Testing Requirements

Time and Technique Requirements For Kyu Promotion

The examination system in aikido is not structured on competition. You will be graded on the following points:

  • Your understanding of basic technique appropriate to your level.
  • Your spontaneous movement and response appropriate for the attack.
  • Your ability to adapt your movement to the force of the attack.
  • The concentration and awareness you maintain throughout the examination.
  • Continuity of movement is important, not speed.
  • Confidence and courage are important, not ego.

Be prepared to uke for someone else of your same level during the examination period. You will be graded on your ukemi.

A technique should be demonstrated continuously both right and left until there is a signal to stop. Both irimi and tenkan movement should be used whenever applicable. You will be expected to know and respond to the Japanese terms. It is necessary to have completed the required hours of training (only one hour per day may count in computing time requirements) and it is necessary that the waiting period between each examination has expired.

 Rokyu (30 hours/3 months) 

  • Tenkan
  • Shomenuchi ikkyo and iriminage
  • Munetsuki kotegaeshi
  • Katate dori shihonage
  • Yokomenuchi shihonage
  • Kokyu tanden ho

Gokyu (60 hours/4 months)

All previous techniques plus:

  • Shomenuchi nikyo
  • Kata dori ikkyo and nikyo
  • Munetsuki kaitennage 

Yonkyu (60 hours/4 months)

All previous techniques plus:

  • Shomenuchi sankyo and yonkyo
  • Yokomenuchi ikkyo, kotegaeshi and iriminage
  • Ryote dori tenchinage and shihonage
  • Katate dori ryote mochi kokyu tanden ho

Sankyu (70 hours/4 months)

All previous techniques plus:

  • Ushiro ryokata dori ikkyo
  • Ushiro ryote dori shihonage
  • Ushiro kubi shime kotegaeshi
  • Ushiro waza kokyunage

Nikyu (80 hours/6 months)

All previous techniques plus:

  • Yokomenuchi nikyo, sankyo and yonkyo
  • Koshinage from shomenuchi, yokomenuchi, katate dori and munetsuki
  • Hanmi handachi:
    • Katate dori shihonage
    • Ryote dori shihonage
  • Suwariwaza:
    • Shomenuchi ikkyo
    • Kata dori ikkyo
    • Yokomenuchi ikkyo

Ikkyu (90 hours/6 months)

All previous techniques plus:

  • Jiyu waza:
    • Standing
    • Hanmi handachi
    • Suwariwaza
  • Tanto dori:
    • Munetsuki
    • Shomenuchi
    • Yokomenuchi

Time and Technique Requirements for Dan Promotion

Shodan (120 hours and 12 months after receiving ikkyu)

A candidate must have attended at least two seminars with Saotome Shihan and/or Ikeda Shihan since attaining ikkyu grade. During the seminar it is the responsibility of the regional instructor to inform the Shihan so that he may observe the candidate more closely.

All basic techniques and previous requirements plus:

  • Kumi tachi: First five basic kata.
  • Tanto dori:
    • A different technique from each: shomenuchi, yokomenuchi, tsuki.
    • Two different techniques from ushiro.
  • Tachi dori: A total of five different techniques. Attacks will be shomenuchi, yokomenuchi, tsuki.
  • Randori: Three people attacking.

Nidan (Minimum 30 months and approx. 400 hours of consistent training after receiving Shodan)

A candidate must have attended at least one Winter or Summer Intensive Training Camp since attaining shodan rank and within one year of the scheduled examination date. It is the responsibility of the regional instructor to inform the Shihan at that camp so that he may observe the candidate more closely.

All basic techniques and previous requirements plus:

  • Kumi tachi: First twelve basic kata.
  • Kumi jo: First six basic kata.
  • Randori: Three people attacking with shinai.

Sandan (Minimum 3 years of consistent training after receiving nidan)

All basic techniques performed to demonstrate more understanding of the relationship of basic principle to the technique with maturity and clarity.