Sei Tensoku Ryu Organization

The Sei Tensoku Ryu is organized around a series of committees. These committees have well-defined functions and responsibilities. These committees are generally responsible for managing the organization, defining curriculum, establishing testing requirements and procedures, maintaining the online presence for the art, managing finances, approving new Dojo, and generally performing those functions necessary to coordinate, manage, and promote the activities of Tensoku Ryu.

Many boards are organized to monitor the work or results of other committees or boards. These oversight boards are intended as a means for the organization to monitor and police itself and to ensure the integrity of the organization and its operations.

Each board or committee will elect or appoint a presiding member or chairperson. This individual will organize and conduct the meetings, ensure adequate minutes are transcribed, and make assignments to committee members in the pursuit of committee goals and objectives. This individual will serve a term of one year but can serve any number of consecutive terms if so appointed or elected.

The Judan Board may, by simple majority vote, remove any member of any committee or board for inability to continue their duties for health or age reasons, lack of performance, malfeasance, blatant hostility, fraud, or other circumstances that a) render the member ineffective, b) cause the member to be unable to contribute, c) show the member to be blatantly and deliberately dishonest and deceitful or d) show the member to be unable or unwilling to participate in a meaningful manner with others in performance of committee or board activities.

The following boards are defined for the Sei Tensoku Ryu. The Tensoku Ryu Overview and Direction Board may, at its discretion, obsolete, redefine, or add new committees and boards to the organization when necessary.

Mudansha Curriculum Committee

This committee periodically reviews and if necessary makes a formal proposal for changes or updates to the Mudansha Curriculum. These proposals are submitted to the Instructor Curriculum Board which may formally adopt or reject any of the recommendations contained in the proposal.

Once a recommendation has been accepted by the Instructor Curriculum board the Mudansha Curriculum Committee is then responsible for providing updated versions of any training cards, student literature, or other documents, not maintained or controlled via the Instructor Curriculum Board, and making these documents expeditiously available, together with an effective date, to the entire organization. The committee will then provide a brief describing the curriculum changes to any other committee or board that will need this information to keep their outputs current.

Online Presence Review Committee

This committee meets at least once each calendar quarter or whenever substantial changes to online information is deemed to be urgent. The committee consistently reviews any online websites or social media pages sponsored by and dedicated to the promotion of the Art. The committee then implements or initiates changes to these pages as required to keep the information current, on point, and vibrant. Members of the committee also participate in online forums or other online services to dispel myths and inaccuracies about the Art and to promote its inclusive, tolerant and welcoming nature.

Yudansha Testing Board

This board coordinates with any school or Regional Management Committee planning to test students for the ranks of Shodan through Rokudan. It is the responsibility of this group to ensure a proper Testing Board is assembled for the examination. The board is also responsible for ensuring selected Testing Board members are properly trained and qualified to provide meaningful and constructive feedback to the student, his or her instructor, and the associated head instructor regarding areas for future improvement.

Seminar and Event Staging Committee

Seminars, training events, demonstrations, and tournaments sponsored by the Art will be planned, coordinated, and executed by this committee. Committee members will ensure the integrity and completeness of the event, recruit necessary participants and event staff, perform logistical planning, arrange for site commitments, perform necessary marketing activities, arrange for payments for products and rendered services, and ensure the successful implementation of the event.

Instructor Training Review Board

This board is responsible for periodically reviewing all instructor training facilities, tools, and methodologies utilized routinely within the Art to ensure their accuracy, validity, and viability. The goal of this board is to ensure all instructors have the training, information, skills, and background information necessary to make them successful instructors and to ensure that material is taught in every Tensoku Ryu Dojo consistently and comprehensively.

This board will periodically but not more than once per year issue new guidelines, methodologies, and improvements for the training of instructors. The board is also responsible for ensuring these guidelines are disseminated to all schools and instructors and that these guidelines are implemented throughout Sei Tensoku Ryu.

