Soke:
Head of the tradition, this refers specifically to the person continuing a historical tradition.

Sohonbucho:
Main headquarters branch head, e.g UK Sohonbucho means in charge of all of the clubs in the UK.

Shibucho:
Branch dojo leader, is the term for any official training groups where the dan grade holds teaching permission from the Sohonbucho and of course Soke.

Sensei:
A teacher holding the rank of at least Sandan and Shoden no maki.

Shidoin:
Assistant to the sensei, anyone holding Shidoin Menkyo. Menkyo means permission or license to teach without the Sensei being present.

Dan grades:

  • Shodan - Literally beginning level. This is entry to the Ryu after completing basic training, from there your training really begins
  • Nidan 2nd
  • Sandan - 3rd
  • Yondan - 4th
  • Godan - 5th
  • Rokudan - 6th
  • Nanadan - 7th
  • Hachidan - 8th
  • Kyudan - 9th
  • Judan - 10th

The Dan grades can be both ability level and knowledge, there is often an age limit too. For Shodan 16 or 17 is the accepted minimum age, for Shidoin Menkyo 18+ and then the higher grades are usually limited by age although there are no fixed rules as Soke decides. The densho are based both on ability and knowledge along with your relationship with Soke.

When it comes to grades and the required time there are no limits, almost anyone who is dedicated to training and training correctly should be able to reach Shodan in 2 to 3 years.

When it comes to the later grades there are not any specific time limits although usually separated by some years. Regardless of time it is however important that the students must be able to perform technique on a par with the other members at that level, so the acceptance and practice with your peer group is very important! and most importantly and above all else Soke has to agree that you are that level.

Jujutsu is like most other physical skills, correct practice and commitment gets results!

All dan gradings must be asked for in advance by the Sohonbucho, anyone wishing to grade must contact me ahead of time in order that I can notify Soke and also ensure that they are at the required level.

Shidoin Menkyo:
This is an assistant teaching permission under the branch Sohonbu dojo, Shidoin Menkyo is not a teaching license as such but permission for an assistant to either the Dojo Sensei or Honbucho that is not of the required rank Densho level to teach at a specific dojo in the absence of the Sensei being present.

This is not required for anyone Shoden and above. Shidoin Menkyo certificates from the UK branch are all displayed in the Sohonbu dojo in Carlisle.

Densho:
Regarded as the inner circle grades these presented by Soke to students that have reached the required level and show good character holding Soke's trust.

Typically the term "no maki" means holding the scrolls" and "menkyo" means license, e.g. not holding the scrolls, these terms are often interchanged incorrectly:

  • Shoden Menkyo refers to a certificate and not the actual scrolls
  • Shoden no Maki - Shoden means entry gate
  • Chuden no Maki - Middle gate
  • Okuden no Maki - Upper or inner gate
  • Menkyo Kaiden - Permission to be independent

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