Appendix III: Positions within SOA


An Advanced Student is a person who has decided to deepen his/her practice and begin to study more seriously. An evaluation may be taken after at least one year of practice. SoA membership is required in order to take the Advanced Student evaluation.

The evaluation is not an exam, and the rank of advanced student is automatically granted to the student as part of this evaluation process. (Both Advanced Students and more senior practitioners may request the opportunity to receive an additional evaluation at any event during which SoA exams are given.) The Advanced Student evaluation is not required by SoA in order to take the Assistant exam.

An advanced student is not entitled to attend Advanced Workshops held at the National level.


An Assistant is an Advanced Student or General Member who decides to commit him/herself to serious study of Shintaido and is willing to take on the role of class assistant. An Assistant may be asked to contribute some of his/her time and energy to help out with organizational matters in class and/or the regional or local organization.

An Assistant must be sponsored by a licensed Shintaido Instructor and complete an application form (which is available on the website, and should be submitted to the applicant’s Instructor, who forwards it to the Chairperson of the National Technical Council and to the Examiners.) An interview may be required before taking an exam. An exam may be taken after two years of practice.


A Shintaido Graduate is a student who has been an Assistant for at least one year, fulfilled this role as defined, and completed the core curriculum of Shintaido. An application for graduate certification (available on the website) must be submitted to a licensed Shintaido Instructor.

After successful completion of an examination, a Shintaido Graduate receives a diploma which documents that she/he has successfully completed the core Shintaido curriculum. Graduates are eligible to attend Shintaido of America Advanced Workshops , wear hakama and are eligible to teach.

Note on arranging a Shintaido hakama: Shintaido hakama are white. Shintaido hakama only have embroidery on the back, on the koshi ita or “koshi board.” Please note the embroidery is not mandatory, only suggested. This PDF document may help you in ordering your first hakama. The document identifies the guidelines and one available resource. There are many hakama manufacturers. Please be mindful of the basic requirements of a Shintaido hakama to avoid costly mistakes. If in doubt, please seek out the advice of a senior student.


In addition to demonstrating technical proficiency and otherwise satisfying the international requirements for the Instructor exam, an Instructor applicant must have had significant teaching experience in the year before taking this examination. Instructor candidates submit a resume to the examination committee outlining their keiko experience and contributions to their local Shintaido organization.

In order to keep their credentials current, Shintaido Instructors are expected to attend at least one advanced workshop yearly.

Shintaido Senior Instructors may request a sabbatical from the National Technical Council. During this time, which may extend indefinitely, they are not expected to attend advanced workshops, however they must pay the annual membership fee. SoA membership is year to year.