Certification Board

This board is responsible for issuing, tracking, verifying, and coordinating the delivery of verifiable certificates issued by the organization. A verifiable certificate is any certificate bearing security features and unique certificate information that allows the certificate to be verified by the organization as genuine.

The board will devise, update, and disseminate the various authorized methods for applying for certificates. The board will also put in place methods for ensuring that only valid and justifiable requests are considered.

This board will issue the following types of verifiable certificates:

  • Ranking Certificates for any achieved rank (upon request)
  • Tensoku Ryu instructors
  • Each authorized Tensoku Ryu Dojo.

The Certification Board is the only entity that can issue certificates. The board will make a permanent record of the date, certificate type, rank (if relevant), receiving party, Certificate ID, and other essential information for every certificate issued. The board is responsible for producing and sending out certificates in an expeditious manner. The goal is to issue certificates within two weeks of receiving a valid request (additional time may be allowed in cases of vacation, illness, etc.). Certificates are normally sent to the Head Instructor of a Dojo who will then present them to the recipient.

The Certification Board is also responsible for obtaining signature stamps for those who wish or need to sign certificates with a traditional signature stamp. The board will define and update as necessary the standards, procedures, and fee schedules to be used for the acquisition or replacement of an official signature stamp. The board will also maintain a facsimile of all such stamps to be used for future certificate validation purposes or for those rare circumstances where a signature stamp must be replaced. These facsimiles may expressly not be used for any other purpose.

Ranking certificates issued for ranks below Shodan will not be issued with a signature stamp. This allows the Dojo to provide their signature stamps where appropriate.

Other certificates issued by this board, including ranking certificates for Shodan and above, will bear the signature stamp of one or more of the following:

  • The highest-ranking official who participated in the Testing Board (please note that this may be inappropriate or impractical in many cases but will be used when specifically requested or as circumstances allow)
  • Any Rokudan or higher administration official for any rank below Rokudan
  • The most senior active member of the organization for any rank of Rokudan or above
  • A member of the Dojo Approval Committee for any school authorization certificate
  • A member of the Instructor Training Committee for any instructor certificate
  • Certificates stamped by any of the above officials do not preclude a Dojo from adding their signature stamps to a certificate. This might be done, for example, when a Head Instructor wishes to place his or her stamp adjacent to their signature on a ranking certificate. A certificate stamped in such a manner is no more or less legitimate than any other.

This board will also provide a certificate-validation service to investigate and report to the requester regarding the authenticity of any previously issued Tensoku Ryu certificate. The board will ensure that all such requests are provided formally in writing or via an online facility.

The board will work with the Finance Committee to periodically review and establish pricing for new certificates, certificate copies, signature stamps, and related certification functions. All revenues and expenses from these activities will be forwarded to the Finance Committee.

The board will also design and issue other types of certificates as required by the organization. These may include other types of verifiable certificates, but may also include non-verifiable certificates such as any of the following:

  • Tensoku Ryu Certificate of Merit
  • Tensoku Ryu Class Completion Certificate
  • Tensoku Ryu Achievement Award
  • Tensoku Ryu Attendance Award
  • Tensoku Ryu Award of Excellence
  • Tensoku Ryu Participation Certificate
  • Student of the Month Award
  • Instructor of the Year Award
  • Outstanding Dojo Award

The majority of the non-verifiable certificates are intended to be filled out by hand by an instructor, Head Instructor, Dojo, or other issuing entity. These certificates normally provide blank spaces where the issuing party can fill in pertinent details such as names, dates, and specifics of the certificate for the intended recipient. These certificates should be designed both to look attractive and be relatively inexpensive to reproduce. Certificates should be provided to requesting Tensoku Ryu organizations and Dojo upon request for a reasonable fee.

Marketing Committee

This committee defines and executes effective strategies, mechanisms, and programs intended to market and promote Tensoku Ryu. The committee then works with other groups such as the Online Presence Review Committee, the Finance Committee, the Seminar Planning Committee, and others as necessary to help convey their message to the broadest possible audience.

