Testing and Promotions


Ranking in aikido, as in many other Japanese martial arts, adopts a standard Kyu-Dan system. The United States Aikido Federation (USAF) follows the convention of five Kyu ranks (white belt) followed by eight Dan ranks (black belt). Unlike many competitive martial arts, however, testing for rank in aikido is not mandatory. Nevertheless it is an effective way to gauge your skills and technical proficiency in the art, formalizing your training experience and progress.

For each rank there is a minimum number of practice days that are prerequisite for testing. The following table will provide you with a guideline for the USAF testing requirements. Remember, there is no rush for testing.
If you feel you are ready to test, you should consult your instructor before making a decision. Also, it is important to familiarize yourself with the testing procedure and etiquette before the actual test.

The New York Aikikai holds three tests a year for Kyu ranks, and one test for Dan ranks. Dan tests are also offered at USAF summer and winter camps, as well as major seminars. Please complete the downloadable application form for Dan or Kyu tests, and submit it to the New York Aikikai in advance. If you are from another USAF dojo and would like to test at the New York Aikikai, please have your instructor accompany you on the day of the test.

Shomenuchi Ikkyo (omote & ura)
Shomenuchi Iriminage
Katatetori Shihonage (omote & ura)
Ryotetori Tenchinage (omote & ura)
Tsuki Kotegaeshi
Ushiro Tekubitori Kotegaeshi (omote & ura)
Morotetori Kokyuho (omote & ura)

Shomenuchi Nikkyo (omote & ura)
Yokomenuchi Shihonage (omote & ura)
Tsuki Iriminage
Ushiro Tekubitori Sankyo (omote & ura)
Ushiro Ryokatatori Kotegaeshi (omote & ura)
Suwari waza Shomenuchi Ikkyo
Suwari waza Katatori Nikkyo
Suwari waza Katatori Sankyo

3RD KYU (100 DAYS)
Yokomenuchi Iriminage (2 ways)
Yokomenuchi Kotegaeshi
Tsuki Kaitennage (uchi & soto)
Ushiro Ryokatatori Sankyo
Morotetori Iriminage (2 ways)
Shomenuchi Sankyo
Suwari waza Shomenuchi Iriminage
Suwari waza Shomenuchi Nikkyo
Hanmi handachi Katatetori Shihonage
Hanmi handachi Katatetori Kaitennage


2ND KYU (200 DAYS)
Shomenuchi Shihonage
Shomenuchi Kaitennage
Yokomenuchi Gokyo
Ushiro Tekubitori Shihonage
Ushiro Tekubitori Jujinage
Ushiro Kubishime Koshinage
Morotetori Nikkyo
Hanmi handanchi Shomenuchi Iriminage
Hanmi handanchi Katatetori Nikkyo
Hanmi handanchi Yokomenuchi Kotegaeshi
Freestyle: 2 attackers

1ST KYU (300 DAYS)
Katatori menuchi - 5 techniques
Yokomenuchi - 5 techniques
Morotetori - 5 techniques
Shomenuchi - 5 techniques
Tsuki - 5 Techniques
Ryotetori - 5 techniques
Koshinage - 5 techniques
Hanmi handachi Ushiro Waza - 5 techniques
Tanto tori
Freestyle: 3 attackers

All of 1-st kyu requirements
Swari waza shomenuchi ikkyo-gokyo
Tachi tori
Jo tori and Jo waza
Henka Waza
Freestyle: 4 attackers

All of Shodan requirements
Swari waza shomenuchi ikkyo-gokyo
Tachi tori - 2 attackers
Kaeshi Waza
Freestyle: 5 attackers

Must attend two seminars per year

YONDAN (4+ years after Sandan)

Subject of Sandan & Yondan exam to be determined
by examiner at the time of the exam.

Hanmi Handachi - Uke standing and Nage sitting
Jotori - Jo techniques
Katatetori - One hand grab to wrist
Katatori - One hand grab to collar
Morotetori - Two hands on one
Ryotetori - Both wrists held from the front
Shomenuchi - Strike to forehead
Suwariwaza - Techniques from sitting
Tachitori - Attack with sword
Tantotori - Attack with knife
Tsuki - Thrust or punch
Ushiro Kubishime - Choke from behind and wrist grab
Ushiro Ryokatatori - Both shoulders held from behind
Ushiro Tekubitori - Both wrists held from behind
Ushiro Waza - Any attack from behind