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While testing and rank advancement in Aikido are not required, we believe that it is a valuable experience to help mark and demonstrate the progress of personal growth in the art of Aikido. Examinations are scheduled four times a year, occurring around the seasonal solstice and equinox. Use the content below to guide you through the process of rank advancement. A glossary of Aikido terminology can be found here. 


  1. Submit a Request-To-Examine at least one week before the exam date. At this time, this is just a verbal conversation with an instructor. 
  2. Check and confirm that you have the requisite training hours and time between examinations
  3. Select an uke/training partner and begin more one-on-one practice. It's acceptable to train with just that partner during exam-prep classes before the exam.
  4. Examination fees must be paid before the exam, either by online payment, check or cash.
  5. 6th Kyu Exams fees $90/adult   $60/student     (added cost covers ASU membership) 
  6. 5th through 1st Kyu exam fees are: $45/adult   $35/student


Examinations are scheduled around Saturday's closest to Solstice and Equinoxes. 
The tentative exam schedule for 2023 is as follows: 

March 20th                 July 1st             September 23rd                 December 16th

Grading Criteria

The examination system in Aikido is not structured on competition, instead, it is considered a demonstration of skill that has been gained through earnest training. Each exam acts as a reflection of the examinee's spirit in the face of being tested.

You will be graded on the following:

  • Your understanding of basic techniques 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 movements 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 number of days of training (each training day counts once, regardless of the number of hours, in computing time requirements) and the waiting period between each examination must have expired.

Requirements for Kyu Promotion

Rokyu (30 days / 3 months)

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


Gokyu (60 days / 4 months): All previous techniques plus

  • Shomenuchi nikyo
  • Kata dori ikkyo and nikyo
  • Munetsuki kaitennage
  • Kumitachi and Kumijo #1


Yonkyu (60 days / 4 months): All previous techniques plus

  • Shomenuchi sankyo and yonkyo
  • Yokomenuchi ikkyo, kotegaeshi and


  • Ryote dori tenchinage and shihonage
  • Katate dori ryote mochi kokyu tanden ho
  • Kumitachi and Kumijo #1 and 2


Sankyu (70 days / 4 months): All previous techniques plus

  • Ushiro ryokata dori ikkyo
  • Ushiro ryote dori shihonage
  • Ushiro kubi shime kotegaeshi
  • Ushiro waza kokyunage
  • Uke-waza demonstration
  • Kumitachi and Kumijo #1 through 3


Nikyu (80 days / 6 months): All previous techniques plus

  • Yokomenuchi nikyo, sankyo, and yonkyo
  • Koshinage from shomenuchi, katate dori, yokomenuchi, and munetsuki
  • Hanmi handachi:
    • Katate dori shihonage
    • Ryote dori shihonage
  • Suwariwaza:
    • Shomenuchi ikkyo
    • Kata dori ikkyo
    • Yokomenuchi ikkyo
  • Kumitachi and Kumijo #1 through 4


Ikkyu (90 days / 6 months): All previous techniques plus

  • Jiyu waza:
    • Standing
    • Hanmi handachi
    • Suwariwaza
  • Tanto dori:
    • Munetsuki
    • Shomenuchi
    • Yokomenuchi
  • Kumitachi and Kumijo #1 through 5




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