Students training in the Child, Youth, Junior Teen, Senior Teen and Parent classes progress through the Colored Belt ranking system (yellow belt through advanced black belt). This system was designed specifically for students under the age of 18. It constantly undergoes refinements so it may continue to meet the needs of younger students. Students training in the Adult Class progress through a traditional Kyu & Dan ranking system. This system has been used in Japan for various martial arts for decades. Students wear a white belt for the first four Kyu levels and then move to a brown belt for the last two levels, finishing with a black belt once the Dan levels are reached. Weapons class students add a stripe onto the end of their colored belts for each level successfully completed.
Testing happens when sensei feels a student is ready for the next level. Sensei will let each student know when he feels they are ready. While training diligently toward the next level here are some important points for students and parents to keep in mind.
- Regular attendance should be a cornerstone of training.
- Student conduct and focus in class is very important. Expectations increase with rank and age.
- Students are expected to be training in the right spirit and not to be too attached to reaching the next level. The important part is the journey not the destination. Training diligently with the principles of Aikido in mind will bring students to the next level precisely when they are ready.
- Students must constantly work to improve their Aikido techniques. Learning the form is only the beginning. Polishing the form is an on-going process.
- Students need to have trained for an appropriate period of time. The training-hour guidelines will give students and parents an idea for how long it typically takes to advance from one level to the next. Depending on each student's development of the points described above, testing may happen with more or less hours than the training-hour guidelines state.
Students and parents are always welcome to talk to sensei about testing.
Adults move through 6 levels (6th kyu through 1st kyu) before reaching black belt. Students who have earned 2nd kyu or 1st kyu wear a brown belt. Black belt levels range from 1st degree (shodan) to 8th degree (hachidan). Kyu ranks are awarded by BigRock Aikikai and the Canadian Aikido Federation while black belt ranks are awarded by Aikikai World Headquarters in Tokyo, Japan.
Adult Technical Requirements
Students under the age of 18 advance through a colored belt ranking system ranging from yellow belt through black belt. A written test accompanies the technical requirements for each level. These ranks are all awarded by BigRock Aikikai.
Youth Technical Requirements
Youth Written Tests
Students under the age of 18 training in the weapons only class advance through a belt-stripe ranking system where a single stripe is attached for each rank earned. Students need to have earned at least a green belt rank before they are accepted into the weapons class. A written test accompanies the technical requirements for each level. These ranks are all awarded by BigRock Aikikai.