Training Compliance Board

This is a review board designed to evaluate how well the organization as a whole is adhering to student training requirements. It will take input from senior members, head instructors, instructors, and students regarding what they find when attending classes, participating in Testing Boards, seminars, and other events and where appropriate incorporate these inputs into subsequent recommendations for improvement. These recommendations may be forwarded to the Mudansha Curriculum Committee, Yudansha Testing Board, Instructor Training Review Board, Instructor Training Committee, individual head instructors, one or more instructors, or even one or more students.

Instructor Training Committee

This committee is responsible for organizing instructor training events that help ensure a consistent training methodology and information exchange throughout the organization. This committee will define the necessary training, the specific training curriculum, and the expected attendee population and will then coordinate with the Seminar and Event Staging Committee to plan and deliver specific training events.

Weapons Training Committee

The purpose of this committee is to ensure consistent weapons training throughout the organization. Its goal is to ascertain areas of improvement, identify new or revised weapons training requirements, or recognize specific lapses in weapons training and then prepare a plan for implementing any necessary changes. These changes may be forwarded to the Mudansha Curriculum Committee, the Instructor Training Review Board, the Seminar and Event Staging Committee, or an individual Head Instructor as appropriate.

Finance Committee

The Finance Committee is responsible for managing the income, expenditures, and investments of the organization. The committee is responsible for monitoring the financial well-being of the organization, establishing relevant budgets, defining spending limits, and otherwise managing and controlling the financial condition of the organization.

The committee is also charged with curtailing unnecessary expenditures and when appropriate defining new sources of revenue through the implementation of relevant fees, training programs, merchandise sales, or other programs to increase organization income. The purpose of the committee is not to enrich the coffers of the organization but to insure good financial stability while limiting the ongoing fees and expenditures of participating students, schools, and other participants.

The committee will also reimburse other committees or committee members for legitimate authorized expenditures on behalf of the Art.

Another essential function of this committee is to act as an official archival repository for critical organizational information. This information includes all financial records, meeting minutes from all the organizational boards and committees, and periodic backups of all Tensoku Ryu certificate records. Any other information of an archival nature should also be forwarded to this committee for secure and redundant archival storage.

Seminar Planning Committee

The purpose of this committee is to define regional, national, or international training or demonstration seminars. The planning should include the material to be discussed, required staffing, necessary facilities and equipment, seminar locations, expected expenditures, anticipated fees, and other relevant information that will be necessary to make the seminar(s) successful. Once planning is complete a formal seminar request is forwarded to the Seminar and Event Staging Committee for implementation.

Regional Management Committee

There is one regional management committee organized for each national or international region defined by the organization. Ideally, members of a committee will consist largely of Hachidan or more senior staff who live in or near the region, though this may not always be possible. The purpose of each committee is to help promote Tensoku Ryu schools in the region, to ensure consistency of training throughout the region, to ensure compliance with organizational policies and procedures, and to bring back suggestions for improvement from member schools located within the region. The Regional Management Committee is also responsible for guiding a new Dojo toward a successful opening.

Recruitment Board

The Recruitment Board is responsible for identifying new opportunities for the introduction of new schools in existing or emerging markets. This effort may be directed at qualified Tensoku Ryu practitioners, existing schools outside of the Tensoku Ryu organization without a strong organizational affiliation, or at senior martial artists who may wish to start a school within our system. The recruitment board is responsible for identifying candidates, promoting the system to them, defining necessary training requirements and training programs, explaining the necessary actions the candidate must take, and undertaking any other reasonable steps necessary to introduce and open a new Tensoku Ryu Dojo.

