Teaching Ranks in Zen Do Kai

Our Dojo incorporates a number of martial arts styles and disciplines including freestyle Karate, Muay Thai and Mixed Martial Arts. The karate at the Dojo is the progressive traditional approach of Zen Do Kai.

Teaching ranks in Zen Do Kai are separate from belt rank, they denote the level of study achieved by the instructing black belts. A teaching rank is akin to a tertiary certificate, Diploma, Bachelor of Arts, Masters, Ph.D etc.


Japanese Term and Translation


‘Older Brother’ or ‘mentor’.

Dai Sempai

‘Number One Older Brother’. Achieved with the Nidan


Teacher. Literally ‘one who has been before’. A Bachelor of Arts.


Lower level master. Literally “A person who has mastered oneself”. A Masters Degree.


Upper level master. Literally “A teacher of teachers”.  A Ph.D.


Literally “Knowledgeable person”.


Literally “Master”. Usually reserved for 9th dans and above.



All of the Instructors at Spear Dojo have had many years of training to earn their teaching ranks and must adhere to a strict code of ethics. When inside the Dojo, you should always address your Instructors by their proper titles.

Other titles that may be used include:
Kancho – Head of a dojo
Kaicho –  Head of a school