Ranks and Titles
As in most Karate Ryu/systems/style, one's belt rank indicates their experience,
knowledge and it is suppose to be an indication of their skill. However with the fast pace of one being promoted, due to many
factors, some of which lead to the instructor's ego, rank, and title of a practitioner should be earned and not
just given away.
legitimate karate, there is no such thing as a child (5-to12 years of age) that is a black belt! If a school
promotes these children to such a rank, you must watch out for the other foolish business practices in the school. On an average,
it takes (in Shizenki Ryu Bujutsu) 3 -to- 4 years to even be considered for testing for the Shodan, 1st Dan Black Belt.
In America most of the problems with commercial martial
art schools is "MONEY!" There is nothing wrong with making money because an instructor should be rewarded
for their teachings. However, so many instructors find methods in keeping the younger practitioner's interest, so they
promote the practitioner, so the practitioner stays with the school. This method of business practice has been around for
quite sometime. Some martial art schools have the practitioner selling items for the school to gain more profit. It is the
duty of the instructor to teach! The student is not the instructors flunky. In most cases, the instructor will come up with
methods in order to keep the practitioners interest in continuing to remain with the school. Ask yourself: "what happen
to just paying your instructor to teach you?"
there has been proliferation of high dan grades, and the use of titles in karate such as Hanshi, Kyoshi, and Renshi. Much
of the confusion exists in the West about such things, because of the standards for that do exist; they have their roots in
feudal Japanese society. In the world of legitimate karate, these titles are awarded only to the most deserving.
must face the fact; there is nothing mystical about karate. What we forget is martial arts are all man made! Man is not perfect!
We often make karate seem as if it was created by some form of God.
and rank will always be misused. It is no different then a college student outside of the United States who graduates from a non-accredited university or the accreditation
is only accepted in their country they live.
even murmur the words that a black belt who is not certified by an Asian federation is not legitimate this hogwash. If karate
was forbidding to be practiced outside of Japan, Okinawa,
why is it that martial arts today is practiced by millions outside of these counties?
SHODAN: (1st degree black belt)
- NIDAN (2nd degree black belt)
(3rd degree black belt)
(4th degree black belt)
- GODAN (5th degree black
- ROKUDAN (6th degree
- SHICHIDAN (7th degree black belt)
- HACHIDAN (8th degree
- KUDAN (9th degree black belt)
(10th degree black belt)
First through third dan Black Belt all wear the Black Belt. For each dan earned, the practitioner must
have a gold stripe (example) shodan black belt wears a Black Belt with one gold stripe, so on and
so forth for 1st through 3rd dan Black Belt. At this rank level, the
practitioner is awarded the Menkyo Tasshi, which denotes a junior teacher/normally a head of a branch dojo, Nidan and Sandan
Black Belt only.
Fourth dan through fifth dan wear a front side consist of
red and white stripe through the entire belt. At this black belt rank, the practitioner is awarded the Menkyo Renshi, which
denotes a polished expert.
Sixth dan through
seventh dan wears a white and red panel belt. At this rank, the practitioner is awarded the Menkyo Kyoshi, which denotes expert
Eighth dan to ninth
dan wears the red and white panel belt. At this rank, the practitioner is awarded the Menkyo Hanshi, which denotes master.
Tenth dan black belt wears
the solid red belt. At this rank, the practitioner is awarded the Menkyo Kaiden, which denotes master, all learned.
THE SOKE BELT
The Soke of the
Ryu wears a red belt with a gold stripe through the entire center of the belt.
RYU BUJUTSU KYU RANKS/GRADES:
BELT (novice rank)
BELT (intermediate rank)
BELT (intermediate rank)
BROWN BELT (advance rank)
Shizenki Ryu Bujutsu testing
in the Kyu/grade does not automatically come to those practitioners who are in the grade long enough to be test for the next
belt level. One cannot assume just because they have the required time in the belt rank to test for the next belt rank, that
they are an automatic shoe-in for testing for the next rank. On an average, from white belt to test for yellow belt, the practitioner
takes approximately three to four months of active training, two days per week, at approximately 1.5 to 2 hour class, with
an average of 12 hours per month, eight classes per month on an average.
Of course as the Shizenki
Ryu Bujutsu practitioner moves up the Kyu/grades, it takes anywhere from 4-to-6 months from yellow belt to orange belt, so
on, so forth. Once the Shizenki Ryu practitioner finally reaches the brown belt, they have a 1.5 year to 2 year wait
before testing for the Shodan, 1st Dan black belt. Rank only is awarded to those Shizenki Ryu Bujutsu practitioner’s
who put in the time, sweat, and demonstrate all the required techniques for the belt level that they are testing
Copyright © 2009, Avelino R. Mayoral