The graduation system is divided in 7 main degrees, like in the traditional Japanese Martial Arts and they are represented by the colour of the belt: white, yellow, orange, green, blue, brown and black. Due to the complexity and variety of the program, every main degree is divided in 3 secondary degrees (like in some Chinese styles) represented by some small transversal line of the colour of the successively degree (for example, the white belt will have the line in yellow; the yellow will have the line in orange, etc.). So there are 3 degrees more the changing colour step for a total of 28 degrees.
The brown belt will have the line in grey colour, for distinguish them to the one who has already others black belts in some others Martial Arts. In fact, if somebody has already the Black belts in others disciplines, it will recognize them by some black lines on the other top of the belt (for example, a yellow belt that is already black belt in some others Martial Arts, will have the orange lines in one top and the black lines on the other top of the belt). In the case that the ShenDoka is already 4' dan (Master), the lines will be in silver colour in the place of black. In the case that the ShenDoka will be 7' dan (Grand Master), the lines will be gold.
All of that system of graduation is to remark the importance of many and different studies, even in the initial stage. It's important to recognize who is already black belt, even if, in another different Martial Art, to give them more respect. That's because every serious practitioner knows how hard is to get that degree.
About the "black belt" of ShenDo, the dan are the result of his studies in others Martial Arts. That means that if the ShenDoKa wants to get the 1' dan, he must become black belt in another Martial Art. If he wants to get the 2' dan, he must become black belt in 2 different Martial Arts and so on.
The "dan" in the ShenDo is the real confirm of a deep and serious study made with a balance between the "Yang" (hard) and the "Yin" (soft) styles, always according with his own desire and aspirations. It's not possible to consider different graduations (with the only purpose to obtain more Dan) have acquired the only degree of Black belt in the stuff of study that are already part of the ShenDo or in a similar style and the reason is not to help the "hunting of Dan" like to often it happen. The subject of study can be signed on the belt in the case that the trainee has obtained the 4 dan in the specific matter. The purpose of the Black belt of the ShenDo has to be the knowledge of many Martial Arts to move as near as possible to what was the "ancient Art".
The Dan of the ShenDo are the real recognition of a serious study with an open mind, so have always to be a balancing between Yin and Yang stile. It's not admissible to study only Yin or Yang styles. Only in this way, generation by generation, the ShenDo will be more and more similar to the Ancient Art. The "dan" on the black belt is represented by the transversal line with the red purple colour. In the case that the ShenDoKa has the 4' dan (Master) in one of the Martial Arts he studied, the line corresponding to that Art will be silver in the place of red. In the case that he will have the 7' dan (Grand Master) in one of the Martial Arts he studied, the corresponding degree will be gold in the place of red or silver. (For example if the ShenDoKa has studied deep 5 Martial Arts and in one of them is 4' dan, in another 7' dan and in all the others 1, 2, 3 dan, in the black belt there will be one gold line, one silver line and the rest all red line
When the ShenDoka will be 4' dan of ShenDo, the black belt must have a small yellow line on the border of the belt.
When the ShenDoka will be 7' dan of ShenDo, the black belt must have a small red purple line on the border of the belt