Within Hakkoryu, certificates issued recognizing a pupil’s level of instruction and skill are not arbitrarily assigned. Rather, each level or license represents a student’s formal exposure to exact and definite material. The steps progressively move from Omote (Surface Techniques) to Okuden (Secret Techniques), with new material added at each step.
Hakkoryu Jujutsu uses a combination of the more modern Dan (Grade) system and the classical Menkyo (License) system used by the older bugei/bujutsu ryu. Traditionally, licenses were given through the issuance of Makimono/Densho (Hand Scrolls). These contained lists, technical information concerning techniques and philosophy, a certification statement naming the recipient, and the signature and seals of the ryu’s soke. Depending on the level, Hakkoryu Jujutsu issues black/purple belts, certificates of title, and Makimono.
Dan ranks may be issued to pupils by their teacher, who must hold the Menkyo Shihan license or above. Menjo (dan certificates) are issued by the Hakkoryu Soke, and may be presented by him or the pupil’s Shihan. Menkyo Shihan and above training is only given by the Hakkoryu Soke himself, and he issues the licenses in person only.
The following credentials are issued only through the Hakkoryu Soke. Within Hakkoryu Jujutsu and Koho Shiatsu, no other certification is recognized.
Those who are ungraded typically wear a white belt. Kyu titles are not recognized by the Hakkoryu So Hombu Dojo, but are often used by Shibu Dojo (authorized branch schools).
Those having trained, tested, and been bestowed the Hakkoryu Jujutsu titles of Shodan through Yondan receive the a Dan Certificate issued and properly sealed by the Hakkoryu Soke. Those with Yudansha titles may wear the black belt issued by the Hakkoryu So Hombu Dojo. Typically, there are no Yudansha titles higher than Yondan; exceptions are at the discretion of the Hakkoryu Soke. Yudansha in Hakkoryu may wear hakama in Shibu Dojo if allowed by their teachers, but may not do so at the Hakkoryu So Hombu Dojo. Only those having earned the title of Menkyo Shihan or higher are judged to be teachers at the Hakkoryu Hombu.
Those few having trained and successfully tested under the Hakkoryu Soke for the title of Menkyo Shihan (License of Master Instructor) receive a Menkyo Shihan Certificate, Menkyo (Teacher’s License) and Menkyo Shihan Makimono (Hand Scroll) all properly sealed by the Hakkoryu Soke. They wear the Hombu Dojo purple belt that in Japan is the color associated with the Imperial Family and worn only by Buddhist priests of the highest rank. Hakkoryu Shihan may wear hakama at Hombu to denote their status as a licensed teacher.
Menkyo Kaiden Shihan
Those few having trained and successfully tested under the Hakkoryu Soke for the title of Menkyo Kaiden Shihan (License of Master Instructor of the Deepest Mysteries) receive the Menkyo Kaiden Shihan Certificate and Menkyo Kaiden Shihan Makimono (Hand Scroll) both properly sealed by the Hakkoryu Soke. They wear the Hombu Dojo purple belt and hakama.
Menkyo Kaiden Shihan Sandaikichu
Those few having trained and successfully tested under the Hakkoryu Soke for the title of Menkyo Kaiden Shihan Sandaikichu (License of Master Instructor of the Deepest Mysteries and the Three Great Foundation Pillars) receive a Menkyo Kaiden Shihan Sandaikichu Makimono (Hand Scroll) properly sealed by the Hakkoryu Soke. They wear the Hombu Dojo purple belt and hakama. No certificate is given for Sandaikichu other than that which is provided at the end of the Makimono. The title “Sandaikichu” originated with Shodai Soke Okuyama Ryuho and is only used in Hakkoryu Jujutsu. No other bugei/budo legitimately use such a title.
Other Hakkoryu Certification
There are a number of other technical and administrative titles bestowed on Hakkoryu Shihan, but only one other need be mentioned here. Those Shihan, Kaiden Shihan, and Sandaikichu Shihan who request a formal review by the Hakkoryu Soke of their techniques may be given the Renshi (Polished Master) certificate. The title Renshi is valid for twelve months and may be reissued.
Hakkoryu Koho Shiatsu Certification – Koho Shiatsu Sotsugyou Shou-Sho
Those who have completed instruction in Koho Shiatsu from the Hakkoryu Soke receive the Koho Shiatsu Certificate which must be properly signed and sealed.
Other Koho Shiatsu and Medical Certification
Prior to the passing away of Shodai Soke Okuyama Ryuho in 1987, advanced medical instruction was offered.
- Koho Gakushi Kaiin-Sho (Membership in the Koho Association)
- Koho Shiatsu Kyoju-Sho (Professor/Lecturer of Koho Shiatsu)
- Goshin Taiso Shido-Koshi-Sho (Professor/Lecturer of Goshin Taiso)
These are no longer issued by the Hakkoryu So Hombu Dojo or Nidai Soke Okuyama Ryuho.