While deciding what title you want your students to refer to you
by it is important to study the background of each. In addition it
is also important to select one relative to your style, for example
you would not want to use a Japanese title for a style that is not
of Japanese origin.

The most commonly used seems to be Sensei as that’s
universally accepted as an Instructor of any grade even amongst
none Japanese styles.

Other common ones are Kancho, which again is grade less and
refers to the head of a dojo/club, or Sir/Maam and Boss in
some cases.

However there are others, which historically are either grade or
age specific, whose meaning has been lost in translation as the
Martial Arts have evolved over the years.

The following guide should help to clarify this when choosing a
title other than those above, again please note some are age
specific as well dependant on organisation so ensure you
research in more than one area before selecting the best one for

Sempai – Mentor/Assistant to Sensei not grade specific
(Japanese although universally used)

Sensei – Instructor/Teacher of 1st Dan and above (Japanese
although universally used)

Renshi – Instructor/Teacher of 5th Dan and above (Japanese)

Master – Instructor/Teacher of 5th Dan and above (Universal)

Kyoshi – Instructor/Teacher of 6th Dan and above (Japanese)

Shihan – Instructor/Teacher of 6th Dan and above (Japanese)

Hanshi – Instructor/Teacher of 8th Dan and above (Japanese)

Grand Master – 8th Dan and above (Universal)

Sifu – Male Master Teacher (Chinese)

Shimu – Female Master Teacher (Chinese)

Jo Kyo Nim – Assistant Instructor (Korean)

Kyo Sa Nim – Instructor  (Korean)

Sa Bom Nim - Master Instructor  (Korean)

Kwan Jang Nim – Grand Master  (Korean)

Kru – Teacher (Thai)

Katulong Guro - Apprentice Instructor 1st Degree (Filipino)

Senior Katulong Guro – Senior Apprentice Instructor 2nd
Degree (Filipino)

Junior Kasama Guro – Junior Associate Instructor 3rd Degree

Kasama Guro – Associate Instructor 4th Degree (Filipino)

Senior Kasama Guro – Senior Associate Instructor 5th Degree

Guro – Full instructor 6th Degree (Filipino)

Pangulong Guro – Chief Instructor 7th Degree (Filipino)
Martial Arts 'Titles'
Once a person reaches the grade of 5th Dan and over this
is often referred to as a 'Masters Degree' so they then
may claim the title of 'Martial Arts Master' should they
wish to.

The above certification is available in these cases,
however please note evidence of previous grades will be
required.  A3 Size Certificate, tube packed and delivered
by Registered Post.

These could also be awarded at our
Summer Course if

The fee also includes listing for life on our Black Belt

To download a Ratification / Award order form
Black Belt Master