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Black Belt Home Study Course


Obtaining a recognized certified rank in the martial arts (of any level) is a rewarding and exciting achievement. We look forward to helping you to become the best martial artist that you can be!

We have put a lot of hard work and extra effort into assuring that you get a strong curriculum loaded with valuable information in a step by step progressive learning process. Testing for rank gives you the necessary feedback to let you know how you are doing on your path. Your Instructor shall help you through this process. If for some reason there is no Bujinkan instructor near you we invite you to study our Ninjutsu Home Study Program to get started in the art so you can build a relationship with a certified IBDA instructor that is nearest to you. Perhaps over time you will become the instructor in your area.

Please note that whether the student studies in an actual physical dojo with us or they study only from the Ninjutsu BlackBelt Home Study Course, all testing is done with the same high standards. Our students that live far away from a dojo or just want to learn on their own receive the same quality of instruction as in a dojo. Please understand that this standard is not always met by other Ninjutsu or Bujinkan instructors whose requirements for the same ranking level may be less than ours. We want our students to be well educated and to be proud of the ranks that they earn. What good is having a rank that you cannot represent with pride and recognition of accomplishment?

All Bujinkan Budo Taijutsu Kyu and Dan rank certifications awarded by IBDA are issued by the Hombu Dojo in Japan sealed by Soke Masaaki Hatsumi and are also signed by Shihan Richard Van Donk. You can be assured that your rank certification will be recognized worldwide. Please beware of wannabe’s and so-called secret Ninja Clans whose instructor was taught privately by an old Japanese neighbor that died. It might be that their claim is true - but it also might not be and how would you verify it? That’s why we just recommend that you choose a credible instructor that is recognized by everyone as valid. Both Grandmaster Hatsumi and Master Richard Van Donk are recognized members of the prestigious World Head of Family Sokeship Council.


ALL Students who wish to TEST for rank with us must first have their IBDA membership dues current and be enrolled for Ninjutsu study as a direct student of one of our IBDA certified Dojos or registered as a Bushindo University Ninjutsu Home Study Course student.

See Or for list of certified instructors.

There are No Exceptions
We do not and will not rank students that train with other Bujinkan instructors. We understand that some unscrupulous Bujinkan teachers will do this. All rank should be done between you and your instructor – they are the one guiding you on the martial arts path. It is wrong for another instructor to put you in this situation. Realize that if you take that rank you have now become their student. So think carefully before taking a temporary rank grade. We appreciate your dedication and are sure that you want a standard so that you can obtain rank that you can be proud of.

This can be done in person at an IBDA dojo, at IBDA seminars or IBDA Tai Kais or during private sessions with Shihan Richard Van Donk or another certified IBDA

We encourage you to set a goal of first degree BlackBelt. We look forward to that day when we present you with your BlackBelt in our Art. You will know that you have earned your BlackBelt and you will be able to wear your belt proudly anywhere! We will do what we can to help you get there, and you’ll find that other life goals will also fall into place along the way as you grow. This manual is written with the intent to help you get there.

If you are testing with a buddy then do your rank testing at the same time. Stay on track together. Each person testing for rank must submit a separate rank testing certification fee as certificates are issued for each person. Your IBDA membership dues must be current.

Testing Process

Your IBDA membership dues must be current.

How long between kyu level rank testings?
There is usually a three month training period required between tests to provide for the internalization of the Taijutsu (whole body motion). We would like to see you test regularly. You will be told by the instructor testing you when your next test date is. If for some reason this is not stated then it is always about 3 months. If you are doing really well or have not been testing regularly then the instructor may tell you to test again as soon as you are ready. This is rare but it does happen for those that pay attention to all the small details in their training and train more regularly.

Provide your testing instructor your kyu level reports
Please review the kyu requirements list carefully to see if a report is required. Prepare this report before your testing time. If this needs to come to the IBDA hombu you can send this by e-mail ahead of time, or handwrite it or print it and include it when testing. We will not process the test results until this report is received.

Remember, practice does not make perfect - Only perfect practice makes perfect!

For more information about TESTING PROCESS AND GUIDELINES please check your Shodan Manual.


All Bujiinkan Ninjutsu (aka Budo Taijutsu) ranking certificates come from Soke Masaaki Hatsumi in Noda, Japan and are issued and certified by Shihan Richard Van Donk.

CURRENT CERTIFICATION FEES (as of 9/01/2011 - fees may fluctuate with the yen):

  • $50 for each in person testing kyu level certificate,
  • $50 for each DVD/Web testing kyu level certification, 
  • $195 for 1st Dan certification,
  • $275 for 2nd Dan,
  • Call for 3rd Dan and above.

To be properly ranked in this art you are required to obtain ranking certificates beginning with 9th kyu. If you do not have a certificate you do not hold that rank. It is your responsibility to submit the application form at the bottom to the International Bujinkan Dojo Association headquarters at Bushindo University when you wish to be tested and to attach the proper testing fee. In the event that you do not pass the fee will be returned at your request, or we will hold it until you are ready to try again. To be eligible to apply for rank testing your annual IBDA membership dues must be current.

Good Luck, and as Soke Hatsumi says, "Keepa Going" !

To print just the form below after you hit PRINT go to 'page range' and choose page 3 only

Complete and return this form with correct test fee

YES! I wish to be tested for my next rank.

______ DVD/Web test for _________ Kyu level- written feedback $50

______ Please schedule me for In-Person _____ Dan Testing

______ Please schedule me for In-Person Kyu Testing $50

Enclosed is fee of $________

____ My Membership is Current
____ My Membership fee is enclosed ($40US)

The latest International Bujinkan Dojo ranking certificate I currently hold is

_______________ received from__________________________________

on ______________ date.

I now wish to test for _____________ (circle one) Kyu / Dan


Name     ___________________________________

Address ____________________________________


City __________________________________ State ____________

Zip ___________        

E-mail address to send my results: ______________________________

Telephone # ________________________ Date : ______/______/_______

Mail to Bushindo, P.O. Box 1489, Middletown, CA 95461




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