Oyata Te Logo

RyuShinKan
Kenshūkai

An Oyata Te School
11001 S. Jackson Ave.
Kansas City , Missouri 64137-2040
816-217-9965
Instructors: Tony Skeen, Lee Richards

Assistant Instructors: Bob Koenig, Becky Dreisewerd

Belt Rankings for Oyata Te

A long time ago, Taika decided that belts quite commonly lead to ego problems. The standard ranking system is still in place as a way to tell, at least with the kyu ranks, what the techniques and such a student should be familiar with. Taika designed a uniform with a built in belt. The Summer uniform was white, the Winter wasblack. Regardless of what rank you are, everyone looks the same. So when you go to association functions, this is the normal dress and nobody knows what rank you are unless you tell them (or they previously knew you). Dojo's still maintain the Kyu ranks as a way for instructors to keep track of the knowledge base but they are not required, at least at Kenshukai, to wear them.

Kyu Ranks

Dan Ranks

Kyu ranks were established as a way for an instructor to better tell which requirements their students should currently know and what they are currently working on. Are studends may wear a belt but are not required to as we don't have enough to challenge our memory like the strip mall McDojo's.

Yudansha is the rank people refer to as black belt. More that 25 years ago, Taika Seiyu Oyata decided that rank led to ego, which led to more bad than good. He abandoned that ranking system and went with one where all yudansha shared the same belt. Six months out of the year they wore a black belt sewn into our hakama (pants) and six months out of the year they wore a white belt sewn into our hakama. This even included 10th Dan Taika Oyata. Whether you are a 1st degree black belt or a 9th degree black belt, we all appear as one.....one family. This philosophy helped to check the ego. Taika would treat us all as the same and teach us one.

In Oyata Te we have taken this a little farther. Instead of 10 Black Belt rankins, we have stripped that down to just Yudansha. There is no quest beyond 'black belt' other than knowledge as there is no further rank to obtain. We have also stripped away the importance of titles in favor of mutual respect.

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