If you have a question,
I am a lifetime member but
my name is not on the Instructor List, Student List or the
Yoshin Ryu Member List.
Every year the data bases are
cleared and the Instructor and Student lists are deleted. The
reason for this is keep all contact information accurate.
Without an annual membership, there is no way to keep contact
info correct and updated. We ask that you simply email the
Federation under the subject of AFJ UPDATE with your name,
rank, certificate date, style, mailing address and your email
address. If you have no changes, email "no changes"
along with your name. You may not change your style or rank
with this update. Please allow time for the updates, they are
all performed by hand.
Why are there no ranks
listed for Black Belt Instructors including Yoshin Ryu Jujitsu
The AFJ promotes unity among different styles and
artists. The posting of rank on the internet has caused more
dissention then unity in the Jujitsu community. Your rank will
be on your certificate, but upper Black Belt ranks are
recognized for time in their arts. Try to avoid judging each
others abilities, focus on your own path as you advance in the
What does the term
"Founder" mean behind the AFJ Instructors name?
It should be read as a
warning to people looking for Instructors. This type of
instructor has designed his own art and is teaching his unique
style. He may have received little, or no formal training
from a "legitimate" instructor. He may have had a lower rank
(non-black belt rank)
in an art and then branched off and started his own system. On
the other hand, he may have received upper belt ranks in other
arts and created his own style. This is similar to what Bruce
Lee did. He gathered efficient techniques from many different
arts and then started his own system. Gracie Jiu-Jitsu
started the same way borrowing selected technique from a
Japanese style and then added their own unique transition
moves. Many arts that are now considered legitimate started this way including Kenpo Jujitsu
and Danzan Ryu Jujitsu. So this does not always mean that a
founder is not efficient or that he is not a good Instructor.
The AFJ does not endorse a Founders style or qualifications,
the AFJ is a registry only. The AFJ recommends that you visit many schools in your area,
ask questions, look at the Instructor's personality, their
ability, check standings with other Schools in the area and most importantly find
an Instructor that suits your personality.
How do I register with the
Fill out the
application and send it along
with the registration fee to the provided address.
I want to join but I do
not want my name on the web site, how do I register?
Fill out the
application and send it along
with the registration fee to the provided address at the
bottom of the application write "PLEASE KEEP CONFIDENTIAL"
Is having my name listed
on the AFJ web site a part of the benefits of being an
Having your name listed as
an Instructor or a Student on the AFJ web site is a free bonus
to your rank certification, not an actual required benefit
offered by the AFJ to members. The AFJ reserves the right to
remove any or all lists at anytime.
Do I have to send proof of
No, honor is high priority
in the Martial Arts community. We respect your integrity.
Instructors may either send copies of their rank certificates
or if not, they must send a basic history of their martial
What forms of payment does
the AFJ accept?
We accept personal checks from U.S. banks, U.S.
Money Orders or U.S. Currency. Unfortunately, we can no longer
accept foreign checks, (our bank charges an excessive fee to
clear checks that come from outside the U.S.) We do not accept
credit card payments.
How much are the Shipping
and Handling fees?
Nothing, the Federation
covers the cost of shipping and handling fees inside the USA.
For other countries, there is a small additional charge.
How do I know if you
received my letter requesting my rank registration?
Watch the AFJ Instructor web
page or AFJ Student web page (which ever applies to you), your
name will appear the day we processes your request. The large
envelopes are in the "mail system" longer then a letter. Be
patient, you will receive your package.
What happens if there is
a mistake on my certificate or on the web site?
Contact the AFJ.
Certificates and the web site will be corrected at no charge
if the AFJ Staff makes a mistake. Make sure your spelling,
capitalization and punctuation marks are like you want them on
your certificate and web site. If you make an error on the
application there will be a shipping fee to send the new
When does my certificate
expire and are there annual fees?
Never, each certificate is
lifetime. Promoting your registered art is however, required
to keep your rank current. There are no hidden or annual
fees. Your registration fee is used for the promotion and
unification of jujitsu participants, such as advertising,
computer and data base management, internet hosting.
How do I register my
After you are a
registered AFJ Instructor, you can order rank certificates for
your students. There are no initial registration fees and the
fee is the same for each level until they reach Shodan.
