Wednesday, May 4, 2022

This Is What Rank Means In The Martial Arts

What does rank in the martial arts mean?

In the martial arts one will often see students wearing different colored belts which represent a selected level or seniority in the martial arts- but what do these mean?

Much depends on the dojo and the art, and not all ranks or equal or able to cross compare in different martial arts. 

A few points to consider and ways to approach rank in the martial arts.

Rank represents a skill set that you are required to know, a set of techniques, movements or ability. Your rank gives you a framework to learn and progress in the martial arts.

Rank represents your place in the dojo, junior or senior in terms of time and training, which is a good way to sort out training partners and training methods when you pair up. A training exercise is going to be different when done to a senior level student- black belt, vs. a junior student- green belt.

Rank represents personally responsibility in the art and dojo you study. What is required for that rank, and can you demonstrate and carry yourself at that level. Rank represents potential- are you living up to your potential. Understanding that when you are awarded a rank, you have to represent that level and now live that expectation.

Ranks as tool to progress and not a destination.


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Located in Westchester New York, the Bujinkan Shinmyoken Dojo is a martial arts training group founded in 2005 with the aim of coming together as martial arts friends to study the Japanese martial art of Masaaki Hatsumi through the lessons of the Bujinkan dojo.

As friends (buyu) we come together to grow, learn, and share our individual potential in this wonderful martial art.

Questions, comments, feedback, and inquiries may be emailed to the group here: BujinkanShinmyoken@gmail.com.