The Shintaido program consists of several disciplines which are studied individually as well as jointly: a certain class may focus exclusively on one discipline (for example shintaido bojutsu only), while another may emphasize one particular technique applied across all disciplines (for example sagari-irimi stepping as applied in karate, bojutsu, and kenjutsu).
Each discipline has its own curriculum with a very specific structure for techniques and ranking. This system is closely modeled on the ranking tradition found in other Japanese art forms, from other martial arts to calligraphy and even flower arrangements. What is commonly known as the « black belt » level corresponds to 1st (Shodan) through 5th dan (Godan), the latter being the highest rank awarded in Shintaido. Ranks below 1st dan are called « kyu » and are organized in descending order, 1st kyu being the highest rank and 10th kyu the lowest.