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Become an Instructor

Become An IBDA Instructor
(International Bujinkan Dojo Association) 

“There is great joy in helping others have a better life.”

We are dedicated to helping you grow as a person, a better martial artist and to becoming a teacher of what you love in a way that it supports your life. Everyday we have people contact us at from all levels of their Ninjutsu expertise and inquire about becoming an Instructor with us at IBDA.

Most are looking for a solid home where they are free to study what they want when they want with whomever they want while they have a standardized set of proven teachings to teach their students. They are looking for a place that rank is equal to knowledge, where they can get authentic Japan certification for themselves and their students, have access to unlimited knowledge on the art, get Dojo building materials so they can earn a decent living sharing what they love (or at least pay for a training trip each year), help with their questions, attend an occasional seminar event where they make lasting friendships. Well this is what we are are all about.

Doshi Richard Van Donk began his Ninjutsu studies with Soke Hatsumi in the very early 1980’s and before his retirement from teaching he visited Soke Hatsumi at least twice a year.  We take a solid stance on having a strategic standard that benefits everyone while offering additional flexibility so everyone can grow and learn how they desire.

At IBDA you will find the following:

  • All IBDA instructors (and students) will know all the same information from 9th kyu to their dan certification level.
  • IBDA instructors will have solid reference material for themselves and students
  • IBDA Shidoshi (fully licensed) or Shidoshi-ho (junior licensed) instructors will have been taught how to teach.
  • IBDA instructors (and students) will be properly rank licensed through IBDA, signed by Doshi Richard Van Donk and will be recognized worldwide.
  • IBDA Branch Dojo instructors will have went through a Dojo Building Course so their students will know they will still be in business a year later.
  • All of their students will have the opportunity to learn whatever they desire of the Ninjutsu teachings while having a solid curriculum to follow from 10th kyu Beginner to 10th dan Master.

To Learn more……..
Please select the most appropriate category that fits you in starting your journey with us.

Category 1 – Just joining the Bujinkan Ninjutsu teachings
Category 2 – Already studying with IBDA
Category 3 – Already have other Bujinkan Kyu/Dan ranking

Category 1

Just joining the Bujinkan Ninjutsu Teachings

We encourage everyone to share what they have learned with others, in fact we have Instructor Training courses. We know that some people only want to learn for themselves and not teach the art, we respect that. I started to learn for myself only. I had already done the teaching and wanted to be a student only. That lead me to taking really deep notes like a scholar would. I was so fascinated with all hate aspects of Ninjutsu that I attended training groups, and got together with friends almost everyday to do something related to the art. That grew into my own training group. I became a teacher to others not really even thinking about it. one thing lead to the next and I was in Japan. Wow! What a life changing experience for me. I learn more and more. Took more and more notes. I filmed myself after classes in my room or at a park so that I could remember what Soke Hatsumi and other Shihan taught me so that when I went back to the USA I could learn it well.

Well you can guess the rest of the story. My notes became training manuals and my videos I made for others got offered to the world. Through these efforts I have taught, inspired and helped well over a dozen students to 10th dan and several hundred over 5th degree BlackBelt. Something that I at first did not even imagine for myself.

What does this have to do with you?

Well I have personally found that if I train students well enough then they can more easily share it with others. There are those that choose to be an instructor from the beginning. So of course that opportunity is available for you. We have a very complete step-by-step learning Curriculum laid out. Start with the Ninjutsu Shodan course, then the  Shidoshi instructor course, so that you can start a training group or even a dojo that you can study WHILE you are studying the Ninjutsu Shodan teachings that way you will qualify to become a Shidoshi-ho at Shodan, instead of at Nidan AND you will be able to become an official IBDA Branch Dojo.

Many high ranking instructors in other systems have always had a dream of training in the art of the Ninja, Ninjutsu. 

Many are just ready again to get back to that just training in something that they love. Often rank does not matter but later it does to them. We do our best to help you learn the arts and integrate our teachings into your dojo. 

Of course you will need to become a Member, enroll in our teachings (either in or out of an IBDA dojo), learn the art well enough to share it with your students. 
At 5th Kyu level we will allow you to become an IBDA training group. And at Shodan and passing the Shidoshi Teachers Training Course you can become a Shidoshi-ho and an Affiliate IBDA dojo. 

Always live your dreams

Category 2

Already studying with IBDA

Please read Just joining the Bujinkan Ninjutsu teachings first. This could be very exciting news for you to know that you will be able to learn how to earn a living doing what you love. Or at least learn how to effectively have a fun group. Or to just to become recognized as a Shidoshi-ho teacher. We really want to support you in your life pursuits.

Category 3

Already have other Bujinkan Kyu/Dan ranking

For Students joining us from other Bujinkan Affiliations

Welcome to IBDA and Thank You for considering training with us and growing in the arts together as a family. Many students and instructors decide to train with us and continue their ranking certification grading’s with us after training with other instructors in the Bujinkan system for many different reasons. Most of them want a solid standard curriculum to know why they are given a grade which we openly offer. We want all of our rank grading’s to mean something special for everyone. It is a personal journey and since we think of grading’s as a way of showing the measurement of how far a student has travel down the path and that they have effectively learned the material to a certain level. Especially as many people who first start never thinking they will become a teacher someday end up becoming a teacher to at least a few others, if not in a large dojo. Ninpo Taijutsu/ Ninjutsu training is so much fun that it is contagious.

Here are our guidelines for joining us, getting advanced ranking certification and how a student can become affiliated with IBDA. Again, We welcome you to the IBDA training!!