Dojo Approval Committee

The Dojo Approval Committee is responsible for reviewing the plans and qualifications for a new Tensoku Ryu Dojo. The committee will ensure the Dojo meets the organization’s current Dojo standards, that the Head Instructor has the requisite background and training, and that the Dojo is likely to be successful in its planned location. The committee will define the type and extent of any documentation that must accompany the application and will ensure that all applications comply with these requirements. The committee may decide to request modifications to an application before reconsideration, reject the application in its current form, or approve the application. Decisions should be made promptly to minimize any financial hardships on the part of the applicant. Once a Dojo application has been approved it will be forwarded to the appropriate Regional Management Committee to coordinate the implementation of the Dojo with the head instructor.

Competition Committee

This committee defines the rules and guidelines for various competitions held within the Art, including but not limited to Kata performance, weapons performance, Kumite, Sparring, and Randori. These rules and guiltiness will include performance guidelines, safety requirements, judging guidelines, age requirements, necessary rules and regulations, and other factors that promote safe, fair, and meaningful competition. New or updated rules and regulations will contain an effective date and be expediently published throughout the Art so that everyone can plan for competitions using the most current relevant guidelines.

Instructor Curriculum Board

This committee defines, reviews, and updates as necessary the curriculum material used to train Tensoku Ryu instructors. Relevant changes, particularly if they are significant are forwarded to the Instructor Training Committee so that appropriate plans can be devised for introducing the instructor population to the changes.

Implementations Review Board

The Implementations Review Board is an oversight entity that may elect to review the implementation of any program, event, policy change, or other implementation for organizational compliance, effectiveness, benefits accrued or lessons to be learned. This is not intended to be a punishment board but rather one focused on organizational-learning and self-improvement within the Art.

Tensoku Ryu Management Committee

The Tensoku Ryu Management Committee is the parent committee for the various Regional Management Committees. This committee is responsible for the overall management and integrity of the Art. The Tensoku Ryu Management Committee ensures the uniform application of policies and procedures throughout the Art. It also looks for common or consistent recommendations from the various Regional Management Committees as one form of input that may suggest areas for improvement. This committee will also assist new Regional Management Committees to get started and to assist any Regional Management Committee as may be deemed necessary. The committee will make recommendations for change in policies procedures, or training through an appropriate committee. Though not often utilized this committee can override the changes or recommendations provided by any committee managed at the Hachidan or lower level.

Dojo Review Committee

The purpose of this committee is to periodically visit and review each Dojo in the Tensoku Ryu network to ensure general compliance with guidelines, policies, and procedures and to ensure the Dojo remains in general compliance with Dojo requirements. The committee may provide suggestions, recommendations, or rewards to any Dojo based upon how well it meets current requirements and guidelines. Suggestions are simply ways in which the Dojo may improve its operations. While Suggestions are intended to be helpful they are not binding and do not need to be implemented. Recommendations are changes that the Committee feels should be implemented as soon as practical to ensure the Dojo remains compliant with current guidelines and requirements or that will help make the Dojo more successful. Recommendations should be implemented as soon as is practical. Dojos with a long list of unimplemented recommendations may find it difficult to receive approval of their next license renewal. Awards may be defined and issued by the Dojo Review Committee periodically as a way of recognizing any Dojo that meets the criteria established in the award definition.

Finances Review and Auditing Committee

This committee is responsible for periodically (no less than bi-annually) reviewing and auditing the operation, records, and financial reports of the Finance Committee. The Finances Review and Auditing Committee is an oversight board and is tasked specifically with finding, identifying, and obtaining satisfactory resolution of financial irregularities within the organization. This committee with at least annually, after careful review and audit, certify the reports of the Finance Committee or undertake such actions as may be necessary to ensure the financial integrity of these reports.

Yudansha Curriculum Board

The purpose of this committee is to identify, define, and implement any changes to the Yudansha curriculum within the Art. Where changes are significant they will be forwarded to the appropriate committee(s) for implementation or training.

