EtiquetteAdult LevelsYouth Levels

Grading / Promotions

Gradings are generally held three times a year: February, May, and November. Students with good attendance records and are currently registered for classes are eligible for examination, and will be invited to grade if they are prepared and ready. Grading Forms must be submitted with the Fees, two weeks before the test date.

Please click here for the Grading Form

Grading Fees:
13 Kyu to 7 Kyu: $20
6 Kyu to 5 Kyu: $30
4 Kyu to 3 Kyu: $40
2 Kyu to 1 Kyu: $ 50

During grading tests:

- Students must put on Dogi during gradings.

- Intoxicated students will not be allowed to grade.

- Students taking 2nd Kyu gradings and above must arrange for their own ukemi.

- Video recording and photograph taking are prohibited during the grading test.

- Candidates must be current registered students of the Dojo.

Attributes that are considered when grading a student: Attitude, Skills and Knowledge. These are the same attributes that determine a student's ability in school as well as an employee's viability to his/her employer.

A student is measured from the first day in class, and throughout his/her aikido life. An understanding of Aikido begins from following the discipline and etiquette; the first things that confront the aikido beginner.

Technique and skill are nothing without the proper attitude, understanding and knowledge that create the flow and depth in each executed technique. This comes from consistent and sincere practice.

Traditionally, students do not ask to be graded. Their responsibility is to study, learn, and practice sincerely. When the student is ready, the Sensei will allow the student to be graded.

Similarly, students do not request to be leaders, nor choose to want to be an instructor. While the aspiration may be there, it is the Sensei that selects students of a certain quality and ability for instructor training. This sometimes occurs as early as the first day of the student's aikido training. For these students, more is expected from them in terms of behaviour, responsibility, and ability. Training will also include other aspects of decorum, protocol, administrative matters; as well as personally assisting Sensei where necessary.

The higher one goes in Aikido, the more refined his/her technique and attitude are expected to be.

The kyu grades are the foundational steps in obtaining the basic knowledge, dexterity of movement, balance and skills necessary for further study into Aikido.

Female students who attain 6th Kyu are allowed to put on dark blue hakama.
Black hakama will only be worn by Yudansha.

At Sho Dan, the student begins the trek into the essence of Aikido. Practising from Sho Dan, the student begins to realise how all that has been learned integrates and blends into the flow of Aiki. A student must be 15 years and above to be eligible to be tested for Sho Dan.

The word "sho", or "chu" in mandarin, means "initial" and "original". And so, the Sho Dan is the actual beginner in Aikido.

Sho Dan

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Webpages & Illustrations by Rafael Oei Victoria, BC, Canada
Updated: 19-Oct-2020