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Shu Ha Ri

Along with our belt system we have the concept of shu ha ri (or "shuhari.")

Pronounced “shoo hah ree.” As is often the way for Japanese the words, they cannot be directly translated but they explain concepts. Shu ha ri can be approximately translated to “learn, detach, transcend.”

 Shu - "protect", "obey." Learning through following. Fundamental level.

 Ha - "detach", "digress." Breaking from strict following. Interpretation of techniques and methods  previously  assimilated.


 Ri - "leave", "separate." Transcending. Moving beyond what you have been taught. Self directed research and development of not just new techniques but new principles and ways of understanding. Moving beyond set forms


Shuhari is a concept and not a set award or level. It is very personal. The white belt should follow their seniors and sensei precisely. The black belt should be finding their own path. Their can be no greater reward for sensei than the student transcending their teaching and helping other students start their journey..

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