Ranking and Curriculum

     According to Mitose, the ranking system is based on ‘actual time’ (hours) and ‘the curriculum’. It was explained that these two standards of actual time and curriculum are used for the following: To protect the temple’s secrets against cowards and listeners, to guard against unreal expectations, and to protect against over exaggeration.
     Actual Time vs. Flexible Time – The course and promotions in the Koga Ha are based on actual time as opposed to flexible time. Mitose explained the reason for hours: to reduce expectations on the student and the instructor. For example, a student joins your school and attends classes for one hour, three times a week for two months. How long has the student trained with you? Please think about your answer. If your answer is two months, you rank and promote by flexible time according to Mitose. If you answered 24 hours, you rank and promote by actual time. Many times students place expectations on themselves by using flexible time. This type of measurement also places additional expectations on the teacher or instructor to perform miracles in the education and development of the student. To assist the instructor and student in understanding expectations based on time we have “The Book”.
     “The Book” represents the actual physical participation in the dojo by teachers, students, and guests. Every person who participates in the dojo/Ryu must sign the book to gain entrance. “The Book” allows students, instructors, and others to have a clear and accurate account. It provides a means to trace the actual time and hours utilized in the attainment of knowledge. Mitose also explained that this approach has protected against persons who would study or visit with him for a few hours each month, and then use ‘flexible’ time to exaggerate their rank or knowledge.
     No Belts In This Curriculum – Mitose explained that belts came into existence with the sport of Judo, and that the Koga Ha Kosho Shorei Ryu Kempo systems which had been in existence long before, did not use belts in the Temple Dance/Escaping Arts. Therefore, the ranking system or curriculum that was used in the temples was designed so that a traveling monk/teacher could identify another teacher from the temple, no matter where in their travels they would meet. The curriculum provides an instrument which maintains the integrity of the dojo at a certain level. Within the curriculum are the rites, protocol, degree meanings, formations, etc. For persons to advance, they must pass a written examination as a prerequisite to the physical test. Historically, a person could not get into the upper degree classes in the temple/dojo, without the proper meanings or tokens.
     [It should be noted that there was and is general language, skills, and drills that are presented to persons outside the dojo. This information and instruction is used as an ‘introductory instrument’ to generate interest in self development. If a potential student becomes interested in further instruction, they would then pursue the entire Beginner’s Curriculum]
     The only way for one to gain entrance into the upper degree classes is to have the proper qualifications. Rank or level of competence is identified by their corresponding meanings, skills, ability, and protocol. This system used in the temples kept out unqualified and uninitiated students from among the ranks. With these systematic controls, there is no need for belts. Mitose pointed out that the belt system does not provide this type of protection or assurance. The Menkyo’s and students in the Ryu maintain these ancient meanings, rites, and protocols, as the method of identification for our teachers today, just as Mitose instructed they should.
     Curriculum - The curriculum is divided into three degrees, with each having its own meanings and tokens. They consist of Beginners, Disciples (Kiri Kami and Mokuroku) and Menkyo. The terminology used in the Ryu is designed for a Teacher’s school. Mitose explained that historically, only teachers could get into the temple/dojo. The temple/dojo was a place where instructors reviewed, evaluated, developed, and tested themselves. This tradition continues in the Koga Ha Kosho Shorei Ryu Kempo schools. Great Grand Master Mitose organized the Beginner’s O/Curriculum, so that non-teachers could gain entrance. You may review this Beginners information in Mitose’s last book ‘What is Self Defense? Text Book 1. If you have this book and are having difficulty understanding its usage, please feel free to contact me, Nimr R. Hassan, Menkyo Hanshi.
     Beginner’s Curriculum – The Beginner’s Curriculum is divided into three sections: Koga Ha Ninjutsu, Kosho Ryu Kempo Jiujitsu, and Shorei Ryu Kempo Karate. This is the beginners’ orientation into the working of this system. During this process, the student is introduced to the protocol, rites, language, history, tradition, anatomy, physics, geometry, skills, and drills that make up this degree/class. Following is an outline of the Beginner’s Curriculum and orientation. This orientation is 66 hours long. There are two semesters divided into 33 hour sessions. At the end of each 33 hours, a written test is given for qualification to the physical test.
     Koga Ha Ninjutsu
     • Tai Sabaki
     • Te Sabaki
     • Ashi Sabaki
     • Koppo
     Kosho Ryu Kempo Jiujitsu
     • Nage Waza
     • Ukemi Waza
     • Kansetsu Waza
     • Shime Waza
     • Atemi Waza
     Shorei Ryu Kempo Karate
     • Tsuki Waza
     • Uchi Waza
     • Uki Waza
     • Keiho
     • Jitsute

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