Student Application Form
My Instructor has died or
moved away, can I advance in rank?
Yes, Martial Arts ability is
gained through repetitive practice. No matter which style you
learn, the most important techniques are taught at the
beginning. Just request the advancement.
I am an Instructor who is
no longer with an organization and no longer affiliated with a
Master or system but I want to continue to teach. What are my
Many Instructors have gone
through transitions described above. Since you are already an
experienced Instructor, there are several possibilities that
may work for you:
1. Register your school,
Instructors and students under a generic name such as "Aiki
Jujitsu" , "Judo", "Aikido" or "Jujitsu" In this case you must
adhere to a standard curriculum for the given art's name so
your students will know the basics of a given art when
visiting other schools that study under a standard name art.
2. Register your
school, Instructors and students under a name created by you
and your Instructors such as, "Bushido Aiki Jujitsu" In this
case you are free to design your own curriculum. On the AFJ
site, behind your name and art it will state "Founder or
Co-Founder" Check the list on page
when looking for a
name that is not used. Or search the web for the name you
Where do I find
Guidelines for Yoshin Ryu members?
Click here for all necessary info for
Yoshin Ryu Instructors
I started my own style, can
I register it with the Federation as the Founder of my style?
Yes, all Martial Art styles
were created the same way. Many Martial Arts Associations do
not recognize "New Styles". The AFJ does, and here's why.
There are no "New Techniques". Martial Arts styles are a
collection of certain techniques, or specialized techniques.
Karate Styles - a curriculum of strikes and kicks, Judo - a
curriculum of throws, hold-downs and strangles, Jujitsu - a
collections of all types of techniques. We feel Instructors
like yourself, with experiences in many styles, will
inevitably create your own curriculum, including techniques
that work efficiently. There are two things that can happen.
First, you can be loyal to a certain style that you were
raised in, say a Karate style. When you work with Karate
Association leaders, you will wholly support the style to the
letter, and when you are at your own Dojo, you will practice
"other" techniques in secret, like grappling, strangles,
locks, etc. Some Karate Instructors will even state that the
secret meaning of every Kata movement, is actually a lock or
arm-bar. This gives them the window of opportunity to practice
another arts under their own style heading. Or, when they
practice "self defense" they use Jujitsu techniques instead of
their arts techniques, this also gives them the opportunity to
experiment with a "New Art".
Secondly, an artist will discover that if you study
several styles, you will notice that there are "good"
techniques in every style and there are "bad" techniques that
you would not want to attempt in battle. They will gather the
efficient techniques, design their own curriculum, and teach
their "new" art under a given name. This is how Styles were
created. Originally, Jujitsu styles were family styles. Each
family had their own collection of techniques that worked. If
a warrior's technique did not work, he would be severely
injured, or die. Nobody in their right mind would want to
practice his "technique". If a warrior was successful,
everybody would want to learn "His Techniques". Jujitsu is
the only art that was "battle proven", used by a nation as an
organized, official hand to hand combat system.
The danger in this line of thinking, is when a person
never fully studies or does not completely understand an art
and designs his own list of techniques and promotes himself to
a high level of Black Belt. This will create a dangerous
combination for his followers and dilute techniques the
universally work well for all artist. We believe that an
Artist should put his time in with the basic techniques of
Martial Arts. Always master the basic techniques before
searching for secret technique or the "Holy Grail" technique
that may exist only in your imagination. Before anyone engages
in the gathering of techniques for "his or her style", they
must put their time in training. How long? For some, probably
several years. For others, a lifetime. If you are the Founder
of your art, please state it during your request for
registration into the Federation.
I am an Instructor in
"Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu" but not a Black Belt, can I receive a
certificate without the Black Belt Line or a Black Belt Rank?
Yes, print the order
and place a note requesting your desired title, such as
"Instructor" or "Coach", etc. Also, place a note stating no
"Black Belt Instructor Line"
Why doesn't Master Moore
have a page about himself?
The American Federation of
Jujitsu is a round table of Artists. It does not exists
because of one Master, but from the unity of many Masters,
Professors and Instructors throughout the World. When you join
the Federation you are not one of Master Moore's Instructors,
you are considered equal with all others, sharing and
promoting grappling arts with all. You are honored for the
time and energy that you have dedicated to your Art
Does the AFJ send bulk
No, the AFJ does not send
bulk email to members nor does the AFJ give away or sell your
info for any emailing list.
