According to the 2014 WAA annual meeting it were decided to implement a full vocabulary of martial arts titles. The use of the titles have to be used in all official correspondence; in the dojo everything is according to the internal policy. WAA selected to use japanese titles due to communication reasons and to promote an increased understanding. WAA accept the use of common english titles as “Master” and “Grand Master” / “Grandmaster”. Nobody are allowed to use titles by own wish. Titles need to be awarded from WAA or Doshu.
Martial arts titles
This types of titles have nothing to do with the belt rank the person holds. WAA offer titles to persons that have fulfilled some proper requirements. Normally these titles are not given below a given belt rank, but they are not given automatically with belt rank. Only ranks issued directly from WAA or Doshu is valid. All titles are awarded in writing from WAA or Doshu directly on the dan certificate or on a separate certificate.TEACHER IN ACUDO RYU
Senpai is a senior student that is used as an assistant trainer.
Sensei is a japanese word that translates as “Person born before another” or “He who has gone before”. The name i normally used to indicate “teacher”. WAA offers the title to selected Acudo ryu instructors with minimum 2 dan. It is only one sensei in a dojo. If two with this title is present, the lowest belt ranked will use the title “Senpai”.
ACUDO MASTER (AM)
A title awarded by WAA or Doshu to selected black belts holders in Acudo ryu. To qualify for this title the person need to be regarded as a Master of Acudo ryu, and not only a black belt holder. You might see this title as a black belt passing the black belt examination as the top of his class.
This is a title awarded by WAA or Doshu to the senior instructor of Acudo ryu. The holder need to have minimum 2. dan.
Shihan-dai is given to persons that is regarded to be a low ranked acudo master. This is the lowest title for a master in the WAA system. A Shoshu is only REGARDED also a Master of Acudo ryu, but a Shihan-dai IS a Master of Acudo ryu. WAA offers the title to selected Acudo ryu masters with minimum 3 dan. A Shihan-dai is a minor master.
Shihan is given as a Acudo master title; “Teacher of teachers”. This indicates full mastery of all basic and advanced knowlege in Acudo ryu. Normally a Shihan have several schools each one with a Sensei. WAA offers the title to selected Acudo ryu masters with minimum 4 dan. WAA uses Shihan to name a person as a Master of Acudo ryu.
Translates to “Leading teacher” and is normally awarded before Renshi and after Shihan. This title is given to persons that is leading the teachers. This indicates full mastery of all advanced knowlege in Acudo ryu. Normally a Doshi have several with the title Shihan under himself. WAA offers the title to selected Acudo ryu masters with minimum 4 dan. WAA uses Doshi to name a person as a teacher for the Acudo teachers. The title might be awarded to persons that teach higher belts in the system, but that have a lower belt in acudo ryu.
Renshi is given as a Supreme Acudo master title,“Polished Expert”. WAA offers the title to selected Acudo masters with minimum of 5. dan. WAA uses Renshi to name the person as an Acudo master or supreme master.
This title means “Apprentice Master Teacher” and might be given under the same criterias as the Kyoshi title. WAA use this title to persons that know more than a Renshi and almost have the level Kyoshi. Normally this title will be given to a Renshi that have shown special skills. It is common to used Tassi for 5 years before awarding a Kyoshi title.
ACUDO GRAND MASTER (GM)
Kyoshi is given as a Grand Master (GM) title in Acudo ryu; “High Wizard” or “Master of Masters”. WAA offers the title to selected Acudo masters with minimum of 7. dan. Normally awarded after 10 years as Renshi or 5 years as Tassi.
Hanshi is given as a Supreme Grand Master (SGM) title in Acudo ryu. WAA offers the title to selected Acudo masters with minimum of 8 dan. The Soke of Acudo ryu will also be Hanshi, but others might also have the very same title. WAA will also use Hanshi as an honorary title for active Acudo ryu masters being over 65 years of age. Normally awarded after 15 years as Kyoshi. Practically a person using the title Hanshi within WAA is a person with an organizational responsibility as well as a spiritual responsibility. It is required that the bearer of this title is an example for others.
