In an effort to address some of the most common questions, we have provided an extensive FAQ section. Although several areas are covered in detail, it is by no means a comprehensive list of questions. For further information, please do not hesitate to Contact us directly.
What is Kokusai Budoin ?
Kokusai Budoin was established in 1952 by leading practitioners of traditional Japanese martial arts in Tokyo, Japan. The Federation is dedicated to the promotion and development of the martial arts worldwide. The formal Japanese title is of Kokusai Budoin, NPO..
What is Kokusai Budoin’s history?
Kokusai Budoin was founded in 1952 by a group of Japan’s most prominent martial arts practitioners, including: Master Kyuzo Mifune, Master Kazuo Ito and Shizuya Sato of Judo; Master Hakudo Nakayama and Master Hiromasa Takano of Kendo; Master Hironori Otsuka of Karatedo, and Kiyotaka Wake and Sueo Kiyoura. The first Chairman was Prince Tsunenori Kaya (uncle of Emperor Hirohito, former lieutenant general in the Imperial Army), and was followed Prince Higashikuni (the first post World War II Prime Minister, the only member of the Japanese Imperial Family to have held this post). Kokusai Budoin, then known as the National Japan Health Association sponsored the first, large-scale, public, post World War II martial arts demonstration in Japan in Hibiya Park in downtown Tokyo in February 1952.
What are Kokusai Budoin’s purpose and goals?
Among the objectives of Kokusai Budoin are the expansion of interest in Japanese martial arts, the establishment of communication, friendship, understanding and harmony among member chapters, the development of the minds and bodies of members, and the promotion of global understanding and personal growth.
What famous martial artists are associated with Kokusai Budoin?
Some of the best known Kokusai Budoin martial artists and leaders include:
- Kyuzo Mifune, Hanshi, Meijin 10-dan Judo
- Kazuo Ito, Hanshi, Meijin 10-dan Judo
- Shizuya Sato, Hanshi, Hanshi 10-dan Nihon Jujutsu and Hanshi 9-dan Judo
- Hakudo Nakayama, Meijin 10-dan Kendo
- Hiromasa Takano, Meijin 10-dan Kendo
- Hironori Otsuka, Meijin 10-dan Karatedo
- Gogen Yamaguchi, Hanshi 10-dan Karatedo
- Hirokazu Kanazawa, Hanshi 10-dan Karatedo
- Kazuo Sakai, Hanshi 10-dan Karatedo
- Katsuo Yamaguchi, Meijin 10-dan Iaido
- Kisshomaru Ueshiba, Aikikai Aikido, and son of the founder of Aikido, Morihei Ueshiba
Who are the leaders of Kokusai Budoin?
Click here for information relating to the current leadership and organization structure of Kokusai Budoin.
What sort of Non-Profit Organization is Kokusai Budoin?
Kokusai budoin, Kokusai Budoin is registered as a Non-Profit Organization (NPO) with the Japanese government. Additionally, the Federation is registered in various Branch Countries under a variety of auspices, according to local laws and regulations.
What Japanese government ministry recognizes Kokusai Budoin as a NPO?
The Tokyo Metropolitan Government, the site of Japan’s national government, is the legal body granting and monitoring Kokusai Budoin’s non-profit status.
Is there an Kokusai Budoin-related dojo near me?
Kokusai Budoin has 27 Branch Countries and over 10,000 members worldwide. Additionally, interested individuals are encouraged to contact an official representative in his/her regional should none be available in his/her country of residence.
How do I find an Kokusai Budoin-related dojo near me in the UK ?
See our dojo contact detail page.
Can Kokusai Budoin members train in other Kokusai Budoin affiliate dojos in other states or countries?
Kokusai Budoin maintains an open-door policy for all members. Additionally, members are encouraged to visit and train with others at every opportunity. Please contact an Kokusai Budoin dojo directly to request information about training sessions. Keep in mind that Kokusai Budoin affiliate dojos are individual businesses and clubs. Language barriers, liability issues, local laws and other practical matters must be considered. Ultimately, all visits are at the discretion of the local Kokusai Budoin instructor.
What benefits are there to joining Kokusai Budoin as an individual?
Kokusai Budoin membership gives individuals access to the oldest Japanese martial arts organization, with the premier Japanese martial arts practitioners in the world. Members can get their ranks recognized by the world’s foremost Japanese martial arts organization. Members have access to Kokusai Budoin seminars, where they can personally train with a variety of the top martial artists in the major styles of modern and traditional Japanese martial arts.
Do I need a minimum martial arts rank or background to join Kokusai Budoin?
Individuals of all ranks and levels of experience are welcome to join Kokusai Budoin. We encourage all interested practitioners to contact us and learn more about our worldwide programs.