How do I resign or drop-out
of the Federation?
Instructors or students, simply
send your request in letter form, along with your
certificate, school charter and any other certification issued
to you by the Federation to the AFJ office. When this package
is received by the Federation, all your info will be deleted
and your name will no longer appear on this site or in the
Federation data base. If you have lost or destroyed your
certificate and do not have it to return, you must send a
termination fee of $40 with a letter with your request to the
I have been at my rank for
years, how do I advance to the next rank?
Check out the guide
time between Black Belt ranks.
If you have trained the number of years stated. Then print
and fill out the
AFJ Rank Advancement.
I lost a series of
Certificates that I had showing my rank advancement. Can I
order a series of certificates up to rank that I am now
Yes, If you are
registered with the AFJ, you can order a series of
certificates showing your rank progression in the same art.
Please send $75 for a series of certificates and include the
belt levels and the dates you received each belt level. This
series of certificates will not be shown on the web site.
Lost or destroyed certificates from different arts must be
registered individually at the standard AFJ fee. Print and
fill out the
If I create my own
Certificate or School Charter, can I have Master Moore sign
No, the only certificates
signed by Master Moore, are the one issued by the Federation.
This help protect authenticity of certificates and also shows
a common bond for Instructors throughout the Federation. There
are unique subtle markings on each certificate to prevent
How do I change my style
of Martial Arts? I would like to remove my previous style
from the web site and list a new style along with my new rank
First: Register your new
style and rank with the AFJ by sending your new information
and your registration fee.
Second: After you receive your new certificate in the mail,
send your old certificate back to the AFJ. The Federation can
not remove your name from the site or cancel your old
certification without receiving the original certificate.
JuJitsu, JuJutsu, or Jiu
Jitsu, Why does the AFJ use the spelling Jujitsu?
As you can see on the AFJ
Instructors list, there are may spellings used today. During
the 60's when I was introduced to the art, it was commonly
spelled "Jujitsu" and this is what we have used. (You will
notice that even with today's modern spell checks, Jujitsu is
the only spelling that is not highlighted.) To change it now
would cause discourse among Instructors and Students with
certificates, patches etc. During the 60's, the general public
referred to any martial art "Karate" or "Judo". During the
70's Kung Fu was added to the list. Jujitsu was often called
Combat Judo because this term was more "marketable". I
believe it was not a great concern then because the art was
not popular or as diversified as it is today and there were
few Instructors promoting the art.
I am an adult student,
where is my name and rank posted?
There are two categories
listed, INSTRUCTORS and
STUDENTS. A student is anyone below
the Black Belt level regardless of age. Your name will appear
on the Student List.
What is the history of
colored belt systems?
The following is a
essay written by an Instructor in the art of Kobukai-Ju-Jitsu:
How did all this belt ranking get started? The answer is
simple, it is a modern invention. It is a result of a Gendai-Ryu
(modern ryu), namely Kano-Ryu Jujutsu commonly known as
Kodokan Judo. So what belts existed before you may ask? The
answer is none. None in the martial art sense. The Obi (belt)
was used to secure the Uwagi (jacket) inside the Hakama
(traditional divided skirt/pants), and provided a place to
hold the swords (Katana and Wakazashi) of the Samurai.
However, many people wore the Uwagi and Hakama it was not
reserved for the Samurai. Most of the time the belt color
reflected the color of the Hakama in men, and was colorful and
decorative for the women.
But, you say, in the martial arts of that time, the obi was
used to reflect the skill level of the samurai correct? No.
There were no generally accepted outward appearance that
showed a level of martial skill. There were differences in
social rank. And there were differences in Martial Rank, as
there is in the military of today but this was usually
reflected in the type of armor one wore on the battlefield or
whether or not one rode a horse. Not by a belt.
So how did one tell, in the dojo, who was senior and who was
not? The answer, it didnít matter. You were either the
instructor or the student. When you were good enough to be an
instructor you became an instructor with your own students.
