Jinenkan rank progression

Discussion in 'Ninjutsu' started by blink13, Apr 17, 2010.

  1. blink13

    blink13 Green Belt

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    As I understand it, the honbu dojo recognizes three kyus, but allows dojo-cho to add other kyu as they see fit for various reasons. At my dojo, for example, we have 9 kyu ranks (not counting mukyu).

    A few questions:

    1) For those of you who only have the three kyu, how long, on average, does a student remain mukyu before testing for sankyu? Let's say for the sake of discussion that the student is an average or above-average learner, attends class regularly, and has a good attitude (i.e., not the "slow kid" or person who only trains sporadically).

    2) For those dojos that do recognize additional kyu ranks, let's say that a student is 7th kyu (for example), and decides (and is given permission) to test at a seminar. If they pass, have they effectively "skipped" 6th through 4th kyu? Upon return to their "home" dojo, do they then wear a green belt as a 3rd kyu?

    Thanks. I've been checking out the honbu dojo's website and saw the testing requirements, then saw the upcoming seminar schedule for Connecticut, and wondered.

    For the Bujinkan/Genbukan guys, I'd be interested in knowing how it works in your organizations, too, but I'm mainly curious as how my fellow Jinenkan practitioners do it.
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2010
  2. Kajowaraku

    Kajowaraku Green Belt

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    For Genbukan it's quite straightforward: 10 kyuu levels Ninpo taijutsu, and 10 kyuu levels jujutsu. Not counting mukyu. 10th and 9th kyu can be taken together in some dojo, but the catch is you'll just have to wait longer before you can test. It is done to weed out those lacking in determination mostly. For bojutsu we have a system of three kyuu system: shokyu-chukyu-jokyu, basicly it means every kyuu in bojutsu takes years to master.
     
  3. stephen

    stephen Purple Belt

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    Every Bujinkan dojo does it differently.

    I don't even really give kyu ranks. When people can take ukemi safely I tell them to buy a green belt. A bunch of years later I promote them to shodan and get them the necessary paperwork.

    Cuts way down on people interested in anything but the training. (Although the main reason I do it is because that's how my teacher does it, but it has this nice side effect.)
     
  4. Carol

    Carol Crazy like a...

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    Given permission to test...what precisely would the 7th kyu be testing for?
     
  5. blink13

    blink13 Green Belt

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    3rd kyu. Manaka Sensei only uses three kyu ranks in the organization but allows dojo-cho to add kyu rank as they see fit (probably for business purposes, keeping students motivated, whatever - I don't presume to know).

    So, at a big seminar, if testing is on the schedule, students may test for the next rank. If you're not 3rd kyu yet, you'd be testing for 3rd kyu.

    Regarding "permission," well, if I was to attend the seminar in October, I would not test if my own sensei felt that I was not ready.
     
  6. Bruno@MT

    Bruno@MT Senior Master

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    I think your second question has a false assumption in it. As far as I know (admittedly I am in Genbukan, not Jinenkan) it is not a student who decides whan to test. The sensei decides when a student can test. You don't go to your teacher and request to test for the next grade, and you definitely don't ask to skip 4 kyu levels.

    I presume the idea is that by sankyu, a Jinenkan student knows quite a number of basic techniques, their names, etc. If you are at 7th kyu, then your sensei is still teaching you all of those things and you will probably suck at the things that you were supposed to see between 7th and 3d.

    In my personal opinion, Martial Arts like ninpo are not about reaching a given rank at the earliest date, they are about mastering the art. If you make that jump, you may well be hampered later on because of your lack of experience. It would be like starting to build a house when the concrete of the foundations has not cured long enough. Sure, you'll see something house-like appear more quickly, but afterward you'll have a lot problems patching up the cracks that will appear and working around the initial flaws that you didn't fix before moving on.
     
  7. derobec

    derobec Orange Belt

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    Hi,

    I'm going to dip my toe in the water here and hazard a bit of a guess.

    It's a guess because I'm not a member of the Jinenkan so I simply don't know.

    As I understand it their first 'official' grading is for 3rd kyu. Now, if a local instructor chooses to add extra kyu grades they must all be before 3rd kyu. I'm assuming that when a student hits Jinenkan 3rd kyu then he/she is tied to the specific requirements of each grade from then on.

    So, if local instructor 'Ian' has used his own breakdown of the syllabus to grade a student to 7th kyu but then gives permission for that student to test for the 'official' association grade of 3rd kyu he presumably does so because he thinks the student is worthy of the grade. There could be all sorts of reasons why an individual has a larger understanding of the curriculum than is represented by regular-rote gradings 'in house'.

