Our work is organized in Community Circles, with as much empowerment of individual students and teachers as possible, also documented in the Curriculum, which is split into Omote/Kyu degrees and the Okuden/Kaiden MasterLevel part.
It doesn't squeeze students into a set system. The Omote Kyu Curriculum provides a flexible, comprehensive introduction to martial arts, while the Okuden/Kaiden Master Level Curriculum is designed to help practitioners develop their individual mastership in a creative, open minded way.
It is the intention that the style and students grow during martial arts practice, instead of being narrowed down by rules from another century. Missing Link stands for life long martial arts, not short term athletic challenge.
The Omote Curriculum features five Kyu degrees from yellow to brown belt. The last step of this student curriculum is the Kuro Obi, the black belt, which incorporates the knowledge and ability of the complete Omoto curriculum. The Kuro Obi exam concludes the student level.
As opposed to other martial arts styles, we don't believe in collecting a growing number of black belts following the Kuro Obi exam. We believe that martial artists who truly wish to continue learning after their black belt exam (and aim to grow personally) should strive to be experts through their own will and motivation, working hard on their own individual development. On their way to mastership they should also give something back to the community and actively work in the further development of Missing Link Martial Arts.
These are gained in a two-part intensive workshop. In the course of this workshop all participants will practice together as one group, hosted by examination instructors belonging to the Master or Founder Circle. Afterwards the participants present their individual topics, which they have worked on for an extensive period of time. The participants appear as a teacher for their own topic and take part in all of the lessons offered by their fellow participants as students.
After this practical part the group gathers for feedback, followed by the decision whether or not each participant's performance fulfilled the quality expectations to grant a master level. The group decides, with the examination instructors having the right to veto decisions.
To achieve a master level degree the content, presentation and teaching of the participant's master level project should meet a high standard – as well as the participant's appearance as a member of the examination group and a decent practitioner of the Martial Arts.
The curriculum is part of the book "Missing Links of Martial Arts". Teachers can build their own syllabus based on this curriculum, but we also provide ready made examples. An ever growing online database - the Online Dojo - collects Missing Link knowledge. You can get in touch here.