I started Shodo four years ago as a way to help my youngest on her kanji tests in school, never with the intention of pursuing it seriously. Something about how my Sensei teaches, and the regularity of studying together every week changed my attitude.
Below is my official certificate that I reached shodan, first dan (rank, level), not kyu anymore. With the kyu levels, you only copy, no freehand. You’re really a beginner student. Shodan kind of says I got the basics, so now I can study the hard stuff. When Sensei gave this to me, I was a bit overwhelmed emotionally. It’s a real milestone. This is in kana, so it’s not a level up for everything Shodo, but it’s still my first dan.
The two pieces below are what I submitted to get the level.