Sargeant.


8. Pay for the certification test in advance of the Bukiwaza grading.


9. Eligibility for Shodan Bukiwaza testing at 1st Kyu level is possible, depending upon the pre-examination interview. However, the certificate will only be issued upon successful Shodan Taijutsu testing.


Additional Information

  • Bukiwaza Dan grades are independent of Taijutsu Dan grade levels.


  • Examinations will be conducted over the course of a day


  • In the event of a failed attempt at certification, the examinee will be allowed to re-test within 12 months. The fee for re-testing will be half the original amount.


  • The examinee will be informed immediately upon successful examination, and an official certificate will be issued.


  • The use of Japanese shall be expected for all the Bukiwaza and associated counting


  • In certain ‘rare’ circumstances, examinees may be allowed to submit a video of their Bukiwaza where travel opportunities are limited. Please get in touch with Sensei Sargeant directly to discuss this remote certification opportunity. Please note that any video submission shall show techniques from the front , the side (chest side) but not from the rear. Videos submitted will the broken up into the various sections required for the different testing levels.


  • These are “Teaching level” licences and not basic level student presentations, therefore ‘every detail’ will be required to be shown.


  • All testing shall be conducted at standard Kihon speed unless instructed otherwise.


Application Process

If you wish to be considered for certification testing then please:

1. Contact Sensei Sargeant directly to discuss your request


2. Complete the application form:

• Bukiwaza Certification Application Form – MS Word Document

• Bukiwaza Certification Application Form – PDF version


3. Your request will be considered and you will be informed of the outcome


4. Upon successful application, testing dates and arrangements will be mutually agreed


Example of the Aiki Ken Jo CertificateAiki Ken and Aiki Jo Licence example (sample only)


Sensei Sargeant receives his 4 Dan Bukiwaza Certificate at the Iwama Dojo from Saito Sensei
Sensei Sargeant receiving is Yondan Bukiwaza award – Iwama 1994
(Photo attrib. Simon Whittaker)