The NiN Ranking System
The Process- Students complete individual curricular pathways. With each pathway they earn a patch. Each ranking level below requires a certain number of additional new pathways to complete. Ryū/Dragon is considered the "Nature Black Belt" level. Adult/guardians submit student Pathway achievement to Pathways Dojo for tracking purposes. When a student has completed the required pathways for a rank, the student leader applies for rank promotion with Pathways Dojo. Instructor Certification follows a similar trajectory based on the number of Pathways led by an leader. For example, once you have led students through the first 4 Pathways, you can apply for Kame/Turle Instructor Certification.
NiN, 忍, Level 1. This is where it all starts. Requirements = complete the 4 skills of the NiN Pathway. Total Pathways = 1
Kame, 亀, (Turtle). Level 2. Requirements = complete 3 additional pathways. Recommended: Knife Safety, Chi (Earth) and Sui (water) pathway. A turtle is a creature of Earth and Water. Total Pathways = 4
Ootori, 鳳凰, (Phoenix/Firebird). Level 3. Requirements = complete 3 additional pathways. Recommended: Ka (Fire), Fu (Wind), + Ku (Void). The phoenix connects with fire, wind, and disappears/reappears from the void. Total Pathways = 7
Tora (Tiger). Level 4. Requirements = complete 4 new pathways. 2 ANT Paths (choice) + 2 Nature Paths (choice). The tiger knows the arts of invisibility, survival, and self defense (ANT). Total Pathways = 11
Ryū 龍 (Dragon). Level 5. This is the equivalent of our "Nature Black Belt"! Requirements = complete 5 new pathways. 3 Remaining ANT Paths complete. + 2 New Nature Paths. The dragon knows all the pathways. Total Pathways = 16