Introduction to syllabus

This syllabus has been formulated in order to try and unify the teaching methods to be found within it.  Because our curriculum is so vast and complex, every effort has been made to present the various skills, strategies and techniques, in a simple manner.  Because of the great amount of diverse skills which go into the making of our particular Kan it is obvious that students will tend to be more proficient in some areas than in others.

It follows, therefore, that they should be examined in the general sense taking into account both their strengths and their weakness, and that the examiners should endeavour to inform the instructor as to what specific areas may need extra work. 

It is then ‘open to interpretation’ by both instructor and examiner.

All people tend to differ, perhaps in some small way.  Physically, mentally, spiritually and so will their technical ability.  While we believe that rules are not made to be broken, they can most certainly be bent a little, and even light itself must sometimes bend in order to eventually reach its desired destination. 

If we all have mutual love, respect and understanding then there is absolutely no limit to what we can accomplish.  This style of Ju-Jutsu is so vast and many try to specialise, within our own Kan we aim to teach both the armed and unarmed aspects of the art.  We also aim to offer a hand of friendship to all styles and arts and hope to promote harmony within the arts.

Description of each Grade 

Red Belt – Sichikyu

This table of contents for red belt is designed to ensure that the student is gradually introduced to the basic fundamentals of the system whilst continuing to consider their safety and interests.  It should be remembered that a healthy learning environment can only be achieved by increasing the students’ confidence and competence.

Yellow Belt – Rokkyu

It will be noted that in keeping with this grade, the techniques are slightly more demanding and complex.  Whilst the student at this level will have improved confidence and have been more fully integrated into the dojo, care must still be taken not to over stretch their capabilities, we are in the business of helping to build an individuals’ character, not to damage it.

Orange Belt – Gokyu

In many ways, once a student attains to this particular stage in the system, they can be expected to have a very firm and thorough grounding in the elementary body skills and have proven themselves to be allowed to study some of the more complicated and involved subjects.  

Green Belt – Sankyu

There is a wide variety of material included in this belt and dedication is required both from student and instructor in order to master it.  The unarmed combat is much more complete in its application and the practice of the nunchaku is included, a weapon which requires a well developed dexterity and control on the part of the practitioner’. 

Blue Belt – Nikkyu and Ikkyu

There is a vast amount of detail and complex knowledge included in the curriculum for this belt.  The Tai jutsu wasa includes the defences whilst on the ground (a precarious situation which can easily occur in any violent encounter) and the simultaneous defence against two opponents. At this stage begins the study of the sword (which is itself a symbol of the warrior caste and tradition). 

Everything included at this level of study is geared to practicality, aiming to improve and enrich the students’ lives, demonstrating what we learn in the Dojo is an art of living and of life, rather than simply a ‘martial’ art.  By this stage a certain amount of ‘discovery’ will be occurring and it is therefore important that a good amount of discipline is maintained by the teacher in order to help ensure safety and security in the dojo at all times, whilst not completely discouraging the students’ desire to experiment.

At this level of training the students’ ability to adapt their knowledge, to transfer their learning skills and attitude are examined.  This helps to ensure that our teaching practice is effective and that actual learning has occurred.  The subjects that are taught within our school should be found to be useful to our students in their daily lives, including, but also going far beyond, the need for efficient self defence and physical fitness. 

Brown Belt – Nikkyu and Ikkyu

The student has undergone a period of arduous training in order to reach this level and they can be rightfully regarded as possessing a reasonable amount of technical skill and a positive mental attitude.  Therefore it follows that they can be expected to cope with the teaching and learning at a much more rapid rate.  Every effort is made by instructors to encourage, help and support the students through their learning of the complex and involved strategies, tactics and techniques that are taught at these grades. The technical principals that are required of the aspirant for these grades requires a certain degree of physical fitness and mental awareness and that stringent precautions are taken by the instructor in teaching this stage of the syllabus.  The health and safety guidelines must be strictly followed.

Black Belt – Shodan – Ho / Shodan

At this stage, more than ever, proper help and support is offered to the students who will be encouraged to take as much advantage as possible of any extra instruction which might be available at the time.  Within the Dojo the black belt is viewed as the beginning and not the end.

Traditionally there exists no coloured belt system, however as we do in this modern age, we have adopted this system of coloured belts for several reasons: 

Philosophical:-  there are seven colours each which allude to certain parts of lifes’ mysteries and to the different levels of                                      consciousness through which  we must all pass upon our journey up the mountain. 

Motivational:-    having short term goals helps encourage the student to learn and when worn can be seen and acknowledged,                            so boosting self esteem. 

Educational:-    adopting the system enables instructors to identify what level that student has reached and so help to                                          monitor progress. 

In western culture, black is the colour associated with death.  This grade represents the students readiness to sacrifice themselves to preserve love and goodness and also helps to symbolise the fact that they have successfully conquered some of the more ‘negative’ aspects of their character and are now passing through the ‘dark portal’ into the light.

On successful demonstration of technical, physical and other requirements of the Black Belt syllabus the grade of shodan-ho (probational shodan) will be awarded.  After a minimum period of six months, without further tests of ability, this may be transferred to the grade of shodan.  The period of probation may be extended indefinitely if the sempai does not meet the required standards, or satisfy the criteria for sensei.  These criteria are not explicit but maturity, commitment, discipline, consideration for others, teaching ability and technical ability will be considered when examining a candidate for shodan grade.

Holders of the grade Shodan-ho should wear a black belt without markings.  Holders of shodan may continue to wear a simple black belt but it is preferred that they wear a black belt with a single gold tag on the left end.  All black belt holders may wear a Hakama if they so wish.

Higher Dan Grades

There is a comprehensive Dan grade syllabus for Nidan toYondan which, although centred around the weapons arts requires a full and complete knowledge of Tai Jutsu, an understanding of and competence in the kyu grade syllabus and the ability as a teacher.  Holders of Dan grades above Shodanare expected to seek out teachers with the knowledge that they require for their grading.  This can be by attendance of courses at which the Shihans are teaching, through organising to train with a higher grade or by inviting a Renshi or Shihan to your club.  There is a vast amount of knowledge available in books and these should be used for reference.  Do not however assume that reading a book makes you an expert.

Dan grades are expected to wear a black belt  which has a number of gold tags commensurate with their grade on the left hand end.  They may also wear a plain black belt.Grades of Godan, Rokudan and Shicidan are confirmed only on experienced instructors, and only after a long period of service.  There is no formal examination.  Holders of Yondan may wear red/black belt Godan and above may wear a red and white striped belt.