Everyone who trains at International Bujinkan Dojo Association™ must abide by the same guidelines for learning and advancement.
Everyone must learn and properly demonstrate the exact same material for all rank levels as taught and detailed in the kyu and dan manuals no matter where or from whom they learned it. At International Bujinkan Dojo Association™ we want all students and instructors to know the same basic material as they grow and expand their knowledge and travel the budo path to inner enlightenment. At least get the Shodan Course and start there so that you know our IBDA material as ALL IBDA rank is measured by your knowledge in our training. 


IBDA has it’s own curriculum and standard. The Bujinkan grading can be for anything. Massive knowledge or a weekend seminar. There is no standard. To us there is good and bad in that. Kindly, Your Bujinkan Hombu rank with Japan is just that your rank with Japan. 
You are now beginning your journey with IBDA and we want to support you First in Knowledge and secondly in recognition that you deserve. Depending on your grade we will allow you to move faster through our grading process as you learn our knowledge.

We will require every student to learn all of our International Bujinkan Dojo Association™ kyu and/or Dan material in order to advance to the next level.  It is the learning that is most valuable to us as martial artists and not the rank, which is only a recognition that you have learned certain material up to a certified level. Again, anyone choosing to have affiliation with Doshi Richard Van Donk at any level must know the information International Bujinkan Dojo Association™ requires of its students up to the rank level they want to be recognized at, whether that level is 9th kyu or 4th Dan.

This is especially important for Dan level persons who have decided to join our training after having reached an instructor level. These persons are required to get the Black Belt Home Study Course so they will know our kyu level material as we at International Bujinkan Dojo Association™ teach it. This will give them a reference for teaching others and it is important that all IBDA students can attend any class from any International Bujinkan Dojo Association™ instructor and be assured that the instructor can help them with their training. This International Bujinkan Dojo Association™ instructor can teach his or her class in any way they desire, adding whatever lessons they desire, as long as when the student tests they know and can demonstrate proficiently the kyu level material laid out by International Bujinkan Dojo Association™. Again, knowledge is more important than rank and this is why no one offers more Ninjutsu training information than we do at International Bujinkan Dojo Association™ and Bushindo Martial Arts University.


Every instructor must have a relationship with Doshi Richard Van Donk to test their students as he is responsible for you and the students you grade with IBDA. All instructors will need to hold at least a Shidoshi-ho (junior teaching) license to rank students to a grade one below them. Shidoshi-ho (a junior licensed teacher is usually under a Shidoshi) license and titles can be issued at Shodan (1st degree Black Belt) level if a student has received and passed the proper Shidoshi Course Training. 

As a Shidoshi-ho you can rank your students directly with IBDA up to one rank level certification below your own grade.

Shidoshi (a fully licensed master teacher) Licenses are granted by IBDA after your passing of the Godan test (5th degree) with Doshi Richard Van Donk. Your studies continue with us there is so much more to learn. You will be recommend for grade advancement as you learn the next Dan level material.

IBDA Shidoshi Training Course

Become a Teacher of the Warrior Ways of Enlightenment


  • Becoming a teacher of the “Warrior Ways of Enlightenment”
  • How to be a good teacher
  • Lesson Plans – daily, weekly, monthly and yearly
  • Handling Students
  • Your responsibility as a teacher
  • Personal growth – learning to become a good communicator, leader, thinking on your feet, quick decision making

A complete Shidoshi Teacher Training Course is coming soon to IBDA Students. Like everyone else you begin your training at 10th kyu. We all start the journey with the first level of learning the 9th kyu material. It is wonderful if you can attend our dojo classes directly or train with a certified instructor. If this is not available to you we have a complete Distant learning program that can take you as far as you want to go. Interactive Online teachings are being created as well. 

While you are training to get your blackbelt in Ninjutsu you can also study how to teach the art to others. Most students will start this Shidoshi training when they reach the 5th kyu level which is about half way to Shodan. Some will start right away. 

So that when you get your Shodan (or Nidan) you will already be trained to open up your own IBDA Ninjutsu dojo and those that complete this course will be granted a Shidoshi-ho ( a direct student under Shihan Van Donk) issued by the International Bujinkan Dojo Association.

We consider getting your Shodan a major Achievement Level. The next Achievement Level 2 would be earning your Shidoshi-ho. 

Achievement Level 3 is to advance through the 2nd dan – 5th dan educational materials we have carefully established to prepare you for the 5th dan test and once you pass this test with Doshi Richard Van Donk you will become a fully licensed teacher, a Shidoshi (Achievement Level 4). Achievement Level 5 would be becoming a Shihan. 

Although the greatest level of all is what you will feel inside, the changes you have made in your life and how that has affected others because of your hard earned efforts. These studies have proven to change lives. 

Would Sell your BlackBelt experience for $50,000?

We have asked many people over the years that have achieved Blackbelt level from us “Would you sell your Blackbelt knowledge, changes it has made in your life, impact it has made on others and the friends you have made for $50,000?” NO WAY. In one class of 20 Blackbelts all said NO to $1,000,000 – They said they would turn down one million dollars! Now that says something!

You can be a Blackbelt in techniques and
a White belt at sharing it.

It is one thing to be able to do techniques and another to be able to share the teachings in a way that others can understand it and be able to do it well. This course will train you how to set up training, create schedules, themes and select material for your classes. It will also teach you how to instruct a class and how to handle dojo situations. It will also teach you how to interact with your students.

You can be a Blackbelt in techniques and a Black belt at sharing it and a White belt at running a dojo and your school will fail..

In addition to this course will be the IBDA “Dojo Wealth Building Course” that will instruct you from A-Z on how to run a profitable dojo so you can get paid doing what you love. This course is scheduled for FALL 2020 and planned as an online study so that feedback can be given.