NOTE: The term Menkyo (免許) means “license,” and indicates that the recipient is approved and authorized to act as an expert representative for a particular art or school. This is an old practice which predates, (and sometimes augments) the kyu/dan grading system.

This video provides general information about the DKI Master Rank Board Test, including video of the test given October, 2014.

In this video, Chris Thomas analyzes highlights from the DKI Master Rank Board Test of August, 2014, to give insights into what successful competency includes.

DKI is not a style-specific organization. We believe that the application of kyusho-jitsu and tuité-jitsu principles to any style, reveals the true and original combative intent of that style. Rank in DKI was never to be independent of rank in one’s source style, because kyusho-jitsu and tuité-jitsu are not “add-on” skills. For this reason, DKI rank has always been about the full integration of kyusho-jtsu and tuité-jitsu into any given system. This is the reason Sensei Dillman has always accepted qualified individuals into DKI at the rank they already held in their source style.(A note here: this is not a simply lateral movement of rank. Candidates should be thoroughly trained in the art before they receive DKI rank, and so, would-be members of DKI are intended to be students of Sensei Dillman for some time before becoming ranked-in.)

As DKI became larger, Sensei entrusted his most senior students to bring interested persons up to skill so they could become DKI members and be recognized at their held dan rank. And this is where the problems began, because, we seniors have not always been evaluating candidates using the same criteria. And over time, this has produced a situation in which dan ranks within DKI can vary in their requirements as broadly as dan ranks issued by completely separate organizations. To solve this problem, Sensei Dillman has authorized me to convine Master Grade Board Testing at the MATC Camp in Deer Lake, PA.

In order to maintain consistency of evaluation, the Menkyo Grading Board will be composed of fundamentally the same members (Myself, Will Higginbotham, Matt Brown, Steve Stewart, Bill Homann, Ken Smith). These core Board memberes were selected because they are internationally renowned instructors. Those approved by the Board will receive a special patch, together with their promotion to the next dan grade.

What follows is information about the testing process (but, please note that this process is still be refined).

Menkyo Examination Board: Candidate Information

1. Examination will be offered bi-annually, during the daytime, on the Friday of the MATC.

2. Each testing candidate must provide 3 uke who will be part of an uke pool.

3. The number of test spots is limited. When demand is high, preference will be given to any who are retesting, and to those with greater seniority.

4. The test includes both an oral (content) portion and a demonstration (competency) portion.

5. The oral exam will test the candidates thorough knowledge of kyusho-jitsu and tuité concepts and principles. All questions in the oral exam component are based directly on the books "Advanced Pressure Point Grappling: TUITÉ" and "Pressure Point Fighting Secrets of Ryukyu Kempo".

6. During the performance section each candidate will have up to 15 minutes to demonstrate mastery. (Note: our experience shows that candidates who pass take between 5 and 8 minutes to convince the Board of their competency.) This portion is for demonstrating competence, not content, so candidates will be expected to show competence in the following areas:

     a. Perform Naihanchi Shodan and provide application (at least 3 techniques)

     c. Demonstrate safe and effective tuité-jitsu based on sound application of the principles

     d. Demonstrate an accurate understanding of practical bunkai and real-world application

     e. Demonstrate proper revival methods

     f. Demonstrate full integration of Dillman Method into all aspects of the candidate’s art

     g. Demonstrate other appropriate areas of research or competence which further attest to the candidate’s mastery

7. The following general guidelines should be followed.

     a. During the exam, the candidate will be expected to direct the uke in the attack. Then the candidate is to demonstrate the technique, with proficiency, against an attack delivered with intent.

     b. The board will be looking for incapacitation and/or domination of the attacker/uke by means of joint manipulation, pressure points, and superior positioning. One or two light knockouts are sufficient to allow the board to evaluate revival skills.

    c. The board expects some techniques to fail, Mastery includes the ability to recover from failure and maintain, or reestablish, control over the attacker/uke.

    d. Injuring an uke is evidence of a lack of control and mastery, and will generally result in a fail.

8. Candidates will be informed of the Board’s decision before training has concluded on Saturday.  Candidates may ask for and receive direct feedback from Board members after the exams are complete.

9. Testing costs $400 (price subject to change), which includes the cost for the DKI diploma/plaque and the Menkyo patch.  The fee for retesting is $100. Contact me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to register and pay.

To register and pay for testing:


Name (for Diploma)
Instructor's Name