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The kyu and dan system
The ISTB teaching system consists of 8 kyu (8 learning steps for beginners from the 8th up to the 1st kyu) and 8 dan (8 ranks for the advanced level budoka; the 1st dan represents the lowest and the 8th dan the highest rank).
Examinations are held up to the 5th dan; the 6th, 7th and 8th dan are awarded by the head of the school.
In keeping with the old budo tradition, there are also teacher licenses in our school. If you want to become a teacher (sensei), additional qualifications are required. Depending on such qualifications, in Takeda Ryu Kobilza Ha you can get the following licenses:
License for the assistant instructor
The assistant instructor assists the sensei in the dojo; by exception he/she could be also licensed as a dojo leader (kancho).
License for the instructor of the basic level
Teacher and examiner (shoden kyohan) for kyu and the lower dan level (dependant on his/her own grades); he/she conducts the training in the dojo and assists at national training courses.
License for the instructor of the mid level
Teacher and examiner (chuden kyohan) for the dan level up to maximally 3rd dan (dependant on his/her own grades); he/she conducts the training in the dojo and assists at international training courses.
License for the instructor of the upper level
Teacher and examiner (joden shihan) for the upper dan level up to 4th/5th dan (dependant on his/her own grades), as well as for shoden and chuden kyohan; he/she conducts the training in the dojo as well as national and international courses.
License for the instructor of the secret level
Teacher and examiner (okuden shihan) up to the 5th dan; he/she conducts the training in the dojo, national and international training courses as well as special seminars for teachers up to joden (upper level).
License for the instructor of the entire teachings
Highest teacher and examiner (kaiden shihan), like okuden, however, at least 36 dan; teaches all disciplines and all teacher levels up to okuden, i.e. he/she is also qualified and licensed to teach hiden (secret level).
Head of the school
A soke is the founder and/or head (headmaster) of a school (ryu or ryuha), or the heir to a school. As the successor of the former head of the school, he/she has the obligation to preserve the cultural heritage, and to continue the tradition. The soke has the exclusive and unrestricted right to decide all matters of his/her school, in particular the right to name a successor (i.e. the next soke), and he/she is the only one to teach kuden (oral transmission).
Note: Instructor licenses are exclusively awarded by the head of the school.