Yes, but it is not displayed in Iaido, we all dress the same. Most mudan (non-Dan) gradings are done at club level and at each instructor’s discretion. When the student is ready to take their Ikkyu (final kyu grade before Shodan) grading, it is done by a panel of registered BKA examiners (British Kendo Association – our governing body) as Ikkyu is considered to be preparation for Shodan. All Dan gradings are also done by a panel of BKA examiners at specified grading events. Examiners are at least two grades higher than the examinee.
Many senior ranks such as Rokudan and above usually have to take place in Japan where there are sufficient examiners to make a panel of nine judges. However, as the standard of Iaidoka continues to rise – especially in the UK and Europe, we hope that more Rokudan gradings will be held in the United Kingdom.