The History and Philosophy
Society of Japanese Blade Arts and the system of Nobi Ryu Hajutsu was started after the founder John Thacker was asked by Brent Kammen if he could teach him the sword as well. John had already been teaching Anthony Thomas whom had prior experience.
Society of Japanese Blade Arts is the charter organization that sets, regulates and oversees the requirements for membership and belt promotion in the art of Nobi Ryu Hajutsu. The first requirement is a desire to learn. The minimum requirements are either to be age 16 or for those under 16, a minimum rank of 1st Kyu/Gup in another martial art, along with the instructor in that given art premission and parental consent.
The official uniform for the society is as follows; white gi top, black gi bottoms for 5th kyu and under; upon 4thKyu promotion allowed to wear black gi top with the system crest on the left lapel and black gi bottoms. Upon 2nd Kyu promotion allowed to wear hakama instead of regular pants. Also all students are allowed to wear hakama for competions since most people equate Japanese swordsmen with hakama.
All Kyu ranks will wear a white belt with rank bars upon reaching the 6th Kyu. The rank bars are as follows: 6th Kyu= Orange 5th Kyu=Blue above the orange 4th Kyu=green 3rd Kyu=Purple 2nd Kyu=Red and 1st Kyu=Brown. Students will also be given solid colored belts for display purposes. The rational behind using the white belt is to stress the underbelt/blackbelt mentality of the days before Kyu ranks when one was either the student or an instructor. The belt was white and slowly got dirty through sweat, tears, grass stains, bruises and perhaps a little blood, until it turned blackish in color.
For the standard student, they will be promoting every six months through the Kyu ranks and would have to be breaking in a new belt that often. With this system, you wear the same belt from start to promotion to black belt. This is not to say that black belt is the goal, just the second beginning. The belt for Dan ranks will have rank bars of darkening brown shades to denote 2nd Dan and higher. There is ten levels of Dan ranks. The tenth Dan serves as a goal, and will most likely never see a living receipent of the rank. The head of the Society of Japanese Blade Arts upon reaching the time requirements after the 9th Dan will be given the responsibilities of a 10th Dan, but not the actual rank. Thus meaning he/ she will be given the responsiblity to promote 8th Dans to the 9th Dan and sign the rank certificates for all the students of the organization.