Grand Master Committee

The purpose of this committee is to recommend individuals for advancement to Judan. If there are currently no active or functioning Judan practitioners in the Art then this committee may, by vote, elect a current practitioner to this rank, provided the individual is Kudan, and has served a minimum of one year in that rank. If there are existing Judan members then the normal advancement requirements are in effect. The committee may recommend someone who has the requisite qualifications, time in rank, and age. Existing Judan members will review the recommendations from this committee and vote on whether or not to accept the recommendation.

Tensoku Ryu Overview and Direction Board

This board is tasked with defining the overall direction and purpose of the Art. It will periodically review and assess current norms, practices, goals, and efforts to determine if any changes are relevant or necessary. Where changes are warranted the committee will define these changes in sufficient detail and then work with other committees to implement these changes throughout the organization.

This board will also hold an annual meeting to which all active members in good standing with a rank of Rokudan or above are invited. This meeting may be conducted as a separate event or held in conjunction with other organizational activates. The purpose of the meeting is to promote continued cooperation and positive work efforts by the senior staff, recognize successes and positive contributions by members of the senior staff, discuss areas where improvement possibilities have been identified, and present changes to the overall direction or operation of the organization. Minutes of this meeting will be distributed to all potential attendees, whether they were able to attend the meeting or not.

Judan Board

The Judan board is comprised solely of currently active senior staff who have achieved the rank of Judan. The board meets no less than once per year to review and consider the general direction, functioning, and behavior of the organization and where essential, to define strategies and efforts that may be necessary to induce changes in the organization.

This board primarily serves as an advisory and oversight entity interested in the efficient and effective operation of the various committees. It is not intended as a means of disrupting or overriding the work of other committees, though the Judan Board may do that if it deems it necessary. In normal operation, the board works with other committees to perform its function, rather than simply dictating an outcome for the organization.

The board should not produce any recommendations or changes if they feel the organization is generally operating appropriately. Board members should rely on ongoing advice and counsel with other senior staff outside of the Judan Board to effect normal changes in operations and should use the power of the Judan Board only when changes of significant magnitude are necessary or when ongoing advice and counsel have proven substantially ineffective.

Upon the recommendation of the Judan Board, any Judan member may be asked to sit in, offer guidance to, or participate in any other committee or board. This participation may, at the sole discretion of the Judan Board, be for a single meeting or for an extended period not to exceed one calendar quarter. The primary purpose of this practice is to offer guidance and recommendations to another committee so that the committee better understands the direction and purpose behind any recommendations or proposed changes. Since committees are staffed only by senior and mature practitioners the Judan Board should rarely and only in the most extreme of circumstances, force a committee to act in a manner contrary to its normal proceedings. Obtaining the rank of Judan does not bring with it the rights of dictatorship.

Recommendations or changes that result from the Judan Board must be addressed or adopted by every other branch of the organization in a timely and effective manner. The Judan Board must understand and appreciate that any such changes may be culturally and organizationally disruptive and may take a great deal of time to implement throughout the organization. As a result, the Judan Board should reserve these types of changes for only the most significant circumstances. The ideal Judan Board meeting produces no output of any kind other than a statement of appreciation for the efforts of the senior staff, Tensoku Ryu Dojo, instructors, students, and other relevant parties. An unusual Judan Board meeting would recommend specific changes in the operation, organization, behavior, or culture of the organization. These need of necessity to be rare.

Change recommendations issued by the Judan Board must be approved by at least a 60% majority of currently active Judan members. Measures not achieving the 60% majority must be tabled for future discussion or dropped. These pending or failed measures should not be discussed with anyone who is not a Judan Board member.

Another function of the Judan Board is to review and vote on any recommendations of the Grand Master Committee. Members recommended by the Grand Master Committee may be promoted to Judan by a simple majority vote of the Judan Board.

In a similar vein, the Judan Board will annually review all recommendations from senior staff for the advancement of members to the rank of Nanadan through Kudan. The recommendations, merits, qualifications, maturity, ethics, productivity, training habits, and knowledge acquisition of each candidate will be considered. A simple majority vote from the Judan board is required to promote an individual to these ranks.