The Academy of Traditional Karate is an accredited member of an international association, Shidokan Kokusai Karate-Do/Kobu-Do Keiko Kenkyu Renmei, or Shidokan International. Through Shidokan, the Academy has achieved a Ryu-ha licensure, which is the highest level attainable by a traditional dojo.

Shidokan is a worldwide, highly renowned organization, headed by Hanshi (Grand Master Instructor) Richard Bernard, a 10th Degree Black Belt with decades of experience. Shidokan International received its accreditation from the All Japan Karate-Do Federation, whose membership includes five different major martial arts systems (including Shorin-Ryu) and has active membership of over two million martial artists in 170 different countries.


Shidokan International Certified Teaching Ranks

Shidokan International recognizes the growing experience of its members using the traditional teaching titles found in Japan. These titles are earned through dedication to karate and to the dojo, and are recognized around the world. All the Academy’s instructors are certified according to the following internationally certified teaching ranks.

Shidoin Kanji Shidoin

“Assistant Instructor” - One who assists the teacher on a consistent basis. May be attained below Black Belt.

Sempai Kanji Sempai

“Senior Student” - Typically a Black Belt responsible for teaching a class.

Sensei Kanji Sensei

“Teacher” - Not only a teaching title, but the most often used term in Japanese to denote teacher.

Renshi Kanji Renshi

“One who Knows” - An internationally licensed teacher who takes on major responsibility within a dojo. Typically 4th Dan or higher.

Shihan Kanji Shihan

“One who Teaches Teachers” - A teacher who goes beyond his own training and teaching, and helps develop other teachers and other dojos.

Kyoshi Kanji Kyoshi

“One who Teaches” - Usually 6th or 7th Dan with 20 to 25 years of experience, on the way to becoming a master.

Hanshi Kanji Hanshi

“A Model for the Whole” - Reflects mastery of the physical side of karate, but also the understanding and ability to teach at all levels. This title also recognizes the master's lifelong commitment to living the karate code of conduct in all situations.

NOTE: There are actually more teaching ranks than those shown above. Before some of the above ranks, there is a “Waka” version of that rank. So for instance, before one becomes a Sensei, they first become a Waka Sensei, which means “Young Teacher.” 

Organizational Purpose of Shidokan International

Strive For The Perfection Of Character

To provide an opportunity to develop/enhance a sense of professionalism in the martial arts community.

Defend The Path Of Truth

To refrain from fostering an egocentric position regarding stylistic differences.

Foster The Spirit Of Effort

To provide guidance, direction and motivation for the Federation's membership.

Honor The Principles Of Etiquette

To be mindful of our organizational purpose within our community in general and society as a whole.

Guard Against Impetuous Courage

To refrain from being overly judgmental and unduly authoritative in the critique of our peers.

Shi-Do-Kan - Home of the Way of the Warrior & Scholar