    Of course, it's then up to the candidate to pass the grade which I'm sure could only be done by knowing and understanding the requirements.

    OK, student 'sue' has now jumped a few grades in her own dojo and reached the lowest official grade in the organization. Does that really matter? Maybe a few other students may feel a pang of jealousy but that says a lot about their present level in itself.

    As I say -I don't know, I'm speculating.

    Best Wishes,
    William
     
  8. EWBell

    EWBell Orange Belt

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    Dave699,

    I guess one question a person could ask is, what are the rank requirements for the kyu levels leading up to 3rd kyu. Are all of these individual ranks just pieces of 3rd kyu, or things your instructor has just added? From what I've seen, the official Jinenkan kyu levels don't have a ton of things in them, especially if you compare it to say the Genbukan kyu levels. Obviously if you wanted to test at a seminar, then you would have to know all of the required material, so my answer on the jumping of grades would be one that I've seen used time and time again. Ask your sensei. :)
     
  9. blink13

    blink13 Green Belt

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    While I do appreciate everyone's input, I would like to emphasize a few points.

    This is not about me specifically. I am quite new to the art. I'm a bit older than a lot of first-timers, with a long background in being a professional warrior, so I am not as thirsty for rank as I think some of you are assuming. I'm used to slow promotion (professionally), having spent 2, 2, and 6 years at my first three ranks. It takes awhile, and rightfully so.

    I wouldn't even assume I would test unless my own sensei told me I would. Also, I would guess (and this is a guess, and one of the reasons why I posted the question) that the "big" organization wouldn't just ask who wants to test at the seminar, but instead would require a recommendation from a student's "home" sensei.

    William, yep, I was wondering about "Ian" and "Sue," but specifically for arts that do those sorts of things.

    Sure, I could ask my sensei, but as I posted originally, I want to know how other Jinenkan dojos do it (question #1), and I appreciate the international flavor of Martial Talk. I'm curious! Please keep the responses coming!
     
  10. Bruno@MT

    Bruno@MT Senior Master

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    I think that is exactly the crux of the argument.
    If those first kyu levels are Genbukan style, each one containing a multitude of specific techniques that have to be mastered before progressing to the next step, then skipping is essentially impossible.

    If, otoh those first couple of kyu levels are a level of mastery of the same techniques, then I could indeed see where a sensei could propose a student to skip those intermediate levels if said student has a inspired confidence in the sensei that the student does indeed have what it takes to pass the 3d kyu test.
     
  11. flado

    flado White Belt

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    Dave699
    My name is Leif Angestam and I run the Jinenkan Hiryu Dojo in Sweden. At my dojo we have 6 kyu ranks. Every student needs to go through all the kyu-ranks, without skipping some. Even if the student is good and could very well go from 6 kyu to 3 kyu in one test, they still have to pass each rank to get there.

    Also, the 6-4 kyu are my own, so if a 6 kyu student wanted to test at an international seminar, they would have to test for me, since these are my ranks. Once the student reaches 4 kyu he/she could test under some other dojo-cho at a seminar, since the 3 kyu and above are the same worldwide.
     
  12. blink13

    blink13 Green Belt

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    Thank you for your post, Leif Sensei.

    Is there a definitive list of techniques required for your 6-4 kyu, or does it depend on what material you're covering at the time?
     
  13. Inazuma

    Inazuma White Belt

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    Hi Dave699,

    I run the Jinenkan Dojo in CT. Allow me add to what my great friend Leif has already said. First, the Jinenkan sub-sankyu ranks are only for ranking Associate members. Second, there is no skipping of ANY ranks in the Jinenkan regardless of your rank or experience. You cannot test for the next rank until you have achieved the previous rank. Period. It does not mattter if you are a Judan in another organization or have never train in the art. Everyone starts at the bottom and moves ina stepw-se manner. Third, for the most part there is no testing for sub-sankyu ranks (6,5,4) at major seminars. At least I have never seen it done. I believe that all sub-sankyu testing is expected to be done by the Dojo Cho responsible for the student in question at their own dojo. Full members are required to begin testing at sankyu, but it is expected that they have obtained expertise of the sub-kyu-rank materials, if their Dojo Cho has them, as part of their routine training. Finally, while each Dojo Cho is allowed to have their own sub-sankyu rank curriculum, the content must be approved by Manaka Sensei himself prior to implementation. The content of each of these curricula varies from one dojo to the next, but all are focused on building strong foundation movement and an understanding of Sensei's budo.

