Shogo Awards of the international academy of senior Shotokan karate-ka

RENSHI: Any ISKS fellow of 6th Dan or above exceeding the age of 40 years old may apply for the Renshi title.

KYOSHI: Any ISKS fellow of 7th Dan or above, 5 years after their Renshi registration, and exceeding the age of 50 years old can apply for the Kyoshi title. It is normal that the applicant would hold the title of Renshi previously, but this is not necessary.

HANSHI:This is a very special title representing the highest levels of martial arts. The karateka must be seen as an innovator as well a teacher of merit and show personal growth and an in depth understanding of the style of Shotokan-ryu. Any ISKS fellow of 8th Dan or above, 10 years after their Kyoshi registration and exceeding the age of 60 years old can apply for the Hanshi title. It is normal that the applicant would hold the title of Kyoshi previously, but this is not necessary.

Applying for Shogo

The applicant for any sho-go must be put in writing, explaining why s/he merits this title. The application must be supported and refereed by three ISKS fellows who must also write letters to the ISKS Technical Committee (T.C.), describing in detail, the candidate's character and behaviours, which would justify the awarding of a Shogo. After deliberations (and any appropriate additional investigations) the candidate may be awarded a Shogo if the ISKS unanimously agrees with the level of awarded Shoko being at their discretion. The ISKS T.C. may request additional information or cause a background investigation to be conducted.

Belts other than a black belt should not be worn by ISKS fellows. Use of the Shogo suffix after your name is not considered good practice. Neither a shogo or a title such as shihan or saiko shihan should be embroidered on the belt as it falls outside the tradition and protocol within the shotokan system.

Preparing for your Shogo Application

Applications for award of a Shogo must be accompanied by the submission of a written thesis. This can be in the form of Researched Paper or a Reflective Paper. Click on either of the preceeding links for an ISKS guide to help you prepare the thesis. Minimum wording for the thesis is :

  • Renshi - 3,000 words
  • Kyoshi - 5,000 words
  • Hanshi - 7,000 words

Topics for a Research Paper are available on request.

Honorary Shogo Awards

The Executive committee retain the right to make discretionary “Honorary” Shogo awards i.e. without the above requirements having to be met.

Submitting your papers

Papers should be submitted to Don Owens 8th Dan Hanshi
ISKS Director of Qualifications
Email: dowenskarate@shaw.ca