Soke is the title indicating the Head of Acudo ryu; “master of a family household”. There is only one Soke. This title is not awarded by WAA, but inherited directly from the last Soke. The Soke of Acudo ryu are the highest authority for the style. Soke is the title, but not the rank. A person might be the Soke of Acudo ryu, and only have 5. dan in Acudo ryu. The Soke is considered above the rank system. The Soke can if he wants award any rank to anyone. Other titles that might be used as synonyms for Soke are Taiso (Great master), Soshi (Head teacher), Doshu (Master of the Way), Soshu (Master of the art), Kensei (Sacred fist), and Kaiso (Founder of a style or senior adviser of the founder). NOTE: The founder of Acudo ryu still uses the title of Grand master (GM) and still have chosen to use the title Doshu. He is awarded Shodai-Soke and Hanshi by WAA pr October 2014, but never used those titles.
Shodai-Soke is the title that describe the founder of Acudo ryu. The Shodai-Soke title can not be given by the Soke to someone else. The title might be awarded to a future Soke by WAA; a Soke that have changed or done something very special with the style. After the Shodai-Sokes death, the new heir becomes the Soke; when the first Soke dies the new martial art is considered to be complete. The soke can if he wants give the title Shodai-Soke to another Acudo master; the lineage will the follow the other Acudo master and NOT the Soke. WAA want a tradition that the Soke give this title to his successor before his death or resignation.
Doshu is the title of the founder of Acudo ryu; “Master of the Way”. It indicates that this is the person that is giving the directions of this martial arts. The Doshu of Acudo ryu still frequently use the title of Grand master (GM), but we assume he will change to Doshu soon. On paper official work we will find our founder using the title Doshu. WAA have officially granted this title to our founder with effect from January 2015.
The President of WAA.
This is the title of the senior teacher of Acudo ryu in the World. Indicating that this is the highest teacher in Acudo ryu. WAA and Doshu award this title only temporally. When a new person get the title, the previous carrier of the title continue using the title with a year indicator, but now as a suffic. EG. Soshi 2015.
The highest ranked practitioner in a country or an owner or the head of a Acudo ryu club or organization. WAA only give this title on application from the national association.
WAA award this title to the most eager that stands out from the crowd as extra skilled in Acudo ryu or an old person that train.
This is a title awarded to persons starting to teach Acudo ryu where nobody else have given classes before. The holder need to have a high level in Acudo ryu. The title is NOT awarded to all that give classes in new territories. Only persons that do extraordinary work might get it.
This is a title that WAA award external martial arts experts that have been to motivation for our martial arts system. This title is awarded to external persons that have been evaluated to hold the level of minimum 8. dan, or internal acudo masters with time in the organization. This is the second highest honorary title. The title designate a grand master of martial arts. The title might be awarded to people inside and outside acudo ryu. Together with the title WAA will use the dan degree 8. dan or 9. dan. This to illustrate the importance for WAA.
This is a title that WAA award external martial arts experts that have been to Extraordinary motivation for our martial arts system. This title is awarded to external persons that have been evaluated to hold the level of minimum 9. dan, or internal acudo masters with long time in the organization. This is the highest honorary title in acudo ryu. The title designate a Supreme grand master of martial arts. The title might be awarded to people inside and outside acudo ryu. Together with the title WAA will award a 10. dan in Acudo ryu. This to illustrate the importance for WAA. A 10. dan in Acudo ryu will receive the title Sosai (Governor). Sosai is the highest honorary position in WAA and in the Acudo ryu system. This title will only be awarded to extraordinary persons at very rare occasions. Until now it has only been awarded one time to the Abbed in the Shaolin Temple in 2007.
For a VERY good explanation of this topic read the following article: Belts and Ranks – Black Belt Ranks and Titles