All ranks issued by the IKKF are bestowed by Hanshi C. Bruce Heilman, President of the International Karate Kobudo Federation, and practitioner of the arts for over 51 years.
Hanshi Heilman's personal ranks have been certified by Hanshi Seikichi Odo, Head of the Okinawa Kenpo Karate Kobudo system, Okinawa, Japan, and by the late Hanshi Robert Trias, the Father of American Karate and the Founder of the United States Karate Association. Other organizations issuing or certifying Hanshi Heilman's ranks include:
International Karate Kobudo Federation, Executive Board, USA.
World Union of Martial Arts Federations, USA, Canada, Europe.
International Shorin-Ryu Karate Kobudo Federation, USA.
International Martial Arts Federation, Japan
International Seidokan Motobu-ryu Renmei, USA
Hanshi Heilman's teacher, Hanshi Seikichi Odo, having practiced martial arts since he was 13 years of age, has personally received rank certificates from some of the greatest of the Okinawan Masters. These included:
Shigeru Nakamura (Founder of Okinawa Kenpo Karate)
Zenryo Shimabuku (President All Japan Karate-do League)
Shinpo Matayoshi (President All Ryukyu Kobudo Renmei)
Seitoku Higa (President Association of All Okinawa Karate Kobudo)
Kenko Nakaima (President All Okinawa Kenpo Karate-do League)
IKKF Membership & Rank Certificates
Upon joining the IKKF, each individual member is issued a IKKF Membership Certificate. The IKKF Membership Certificate carries no rank, and is to be renewed annually (calendar year). IKKF Membership Certificates are issued for the following: Lifetime Individual Membership, Individual - Dojo Membership, Individual - Non-Dojo Membership, Associate Membership.
IKKF Rank Certifications are issued upon completion of the testing and certification requirements by the individual member. IKKF rank certification requirements are in compliance with national and internationally accepted traditional standards for the various styles under the banner of the IKKF.
The IKKF issues rank certifications in the following areas:
Karate Certification (Kyu & Dan Levels)
Kobudo Certification (Kyu & Dan Levels)
Teachers Licenses (Karate & Kobudo)
Gakusha (Student Level) - must be at least 14 years of age and hold a Karate or Kobudo rank of 1st Dan or higher.
Renshi (Teacher Level) - must a Karate or Kobudo rank of 4th Dan or higher.
Kyoshi (Senior Teacher / Master Level) - must a Karate or Kobudo rank of 7th Dan or higher.
Hanshi (Grand Master Level) - must a Karate or Kobudo rank of 9th or 10th Dan.
Formal Yudansha testings are held on a bi-annual basis at Winter Camp and Annual Training at the IKKF Hombu. Other Yudansha testings may be held throughout the year by Hanshi Heilman. All promotions of 4th Dan or higher and all Teachers Licenses are made at the IKKF Annual Training held each summer at the Hombu.
Kobudo / License Designations For The Obi
When a IKKF member is certified 1st Dan level or higher in Kobudo, the member will be issued a "Kobudo Patch" for the back of their obi. There are two "kobudo patches" used by the IKKF. Both are of the same design and size with the only difference being the use of either a gold or red border to the patch. The gold border kobudo patch is used for all Gakusha lever kobudo practitioners. When an individual has achieved their Teachers License (Renshi), they switch to the red border kobudo patch.
Upon receiving their "Renshi License", the member places a diagonal gold stripe on the obi above the Kobudo Patch. At the "Kyoshi" level, the member wears two gold stripes, while the "Hanshi" level has three gold stripes on the back of the obi.