Ronin Ryu Dojo

The Dojo That Got Something For Everyone

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Ronin Ryu Title System


Ryu Administration Titles

  Shodai Soke
(Shō-dai sōke 商 台宗 家, Founder of a school (Ryu), First Generation Soke for that school)
  Niday Soke ( Ni-dai sōke 第二 世代 宗 家), a second generation Soke and so on, can only be appointed by the previous Soke and this is made by a document with a “Notarius Publicus” postiljum attached to it.   
  Shihanke Shihanke (師範 家) Responsible for a country, Sokes right arm so to speak. A Shihanke is essentially a second training lineage that exists autonomously from the Soke. In an organisation where there is a Shihanke and a Soke it is possible for the position of Soke to essentially be a hereditary honorary title in our system while the Shihanke is responsible for the actual teaching and operation of the school and to organize his country with Dai Shihan appointments. All Dai Shihan will automatically be subordinate to Shihanke in his country. A shihanke also holds the rank of 6-9dan.   
  Dai Shihan Responsible for an area within a country (大師範) (5-9dan), Superior Master instructor, subordinate to Soke and Shihanke   

Instructor Titles - Shogo 称号

  In addition to the kyu/dan (underbelt/black belt) ranking system used by most Japanese martial arts, there is a parallel system called Shogo 称号 and so is also the case within Ronin Ryu Dojo. The word loosely translates into English as title or rank. In this context, title is a bit more accurate. These titles are awarded only to dan (black belt) level martial artists – typically at high dan levels. Their primary purpose is to show that in addition to be a good martial artist, the individual is also a good teacher. These titles are only used on visitcard, posters and websites. Not a title you present your self with in words and not a title the student will use in the dojo to adress you. In the dojo your are called Sensei if you have an instructor licence otherwise you are called Senpai.

The Shogo titles are independent of dan level and do not effect it. In other words, a promotion to one of these titles does not raise the practitioners dan level. However, there is a relationship between the two in that most organizations that use them impose minimum dan level requirements in order to earn the Shogo titles. Earning the minimum rank is not enough. The teacher must also be nominated and approved for the title. Typically, they are awarded to teachers who have given something back to our organization.
  Hanshi (師範) Kudan (9dan<), Senior Master Instructor, example model. The “Han” in Hanshi means “example, model” and indicates “a teacher that can serve as an ideal model for others”, or a “senior master”.  This is a very special title representing the highest levels of martial arts, a teacher of other teachers and demonstrates personal growth and an in depth understanding of the style and the organisation. A teacher with the title Hanshi is entitled to wear a solid red belt.  
  Kyoshi (教士) Rokkudan (6dan<), Professor of Martial Art philosophy. The “Kyo” in Kyoshi means “professor” or “philosophy”. Therefore, Kyoshi equals a “professor” capable of teaching the philosophy of the martial arts.  An instructor who has earned the title of Kyoshi should award this title by a person who has earned the title of Hanshi and this person should still be active in a dojo and also train diligently on his or her own. Once awarded the title Kyoshi, the teacher is entitled to wear a red and white paneled belt.  
  Renshi (錬士) Yondan (4dan), Polished Instructor. Renshi title indicates a “polished instructor”. Renshi literally means “polished teacher.” It is the first, or lowest, of the Shogo titles. A teacher awarded the title Renshi is typically allowed to wear a belt that is half red, half black.  
  Sensei All Black Belt Head/ CheifInstructors in charge of the training in a Dojo  
  Senpai All helpinstructors with lower rank than the Head/ Cheifinstructor in a Dojo.  
  The etiquette of wearing Renshi/Kyoshi/Hanshi belts. These belts is considered ceremonial belts and worn on special occasions – seminars, camps, tai kai,  reunions, and belt promotion ceremonies even if it is up to the holder when to wear the belt. In all other cases, the practitioner typically wears a regular black belt striped as appropriate.