Thank you for your interest in the Mon Jin program offered by the Chapel Hill Quest Center. The Mon Jin students can easily be identified by the black gi they are allowed to wear. What may not be so easily identifiable is the meaning behind our Mon Jin program.
Long ago and in a land far away lived our lineage ancestors whose blood, sweat and tears produced the very martial art we study today in this dojo. Compared to today the process for becoming a skilled martial artist was very different. In this age there were no martial arts dojos open to the public. If you wanted to become a martial artist but you were not fortunate enough to be born into a warrior clan, the process would be difficult if not impossible.
If you were driven to become a student of the martial arts you would have to find a teacher that was willing to accept you as a student. You might have found a dojo and asked for acceptance only to hear a simple “No” in return. Even if you were fortunate enough to hear the answer “Yes”, it was still not as easy as putting on a gi and starting to learn to punch and kick – you still had to prove yourself worthy as a student. Your commitment, desire, discipline, and perseverance had to be strong and unwavering. Your duties for the first year may have been to cut the wood, prepare the food, clean the dojo, and whatever else needed to be done or was asked of you. After about a year you may have been called on to serve as a training partner for other students. Being a training partner served two roles: to make sure you were committed and to start your physical training.
After this probationary period, if you were still committed to becoming a warrior and your teacher thought you were worthy, you would be allowed to start your formal training. This formal training began with an oath called a keppan (blood oath). A keppan was in no way a mere formality. It was seen as a binding promise, not only between you and your teacher but between you and your community and the very lineage you studied. After this oath you were called Mon Jin, which means gate person or one who has entered into the training. In Japan the tori gate symbolizes that something special, something different, something extraordinary lies within. The tori gate in our dojo is that very symbol.
We are looking for the same qualities and commitment from candidates for our Mon Jin program here at the Chapel Hill Quest Center that our linage ancestors had to possess. Honesty, loyalty, integrity, virtue, commitment and perseverance are the kinds of qualities we are looking for in our Mon Jin candidates. Once you have achieved the rank of yellow-black belt you may begin to petition your teacher for entrance into the Mon Jin program. By applying and putting on the black gi you are making a serious commitment; a commitment to yourself, your teacher, your community and our lineage that you will achieve the Shodan level. You are saying that nothing will stand in your way. Anything worth achieving will have challenges. You are making a commitment to overcome those challenges and achieve your goal. Please think long and hard before committing yourself to this path.
Mon Jin Requirements
- Must be enrolled in the Youth and Adult ninjutsu program
- Must be a yellow-black belt rank
- Must show commitment to the art and to the well-being of your fellow students
- Complete the mon jin application (ask your instructors or front desk ninja)
- Write an essay telling us why you want to be Mon Jin and how you plan to achieve your shodan (first degree black belt)
- Meet with an instructor to discuss your training goals and plans to achieve shodan
- Wait. Once you have completed all of the steps, you will be awarded with your Mon Jin gi during a graduation ceremony when your instructors decide you are ready
Once You Have Achieved Mon Jin
Congratulations! You have received your black gi and are now a source of inspiration and information for other dojo students. As a member of mon jin you have access to our Mon Jin only classes, which are offered throughout the week. The Youth Mon Jin class meets at 1:15pm on Saturdays and the Adult classes are at 7:15pm on Wednesdays and 9am on Saturdays. As a member of Mon Jin you are also eligible to become a member of our Coach and Trainer team.