Shoden: Shoden is the beginning level of the transmission. In it, the student learns the basic movements and techniques of the school. It can be seen as the solid foundation on which a strong technique is built upon during the next two levels.
Chūden: Chūden is the intermediate level of the transmission. During this step of the swordsman’s education he has to master all intermediate techniques, become proficient in shiai (duels) and knowledgeable in the philosophy and history of the school.
Okuden: Okuden is the inner or master level of the transmission. The highest and most secret teachings and techniques are transmitted in this level. After fully mastering it, the student receives the menkyo-kaiden scroll (license of full mastery of the school).