Jissenkan Budo Ranking System
The belt system (kyu/dan) used today by most modern martial art schools was created by the founder of Judo, Kano Sensei because the art gained swift popularity and he needed a way to separate beginning from advanced students.
In Japan, most dojos have students wear a white belt until they reach their second kyu or brown belt. Some schools only have white and black belts. The coloring of belts below the black belt grade came much later and has no real cultural significance.
In commercial martial arts schools, the ranking system is often used as a way to generate money. Because a student has to pay in order to advance and be "recognized" at a certain level, some schools will even add belt levels to make a bigger profit.
At Jissenkan, we feel the current ranking system often lacks integrity and more often than not, leads to inflated egos and poorly represents an individual's true skill level.
The Jissenkan Budo Ranking System
Mudansha - Any level below black belt (shodan).
Shodan (Black Belt) - A shodan test in this dojo will be one of the most difficult challenges you will ever face. You will be brought to the limit of your physical and mental stamina and abilities. Shodan simply means you have attained a level of skill necessary to learn and study the martial arts.
Nidan (Second Black Belt) - Five to seven years of continuous practice.
Sandan (Third Black Belt) - Ten to fifteen years of continuous practice.
Yondan (Fourth Black Belt) - Twenty to twenty-five years of continuous practice.
Godan (Fifth Black Belt/Menkyo Kaiden) - Thirty years and beyond.