I am a parent, and my child is interested in martial arts. What should I look for in a dojo or martial arts style?
A dojo is a place for the serious study of martial arts. Some are private, small businesses, others are college or other club-level activities, while others are large, geographically diverse organizations. Regardless, you should be able to see an interest in the study of Japanese martial arts, a motivation to impart instruction, and certain camaraderie among the students. You should be able to talk to the instructor to ask questions and become comfortable with the instructor. Japanese martial arts cover many different styles. Some, such as Judo, Aikido and Jujutsu, are always practiced hand-to-hand with an opponent and involve extensive close contact and grappling. Others, such as Karatedo, mix individually demonstrated katas (forms) and one-on-one kumite (sparring) at a distance. Still others, such as Iaido (Japanese sword techniques), are often practiced individually in set forms without physical contact. Some, such as Iaido, exclusive employ dedicated and specialized weapons such as Japanese swords, almost always modified for maximum safety, while others, such as Karate and Jujutsu employ more improvised and simpler weapons such as staffs and short sticks. Different styles appeal to different people, and in fact interests and appeal will change over time. The Japanese martial arts styles practiced in Kokusai Budoin have survived for hundreds of years because of their enduring appeal to a wide range of practitioners. Kokusai Budoin recommends that interested individuals study, ask questions and personally observe various styles. Please refer to the Divisions section for detailed information about specific Kokusai Budoin disciplines & divisions.
How may I contribute to Kokusai Budoin?
Kokusai Budoin welcomes participation in a wide range of activities. Some contribute by:
- participating in and/or leading Kokusai Budoin Seminars
- assisting with administrative activities
- writing reviews of martial arts books & materials
- contributing materials and ideas for Kokusai Budoin as an organization or the Kokusai Budoin website
- helping to find and recruit the best practitioners of Japanese martial arts worldwide to join Kokusai Budoin
Can my college martial arts club join Kokusai Budoin?
Yes. Kokusai Budoin welcomes club level organizations. Martial arts clubs are an important aspect of training and tradition in Japanese modern and traditional martial arts, and international clubs are very welcome.
I would like to join Kokusai Budoin but do not currently practice Japanese martial arts. Is there a membership category for those who are interested in contributing in other ways?
Kokusai Budoin recognizes interested individuals who are not active martial arts practitioners as Consultants, Counsel, and Advisors. These special positions are determined by Headquarters only.
What are the different Kokusai Budoin individual membership classes?
Membership is divided into three categories: Regular, Associate and Affiliate.
Regular Membership: This membership is open to all those holding 4th dan or higher degrees as recognized by Kokusai Budoin.
Associate Membership: This membership is open to all those who holding 3rd dan or lower degrees as recognized by Kokusai Budoin.
Affiliate Membership: This membership is open to all those who have an interest in Japanese martial arts and wish to join Kokusai Budoin. Registration of degrees & testing, prior experience or demonstrated capability in Japanese martial arts is not required.
What official Kokusai Budoin products are available?
Kokusai Budoin has patches, lapel pins and key chains as well as other items. Soon Kokusai Budoin will also have links to books, videos, and other education and instructional material. Please visit our website regularly to see new information and how Kokusai Budoin continues to grow.
Does Kokusai Budoin hold seminars in Japan or in my region?
Kokusai Budoin annually sponsors seminars coordinated by Regional Directors of the Americas, Europe, and Japan. Additionally, Branch and Regional seminars are held frequently.
Please refer to the Events page of our website.
What is the Complaints Procedure
Complaints should firstly be taken to your Kokusai budoin registered instructor to be resolved. If you are not happy or have a complaint outside of your instructors remit then please submit to email@example.com. Our team will firstly look at how best to answer or direct your complaint. If the complaint is serious we will investigate and instructors can be brought in front of our Professional Conduct Committee and sanctions applied. If an appeal is required then this will go to our appeals committee and at request involve senior directors from Kokusai Budoin Japan in the process to provide independent recommendations.
Does Kokusai Budoin run courses in the UK
Each Branch Country is authorized to conduct seminars, demonstrations and examinations, as required, preferably in cooperation with other member countries. However, Kokusai Budoin is registered as NPO and has no involvement with domestic regimes. Such matters are usually dealt with by organisers of national groups.
Can I transfer my grades
Because of the inevitable differences, transferring grades from other organisations is not possible. The applicant would need to be re-assessed by the Japanese masters at European seminars after assessment in the UK by qualified staff.
Does Kokusai Budoin qualify instructors?
Yes. Kokusai Budoin recognizes and commends meritorious individuals by conferring rank, title and Official Instructor Licenses.