The way it was known who was an instructor and who was not was
through a series of licenses granted by the headmaster of a
school. This certified someone as a certain level instructor
in a specific art or arts. And this too is a method that
developed late in the history of the samurai. Before this
method there simply was no need. You trained very very hard
in many battlefield arts. Those who were better survived the
battlefield, those were were not, did not. All that mattered
was survival in battle. Nobody cared about rank.
Historical studies have
shown that there wasnít one accepted method of certifying
instructors either. But basically, when one had mastered an
art or several arts to the level where he should be an
instructor of said arts, a license was granted by the head of
that school. These licenses had many names according to the
school you attended but many schools used the terms Oku (with
suffixes such as "iri" or "den") meaning secrets essentially;
Mokuroku meaning catalog, Menkyo meaning license, and Menkyo
Kaiden roughly meaning "full transmission". Occasionally a ryu
would use the term Kaiden Shihan meaning licensed master
instructor. None of these had any belts associated with them
originally. One may have received a certificate (gaku or
menkyo) or scroll (makimono).
So, lets discuss the
development of the belt and kyu/dan ranking system widely used
First, everyone has heard
the story of how a beginner martial artist starts with a white
belt, and as he trains over time the belt became dirty -
turning brown and finally black. It is a charming story, but
lacking in any historical reality.
Historical reality is that
belts were first used to show ability or rank in Kodokan Judo
starting in the 1880ís. Jigoro Kano was the first to use the
black belt as a symbol for dan rank students. Kano invented a
progression of colored belts and also invented the concept of
Kyu and Dan levels. Before this invention, jujutsu schools,
like most other Japanese jutsu, used the menkyo ranking system
mentioned above. Jigoro Kano split his students into two
groups, which were the non-graded (mudansha) and the graded (yudansha).
The first two people in history to wear a blackbelt as a rank
were from the Kodokan; Tsunejiro Tomita and Shiro Saigo.
Menkyo (certificates) or Menjou (diplomas) were not issued by
the Kodokan until 1894.
There are many theories as
to where the idea of the colored belts came from, but there is
no written historical record of the thinking behind the
choices. It is known, however that at the very beginning of
the belt system, the belts were white, brown, black. Later
other colors worked their way into the mix. There are still no
exact standards, however, a majority of schools use the
following system or something very similar for their adult
students: White, Yellow, Green, Brown, Black or White, Yellow,
Blue, Purple, Brown, Black. Most systems also have 5 kyu ranks
and 10 dan ranks. Practitioners are generally considered
"masters" of their art around 6th or 7th
Dan Blackbelt. At that point, it is common to wear a red and
white paneled belt. 9th or 10th dan
often wear a red belt. However, these colored dan belts are
most often reserved for ceremonial occasions, special classes,
etc. The black belt is worn in everyday class.
There are still Japanese
styles which use a simple White belt / Black belt ranking
system, such as Aikido and some Jujutsu styles. But most use
the color progression. So why do most schools still use this
modern invention? I believe because of two reasons. First, it
becomes easier for the instructor to categorize the students
and know what level material they should be practicing at a
glance. Second, it provides a certain motivation for students
to study their technical material in hopes of moving up the
rank ladder. It is the instructors responsibility to ensure
that the senior student understand the belt reflects a
relative skill level compared to others in the class. It does
not reflect self defense ability. Only ability will "carry the
day" in a real self defense situation, not a belt.
What are the names of the
different belt ranks?
The belts ranks, in Japanese
terminology, are divided into two categories. The levels below
Black Belt, Student Levels, are referred to as KYU ranks. The
levels above Black Belt, Instructor Levels, are referred to as
DAN ranks. The KYU levels count backwards and the DAN levels
count forwards. Students are subdivided into two levels
beginner and advanced. Instructors are also divided into to
levels, usually around Godan, Instructors (Sensei) and Masters
Below is an example:
6th Student Level = Rokyu
5th Student Level = Gokyu
4th Student Level = Yonkyu
3rd Student Level = Sankyu
2nd Student Level = Nikyu
1st Student Level = Ikkyu
1st Instructor Level =
2nd Instructor Level = Nidan
3rd Instructor Level = Sandan
4th Instructor Level = Yondan
5th Instructor Level =
6th Instructor Level = Rokudan
7th Instructor Level = Shichidan
8th Instructor Level = Hachidan
9th Instructor Level = Kudan
10th Instructor Level = Judan