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Mixed Martial Arts (MMA), dojo, Jujutsu, Japanese jujutsu, karate, judo, kickboxing, street fighting, military training, self-defense, katana, samurai sword, erik paulson, combat submission wrestling, erik paulson csw,

In Japan are two grading systems: the modern and the ancient systems. The modern systems use the kyu/dan grading terms while the ancient systems use the menkyo or “license” grading. A well trained Martial Artist should be aware of both types of grading. Both systems are utilized in Ni Tatsu-Ryu and are printed on our Diplomas. One should be aware of the slight differences between these systems as they are frequently used interchangeably.

MUDANSHA - Students Rankings


Kyu/Dan Rank 

Rokyu (6th kyu) 

Gokyu (5th kyu) 

Yonkyu (4th kyu) 

Chikyu (Weapons)

Sankyu (3rd kyu)  

Nikyu (2nd kyu) 

Ikkyu (1st kyu)   

Obi(Sash) Color 

Juko-Kai System

Solid White

Solid Blue 

Solid Green

Solid Purple 

Brown 1 Red Tab

Brown 2 Red Tabs

Brown 3 Red Tabs 


Ancient System

Menkyo (License) Rank

Beginning Student

Younger Student

Older Student

Older Student

Senior Student 

Senior Student

Senior Student

YUDANSHA - Instructor Rankings

Menkyo Renshi

Menkyo Renshi

Menkyo Kyoshi

Menkyo Kyoshi

Menkyo Shihan Dai

Menkyo Shihan

Menkyo 0 Shihan

Menkyo Dai Shihan

Menkyo Mokoruku Shihan

Menkyo Kaiden Shihan

Solid Black

Black 2 Red Tabs

Black/Red (bikup)

Black/Red (red up)






Solid Red

Shodan (1st dan)

Nidan (2nd dan)

Sandan (3rd dan)

Yodan (4th dan)

Godan (5th dan)

Rokyudan (6th dan)

Shichidan (7th dan)

Hachidan (8th dan)

Kudan (9th dan)

Judan (10th dan)



When one receives a menkyo or “license” it is usually accompanied with a title such as “Renshi” or “Shihan” and generally a dan grading is assigned to the recipient at the same time. The differences, however, lie in that a person can move up in a dan ranking but may not necessarily advance in their title or licensure and vice versa. An example of this would be the difference between a first and second dan. Even though there is often a vast difference between the knowledge and capabilities between the two, they both have a menkyo grading of renshi. Secondly, even though a menkyo grading of shihan generally correlates with a fifth dan, it is not necessarily true that a person with a fifth dan is a shihan. It is not infrequent that someone earns a rank of even sixth dan but not a Shihan grading.


 Below is a listing of the two ranking systems along with the obi or sash color, so one can learn the approximate correlation of rank from one system to the other.

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