Where Did They Come From and Are They Really Worth Anything?
Another early system utilized a series of licenses called menkyo. The menkyo might also specify one of several different possible titles indicating his position with the system’s organizational structure. The ultimate certificate was the menkyo kaiden, awarded to students who had mastered every aspect of the system. Some system headmasters awarded only a single menkyo kaiden in their lifetime; to the person they chose as their successor. Isoshi Kai Karate uses both the Kyu/Dan rank structure and the Menkyo system in tandem. This is especially useful for the kyu ranks when the belt color does not change when advancing to the next more senior kyu. An example in Isoshi Kai Karate would be 3rd through 1st Kyu. All three ranks are red belt.
Figure 1: My white belt after ten years of wear and not washing it. As you can see it is quite filthy.