Thoughts on Rank
The ranks in the Bujinkan are for heart.
Those with the right heart will accept rank from their teacher without question.
The student, with their feeling of discomfort or inadequcey for their new rank, should then go away and train hard until they become worthy of the grade.
This is understanding Sakizuke.
This is the correct feeling to have when dealing with the Bujinkan grades.
Everyone in the Bujinkan receives rank based on Sakizuke ( attaining a rank before the actual skill/understanding is achieved ).
It is important to understand this and therefore not become concerned with ranking requirements to achieve a higher rank.
The Bujinkan is like an Organism, rather than an Organisation. It is alive and very natural.
Those that wish to control their dojo by creating set requirements, rules and obligations etc, often are going against natures way.
All we have to do is trust in Sokes manner of transmitting his budo and train hard to obtain Shin Gi Tai Ichi.
There are over 300 jugodan ranks in the Bujinkan world today. Soke has said that none of them are masters. His ranks are in “hope” that one day, some masters will sprout from this group. this is an important teaching. It is important for everyone to keep training and never become complacent or satisfied with their supposed rank. Rank is transparent in the real world. The teachings are to remove oneself from the constraints of material gain and reward and to understand that the “shugyo” is the most important thing. The training never ends and the master never thinks of being a master. The master thinks of himself as forever a student. This is what truly inspires. Very few people in any martial art can truly become masters. Thus, the ranks of the Bujinkan are alive and people succeed or fail just as in life. The ranks of the Bujinkan are teaching that life and budo are one in the same. Therefore, we are encouraged to walk everyday with an everyday mind and just think of “keeping on Going”. That is all that matters – Bufu ikkan!!