What benefits are there to joining Kokusai Budoin as a dojo?
Kokusai Budoin brings the best of Japanese martial arts traditions and training to the world. Joining provides access to new levels of understanding, technical training, recognition and affiliation as well as access to premier seminars, exhibitions and exchanges worldwide.
I have my own Japanese martial arts dojo. How do I join Kokusai Budoin?
Instructors of individual dojos are encouraged to learn more about the benefits of joining Kokusai Budoin. Please take the time to review this FAQ section carefully as well as other sections of this site.
Please refer to the Contact Us section for details. In the body of the e-mail, please provide detailed information about your dojo, your martial arts background, ranks and disciplines studied.
What sort of functions does Kokusai Budoin sponsor?
Kokusai Budoin Exhibitions: are held annually in Japan. Kokusai Budoin members worldwide join to demonstrate their skills. The exhibit is generally coupled with a series of training seminars with the leading instructors of Kokusai Budoin.
Kokusai Budoin Seminars: Instructors from several divisions travel from Japan to North America and Europe annually to present seminars to Kokusai Budoin members. These seminars not only feature Japan’s premier instructors, but also provide opportunities to practice in different martial arts. Local, national and/or regional Kokusai Budoin seminars are also frequently held.
Please refer to the Events page for more details.
Who can attend Kokusai Budoin seminars?
All interested individuals are welcome to attend Kokusai Budoin sponsored seminars held outside Japan. Attendance at seminars held at Kokusai Budoin Headquarters, Japan is limited to registered members.
I do not speak Japanese. What is the official language of Kokusai Budoin?
The official languages of Kokusai Budoin are English and Japanese.
Does Kokusai Budoin sponsor competitive tournaments?
Kokusai Budoin sponsors numerous seminars intended to provide members with opportunities to study and train together. Competition, while a significant part of training in many styles, is not the major focus of most Kokusai Budoin functions.
Does Kokusai Budoin have a periodic publication?
Currently, Kokusai Budoin publishes the GENDO newsletter bi-annually. The GENDO highlights leadership in various divisions of Japanese martial arts, features member articles in specific disciplines, discusses trends in the field of martial arts and provides a resource for members to review periodically.
Is the GENDO available in languages other than Japanese and English?
Currently, the GENDO is available only in English and Japanese. As our regional web sites continue to expand, additional languages will be available. Check back periodically for details.
Is the GENDO available online? Where can I find back issues?
Current issues of the GENDO are available HERE
Back issues can also be viewed via dropdown menu - right-side of the above page.
Can I contribute an article to the GENDO - Kokusai Budoin’s newsletter?
All articles should be submitted to the Regional or Branch Representative, who will forward material to Kokusai Budoin Headquarters, Japan. Kokusai Budoin HQ, Japan maintains the right to edit, accept or reject any submissions. All material submitted to Kokusai Budoin for review and publication will become the property of Kokusai Budoin and may be reproduced, published and/or distributed freely by Kokusai Budoin and affiliates.
Does Kokusai Budoin recommend any books, films, training materials, uniforms, or other martial arts materials or equipment?
Yes. Some of Kokusai Budoin’s recommended materials can be found at the Kokusai Budoin Library (coming soon).
I would like to visit Japan. How do I contact an Kokusai Budoin dojo in Japan that teaches my Japanese martial arts style, so that I can practice there?
Members should check with their Regional Director for details. If necessary, they will contact Kokusai Budoin Headquarters.
If I visit Japan, what are the restrictions on my transporting and possessing martial arts practice weapons?
Japan’s Sword Act very strictly controls the importation, transportation and possession of live or real swords. All real swords must be registered with the Japanese government; possession of an unregistered live sword is a felony, punishable by several years in jail. Kokusai Budoin discourages any attempt to bring live swords to Japan and will not be responsible for any acts to the contrary.
Practice weapons other than live swords are generally easily imported into Japan, but prudent common sense should be exercised. Weapons should be placed in checked baggage rather than carry-on baggage. Weapons should be transported to the dojo in appropriate cases or in gym bags. It is a common sight in Japan to see martial arts practitioners carry bows, staffs, wooden and split bamboo swords on public transportation, but they are always covered or in carrying cases. If possible, Kokusai Budoin recommends that visiting Kokusai Budoin members make arrangements to borrow suitable practice weapons from Kokusai Budoin instructors. This avoids any potential problems entirely.
Do Japan’s strict laws governing the importation of real swords extend to Iaido, Iaido practice swords or wooden swords?
In general, no, but it is the sole responsibility of each individual to determine the correct procedure for Japanese Customs. Kokusai Budoin Headquarters cannot and will not assume any responsibility in these matters.