    I believe your teacher is Tony, correct? I believe he or Peter Steeves are the most apprproate people to answer your questions. Please be sure to ask them or any other Jinenkan dojo Cho if you have any more.

    Thanks,
    Ev

    Evan London
    Dojo Cho, Jienenkan Inazuma Dojo
    Milford, CT, USA
     
  14. blink13

    blink13 Green Belt

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    Evan Sensei -

    Thank you, too, for your post. Now I know, and knowing, of course, is half the battle.

    I don't think that Tony Sensei is on MA Talk, so I have forwarded this thread to him, lest he think I'm up to something. ;)
     
  15. flado

    flado White Belt

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    Hi Dave,

    In my dojo, the 6-4 kyu are set and approved by Manaka Sensei. It basically consists of ukemi, te/taihodoki and some other things I feel are important.
    /Leif
     
  16. Peter_Steeves

    Peter_Steeves White Belt

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    It's really comforting to know that there is so much general consensus and agreement in the independent answers coming from around the country and around the world from Jinenkan instructors in this post.

    I can only add to the general answers already here. As instructors in the same organization, we are all committed to helping each other and our students excel in our pursuit of our collection of kobudo under Manaka Sensei.

    To that end, we trust each others' judgment, and would ask each other about another instructor's student wishing to test. I most certainly expect that the ranks preceding 3rd kyu in another Dojo are meant to prepare that student for growth and learning according to an intelligent plan by that instructor, and trust his or her guidance of their own students.

    -------

    That said, the answer to the other part of the original question:

    For my Dojo, it would take a minimum of 14 months before a typical student could have covered the material in class to be able to test for 3rd Kyu. Not everyone tests at that minimum speed: most take longer, and I suppose it would be possible to go faster, but I can't think of anyone who has. We're simply not in a rush to get there any faster than that.

    Peter Steeves
    www.Jinenkan.LA
     
  17. blink13

    blink13 Green Belt

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    Thank you to everyone for indulging a beginner. I apologize if my questions seemed to be pushy but I assure you that I did not intend them to be that way - I am just a curious guy who wants to collect as much data as possible once I find something I like.

    This is my first and only (non-Marine Corps) martial art and I have found that it fills a need that I have had since departing Active Duty last summer. My questions were merely intended to increase my knowledge of my new style and make contact with my fellow students in other states and countries.

    I appreciate all the dojo-cho that took the time to respond. Arigato gozaimashta!
     
  18. amitchell

    amitchell White Belt

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    Hi Dave,

    This is Adam Mitchell, Jinenkan Dojo Cho from New York. Thanks for asking me to chime in on this thread. Yes, I agree completely with Leif, Evan and Peter.

    One thing I want to emphasize is that the standards among all of the Dojo Cho have, one may have a different emphasis on how to get a beginner to a level where they are prepared to test for san-kyu. For example, I am extremely strict on foot alignment and tracking the knees correctly for beginners to develop correct muscle memory. While I'm extremely strict on it, possibly one of my colleagues (who is also adamant about this same point with his student) may emphasize leaping correctly to build stronger leg dynamics in the same area of rank I would put tracking. We both teach this in our keiko though! These are core areas of taijutsu that we should assume are already in place by the san-kyu level - it's up to us to get the student prepared for that and for this reason Manaka Sensei has allowed us to use our judgment and experience to do this.

    One thing you will not see is areas of study outside of what is required for the development of taijutsu within our traditions. An example may be requiring ground fighting, firearm threat/combatives, spiritual stuff, etc...Now I suppose one could put this type of training in their kyu syllabus prior to san-kyu, but I have no idea why they would - while great to train, exterior topics have no benefit to the student's pursuit of understanding kihon happo nor do they sync with how Manaka Sensei has designed the evolution of a martial artist in the Jinenkan.

    I hope my input helped Dave - All the best!
    Adam
     
  19. ElfTengu

    ElfTengu Blue Belt

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    Sounds great, I believe some traditional arts used to do likewise, with white and black being the only belts.

    Our dojo is similar to yours but we do have the occasional kyu grades awarded but with people often jumping grades but not necessarily any more quickly than they would have taken to advance one kyu grade at a time.

    And because we don't advertise and the regular attendees all have at least 5 years solid training behind them, the most junior of us is at least shodan now (apart from occasional visitors from our shibu), so there is no strutting, ego, resentment or impatience, and we can just concentrate on the training.
     
  20. xJOHNx

    xJOHNx Purple Belt

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    It took me about 10 months to get to sankyu from mukyu.
    But totally depends on your sensei I would assume.123
     

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