The ranking system at Suigetsu Dojo has 4 systems: Kyu level adults, Kyu level children (under age 18), Black Belt adults, Jr Black Belt (ages 12 - 18).
The Kyu rank levels are: White belt, Yellow Belt (Shi Chi Kyu), Orange Belt (Ro Kyu), Green Belt (Go Kyu), Blue Belt (Yon Kyu), 3rd Kyu Brown Belt (San Kyu), 2nd Kyu Brown Belt (Ni Kyu), 1st Kyu Brown Belt (Ik Kyu). Kyu rank promotion exams are offered quarterly to qualified students.
The Black Belt rank levels are: 1st degree black belt (Shodan), 2nd degree black belt (Nidan), 3rd degree black belt (Sandan), 4th degree black belt (Yondan). All black belt testing is scheduled on an as-needed basis.
From 5th degree (Shihan) rank onward, the student wears a purple belt. 6th degree is called Renshi Shihan, 7th degree is Menkyo Kaiden Shihan, and 8th degree is Menkyo Kaiden Shihan San Dai Kichu. Shihan and higher rank testing is held privately with Dara Masi Shihan, head of Hakko Densho Ryu.
The junior curriculum ranks are given for all rank levels through 3rd degree Black Belt (Jr Sandan). This affords a strong path of learning for those who are privileged to start their martial arts training at an early age. Children and adults have nearly identical requirements. The difference is that children are expected to perform technique at an age and rank appropriate level, where as adults are expected to perform technique at the highest possible skill level required by the rank.
Mudansha (below Black Belt) tests are given 4 times each year. All tests are cumulative. Students are not to ask when they will be tested, nor should parents ask when their children will test. When the student has acquired the necessary skills for the next belt rank, he or she will be given the opportunity to test. No rank promotion is a gift at Suigetsu Dojo... each belt is earned.
The behavior of the martial artist outside of the dojo is just as important as his or her performance in the dojo. No child whose school work is not acceptable or whose behavior is not courteous and respectful will be eligible to test for rank.
The study of Jujutsu, or any martial art, requires more than just physical training of the body. Equally important is the training of the mind and spirit. Remember, you cannot learn Jujutsu in just a few short weeks. Most students will earn a black belt within 7 years of steady practice.We at Suigetsu Dojo pride ourselves on the strength of our curriculum and the depth of knowledge in our ranks. Rank at our dojo does not come easily or quickly. Rank achievement at Suigetsu Dojo includes patience, perseverance, and much hard work. Our view concerning rank is that it is simply a stepping stone on the winding path of a life in the martial arts.