In Japanese BUDO (war way), teaching is done, among others, through the MENKYO system (let go, let you escape), which is a traditional way of transferring knowledge. This system is very popular in Japan, but it was not welcomed by Westerners who were the first to meet him there. Probably the reason lay in too superficial knowledge of him, like equals
For fear that it will be misunderstood and consequently they will be judged by other masters as possessors of defective degrees and titles. These doubts also led to deliberately concealing the rules of MENKYO’s activities against their own students, to prevent them from gaining these MENKYO degrees and titles, because – in their opinion – the champion’s rank could be weakened. These teachers tried to hide the facts from the students behind the veil of seemingly exotic behaviors. The precursor of the MENKYO system in Western Europe can be considered Sensei Okuyama Shizan, who being a representative of the traditional martial art – Hakko Ryu Ju Jutsu, realized the transmission of knowledge through this system. At present, the school conducted by Sensei Okuyama enjoys great respect and a strong position among various martial arts, which may be proof of MENKYO’s value and confirmation of the unjust concerns of other masters.


Trying to compare the traditional system of MENKYO with other methods of assessment used by teachers, which, among other things, show achievements of a juvenile through scoring, notes, diplomas, etc., it should be remembered that it is closely related to the culture of the East and attempts to understand it without knowing it (although partial) prove very difficult.


Teaching in this system takes place through occupational sessions, covering given batches of material, systematized in such a way as to reveal to the student successive stages of knowledge contained in the School. At the end of this specific course, students receive a degree or title (depending on the stage) and its confirmation, regardless of whether they were the best or the worst in the group. Only later proceedings are to determine the degree of understanding of this material part by the student. It gives him the opportunity to think about a fuller understanding of the knowledge he could get. Will it do it depends only on him.


MENKYO is a precisely objective system and its value, among other things, results from putting the student on the possibility of self-realization. Emphasis is therefore placed on the responsibility of the student who should find his place on his own. Obtaining a degree in MENKYO accelerates the process of manifesting the “ego” of the student, showing his real interior. Other assessment systems may not reveal the true nature of the student, because limiting, inhibiting development through grades may result in false obedience and insincere desire to maintain contact with the source of their knowledge (teacher, school). In this relationship, the student will rather seek to obtain a degree, and not seek to understand real proficiency in the martial art.


MENKYO obliges, however, to maintain continuous contact with the source also because it requires constant return to the basic techniques. This allows you to look at them from the perspective of the gained experience and carry out a re-analysis of their message.


With other teaching and assessment systems, achieving the DAN master degree often results in disconnection from the teacher and “self-employment” work, which in the absence of experience can cause huge losses for both the instructor and the whole school. Out-of-date losses will be borne primarily by students who receive incomplete knowledge, learn an incorrect technique, not based on a solid foundation.
From the participant observation, it appears that many people who were appointed SHIHAN were too greedy to learn, bypassing the essential details of science. Even SHIHAN may not notice what was previously noticed by the environment, he must be modest and ready to receive science. That is why the MENKYO system has enormous educational qualities, although it may shock especially those who would like to isolate it from Japanese culture and mentality.
In MENKYO, the ending of learning takes place after receiving the title of MENKYO KAIDEN, it means “ending the message” and allows you to start your own WAY. When analyzing MENKYO, it is necessary to emphasize the form of individual teaching. In traditional martial arts schools, this is referred to as UCHI DESHI (student at home). A student deciding on this form of deepening knowledge lives with the master, participates in his work, observes the teacher being available 24 hours a day. Sometimes he has the opportunity to possess a secret that he would not see in a different situation, but whether he will notice it depends on his attitude.


At the end, it can be stated that the teacher functioning in the “MENKYO” system does not assess the student’s achievements, but through training and training seminars allows him to discover and progress in further grades. It is the student’s disposition and openness that depends on the student. If he is ready, he will know and understand what has been shown to him, if not – the secrets will remain secrets. This way of teaching requires a great deal of self-discipline and broad perception. At each level [DAN], the work is focused on many details – from less significant to the most important, while striving for maximum release from the form of technology and, consequently, the individual ability to apply it in a given situation.

In preparing the above, I used the following books:
Riesser Thierry “Yawara Hakko Ryu” Paris 1983
Okuyama Shizan “Nihon Goshindo Hakko-ryu” 1987 notebook 6/7
Zenon Liszkiewicz