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The grading system of Jai Yen Yen

Jai Yen Yen has only four belt colors white, green, brown and black. The color system is based on the old way of training, A student begins with the white belt - representing purity. As the student begins to train the belt becomes green from the grass stains. As the seasons change rain, sleet, snow make the ground muddy and the belt becomes brown. After continued seasons of change the belt eventually becomes black. This demonstrates the longevity and experiences within the student. As the student continues to wear their black belt it fades and returns to white, thus completing the circle. When a student attains the rank of black belt they are encouraged to teach so that they may continue their learning process. The black belt must now view the training from a perspective of "How can I educate others to do what I can do?" This is the perpetual growth within the martial arts.

Note: The ranks are listed with English and Japanese, though most of our schools use the English terminology for rank positions out of respect for our own culture. example, White Belt 1st Chevron or 3rd degree Black Belt. Instructor titles however are in Japanese out of respect for their origin. example, Sensei or Shihan.

Jai Yen Yen Rank related titles:

Kyu or Lower Grades White Belt - Brown Belt 2nd Chevron - called Mudansha

9th Kyu - White Belt (WB) - Kukyu
8th Kyu - WB 1st Chevron - Hachikyu
7th Kyu - WB 2nd Chevron - Shichikyu
6th Kyu - Green Belt (GB) - Rokkyu
5th Kyu - GB 1st Chevron - Gokyu
4th Kyu - GB 2nd Chevron - Yokyu
3rd Kyu - Brown Belt (BB) (assistant instructor) - Sankyu
2nd Kyu - BB 1st Chevron (assistant instructor) - Nikyu
1st Kyu - BB 2nd Chevron (AI with full recommendation authority) - Ikkyu

Dan or Black Belt Grades 1st - 9th Degree - called Yudansha

Black belts do not receive teaching titles by virtue of their rank. Teaching titles are awarded independently based on the moral character, knowledge, attitude, and teaching skills, of each person.

1st Dan - 1st Degree - Shodan
2nd Dan - 2nd Degree - Nidan
3rd Dan - 3rd Degree - Sandan
4th Dan - 4th Degree - Yodan
5th Dan - 5th Degree - Godan
6th Dan - 6th Degree - Rokudan
7th Dan - 7th Degree - Shichidan
8th Dan - 8th Degree - Hachidan
9th Dan - 9th Degree - Kudan

Sempai - means "Assistant instructor". All 1st and 2nd Dans and some 3rd Dans who have not been issued Instructor Certification. These black belts must teach under the tutelage of a Sensei until they themselves reach that title.

Sensei - 3rd - 9th Dan - means "Instructor or teacher" also "one who came before us". This title is for Instructors Only. Soke will issue a Certificate identifying them as a Certified Instructor. Meaning they may teach on their own or have their own Dojo. Only under special circumstances will Soke issue a Sensei title to anyone under 3rd Dan.

Shihan - 9th Dan only! Translates to "Great Expert" or "Teacher of Teachers" and is the highest title issued by the system. This title is issued by the Soke.

Jai Yen Yen Special Titles not given for Rank but for Special recognition within our Organization.

Renshi - presented to 4th or 5th Dans for "Self-Mastery" within their Dojo. Each Dojo can have one, recommended by the Dojo Head, and awarded by the Soke.

Kyoshi - presented to 6th or 7th Dans for "Expert-Instructor" within their Dojo. Each Dojo can have one, recommended by the Dojo Head, and awarded by the Soke.

Hanshi - presented to 8th or 9th Dans for "Honorable-Instructor" within their Dojo. Each Dojo can have one, recommended by the Dojo Head, and awarded by the Soke.

Shihan - Generally refers to the title of the head instructor of the Jai Yen Yen System.

Soke - The Head of the Jai Yen Yen System. This title is essentially the same as what is referred to in business worlds as the CEO. In it's proper use it is used as a reference when he/she is not present or speaking in third party. If the person were present you would use their verbal title such as Shihan or Sensei. Soke does not necessarily mean that you're a 9th Dan, simply the senior black belt of the system who presides over the organization, same as President or Chief Executive Officer.


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