Grading Performance Guideline

Aikido grading does not promote competition, as rank is never as important as having the right learning attitude and spirit. However, the following performance guideline must be met should a student be ready for grading.

In general, techniques should be performed clearly and continuously on both sides (left and right), showing both Irimi (Omote) and Tenkan (Ura) application where applicable. Only stop when instructed by the Examiner. To be qualified, the students going for grading must complete the minimum required period of training (each training session counted as 1 day of training) and the waiting period between each examination has expired.

Mudansha (Kyu Grading)
  • Ability to maintain the 5 elements throughout: Posture (Kamae), Centre line (Chuosen), Projection (Hara kara no Tegatana), Distance (Maai) and Timing (Seishunkan).

  • Understanding of basic techniques appropriate to one's level clearly demonstrated. 

  • Ability to response appropriately and spontaneously to attacks

  • Concentration and awareness (Zanshin) maintained throughout.

  • Maintenance of movement flow and continuity throughout the technique performance. Speed is only secondary. 

  • Portray confidence and calmness during the performance..

  • Each student will partner with someone else of the same or comparable level during the examination period. Each student will be graded as both nage and uke. The ability to attack, receive, connect, move and fall will be one of the grading criteria for the uke role.

Yudansha (Dan Grading)

The requirement for Yudansha grading is based on the demonstration of the understanding of Aikido principles, through the performance of proper kihon waza, clearly and precisely. No variation is expected in the Dan grading.

The following points are critical:

  • Understanding of techniques' application and their principles, particularly for kihon waza, demonstrated through the execution and performance.

  • Proper hanmi (stance) shown at all time during the examination.

  • Proper control: of one's own centre and of the uke's centre, throughout the execution of the techniques. 

  • Application of Kokyo (breath) power appropriate to the techniques

  • Demonstration of proper pinning technique to signal the conflict has been neutralised.

  • Ability to maintain the 5 elements throughout: Posture (Kamae), Centre line (Chuosen), Projection (Hara kara no Tegatana), Distance (Maai) and Timing (Seishunkan).

  • Concentration and awareness (Zanshin) maintained throughout.

The Proper Role of Uke in Grading

During grading, it is especially necessary that Uke is able to remain calm and mindful. His/her Ukemi should be appropriate to the situation and reflective of the power that he/she receives from the Nage. Nage/Uke is neither a friend nor a foe. You should not resist a movement or a fall to make your partner look bad. Neither should you show off dramatic movements to make Nage look good when Nage’s power and control are not there. A dishonest Uke does not manifest our true Aikido values.