Thursday, January 4, 2024

What Does A Shodan Mean?

What does a shodan- 1st level black belt mean in the martial arts? 

In a previous martial arts post we explored the two elements to black belt, the physical techniques that are required, and the spirit based components that are required.

Regarding the physical techniques these *easy* part in that one has learned them, polished them, and can demonstrate a specific set of movement and ability at a first degree level of black belt.

What this is, naturally will depend on the school, style, and tradition as different arts approach things differently.

Regarding the spirit based side, this is a bit more complicated.

Concepts such as fighting spirit, warrior heart, immovable heart, and other ways of carrying the movement cannot be learned as in techniques, they must be cultivated through direct training and transmission.

Passing that, one arrives as shoden- 1st degree black belt, but what does it mean?

It means that one has a solid foundation of the basic movement and expectations of the art they study.

It means that one *is* a student of the school, and disciple of the training. Past actions and how one carries oneself might have gotten a pass as a kyu student as one was learning and growing, but now…

…the question will be- who is your teacher?

It means the start of more responsibility, seeing more waza, kata, forms, and patterns- now expected to begin mastering and being able to move in that way.

It means a journey of new expectations and viewing the martial arts.

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The aim of the Bujinkan Shinmyoken Dojo (school of the life giving sword) is to understand nature and the movement of being zero through taijutsu- martial ways of using the body. The school exists to create and transmit this feeling and method through the experience of isshi soden.

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 arts of Masaaki Hatsumi through the movement lessons of the Bujinkan Dojo.

Training is supervised by Fred Feddeck who has been studying Bujinkan Budo Taijutsu since 1993.

Classes are held on Saturday Mornings from 9-11 AM at a local park in Yonkers New York easily accessible by car, train, and bus. Additional training times are held for workshops and seminars each quarter.

Questions, feedback, and inquiries may be directed to the group here:

Those interested in finding more about our training are invited to join our meetup and event mailing list below.

This mailing list is used to provide updates regarding upcoming seminars and workshops, along with meeting times for our once a month martial arts meetup to discuss and explore various topics in our training.

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