The term Hanshi is a “Shogo” or title. These are typically honorific and refer specifically to teaching titles.

In most martial arts the term “Hanshi” is specifically reserved for the highest teacher of a system and often is the same as the founder if he or she is still alive. Typically, “Hanshi refers to those holding 8th dan and above by may be used for those above 6th dan if they are the headmaster of a school.

Also see: Shinan

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