Ranking in the Bujinkan can be an interesting thing, especially if you are unfamiliar with how the Japanese look at ranking. I am sharing two links below to great articles to read more about this concept. I would like to add one thing, though that might help understand this concept. Soke and the Japanese Shihan often issue rank much like the story in the Bible regarding the master and the talents. To paraphrase, a master gives each of three servants different amounts of money to see how they will use the money. Two of the servants invest the money wisely and increase the amount they return to the master and he rewards them. One servant did nothing with it, he hid it so only he had it. The master was upset with him for this, he took no risk to try and make what he had better. We might be given a rank in order to see what we do with it. Do we keep training and learning, ultimately sharing it with others. Or do we now think we know everything and thus don't need to keep training, and instead want to teach others, proudly posting their rank certificate, but afraid to show their lack of skill, or afraid to admit there is still more to learn. Remember, there is always more to learn, keep training!
Shane Sensei is a licensed Shidoshi in the Bujinkan and member of the Shidoshi-Kai. He has trained in the Bujinkan since 1998 and regularly travels to Japan for training.