ADULT TEST REQUIREMENTS

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The study of ki is a critical component of aikido, therefore, training is both mental and physical. Laguna Hills Aikikai tests our students periodically to see that the student has gained an understanding of Aikido techniques and has the solid foundation to advance in rank. The following list contains all the techniques a student will be asked to demonstrate during belt testing, and is part of the Aikido World Alliance requirements for all affiliated dojos.

A PDF version of the test requirements for quick reference can be downloaded here.

7th KYU – White Belt with Stripe

Time and Events Requirements

Minimum 2 months and 20 hours of training

Ki Tests and Exercises

  • Seiza - Sitting Japanese style with legs folded underneath
  • Koho Tento Undo - Rolling backward and forward from sitting, kneeling and standing positions
  • Ushiro Ukemi, Rolling - Tumbling backward completely, from kneeling and standing positions
  • Mae Ukemi, Rolling - Tumbling forward completely, from kneeling and standing positions
  • Kokyudosa - Partner practice in seiza position; exercise to develop timing or "breath" power
  • Taisabaki Toshu – "Empty-hand body movement" against, Katatekosatori (cross hand) attack

Technique

  • Katatekosatori Kotegaeshi - Cross-hand wrist grab/ "Wrist-turning" throw, pin
  • Katatori Ikkyo - Lapel grab/ "First teaching" and pin
  • Katatekosatori Kokyunage - Cross-hand wrist grab/ "Timing throw;" controlling the head
6th KYU – Yellow Belt

Time and Events Requirements

Minimum 3 months and 30 hours of training after earning 7th Kyu

Ki Tests and Exercises

  • Ushiro Ukemi, Breakfall - Rolling backward with DOUBLE slap, and returning to standing position
  • Mae Ukemi, Breakfall - Falling forward with slap, and returning to standing position
  • Empty Hand Strikes – Demonstration of basic strikes; shomenuchi, yokomenuchi & munetsuki
  • Funakogi Undo - "Rowing exercise"
  • Shomenuchi Ikkyo Undo - Raising and lowering the arms as if cutting with a sword
  • Taisabaki Toshu – "Empty-hand body movement" against, Katatori (shoulder grab) & Katatetori (same side hand) attacks.

Technique

  • Shomenuchi Kokyunage - Downward strike to the head/ "Timing throw;" controlling the head
  • Katatetori Shihonage - Same side wrist grab/ "Four directions throw"
  • Shomenuchi Iriminage - Downward strike to the head/ "Entering throw"
  • Katatori Nikyo - Lapel grab/ "Second teaching" and pin
5th KYU – Yellow Belt with Stripe

Time and Events Requirements

Minimum 4 months and 40 hours of training after earning 6th Kyu.

Ki Tests and Exercises

  • Hanmi No Kamae - "Half-body stance"
  • Zengo Undo - Raising and lowering arms as if cutting with a sword, with 180 degree pivoting motion
  • Happo Undo - Raising and lowering arms with movement as if cutting in eight directions
  • Tekubikosa Undo - "Crossing the wrists exercise;" high and low variations required
  • Kamae with Bokken - Demonstration of five basic sword stances
  • Bokken and Jo Suburi - Demonstration of basic strikes with sword and staff

Technique

  • Shomenuchi Kotegaeshi - Downward strike to the head/ "Wrist turning" throw and pin
  • Shomenuchi Ikkyo - Downward strike to the head/ "First teaching" and pin
  • Katatetori Sankyo - Same side wrist grab/ "Third teaching;" both nage waza (throwing) and katame waza (pinning) variations required
  • Yokomenuchi Sokumen Iriminage - Strike to the side of the head/ "Side of the face, Entering throw" (technique performed in the manner of Sayu Undo)
  • Munetsuki Kotegaeshi - Thrusting strike to the chest / "Wrist turning" throw and pin
  • Katatetori Kaitenage - Same side wrist grab/ "Rotary throw." Tenkan variation required
4th KYU – Blue Belt

Time and Events Requirements

Minimum 5 months and 50 hours of training since earning 5th Kyu

Ki Tests and Exercises

  • Sayu Choyaku Undo - "Left and right exercise;" with stepping movement
  • Udefuri Choyaku Undo - "Swinging the arms exercise" with stepping and turning motion
  • Ushirotori Undo - "Grasped from behind exercise"
  • Ushirotekubitori Undo - "Wrists grasped from behind exercise"
  • Shikko - Walking and turning on one’s knees
  • Taisabaki Toshu - "Empty-hand body movement" against Shomenuchi, Yokomenuchi and Munetsuki attacks.

Technique

  • Yokomenuchi Shihonage - Strike to the side of the head/ "Four directions throw"
  • Ushirotekubitori Kokyunage - Wrists grasped from behind/ "Timing throw;" variation in the manner of Ushirotekubitori Undo required
  • Ushirotekubitori Kotegaeshi - Wrists grasped from behind/ "Wrist turning" throw and pin
  • Katatori Yonkyo - Lapel grab/ "Fourth teaching" and pin
  • Ryotetori Tenchinage - Grasping both wrists/ "Heaven and Earth throw"
  • Ryotetori Kokyunage - Grasping both wrists/ "Timing throw;" pivot throw variations required
  • Jo Kagrame #1 & 2 – First & second mirrored movement with staff
3rd KYU – Blue Belt with Stripe

Time and Events Requirements

Minimum 6 months and 60 hours of training since earning 4th Kyu

Ki Tests and Exercises

  • Yoko Ukemi - "Side fall" exercise, from squatting and standing position, from tumbling forward, and while hand is grasped by a partner
  • Tenkan Undo - "Spinning change exercise;" turning body movement (direct pivot and step-with-pivot variations required)

Technique

  • Ushirohijitori Kotegaeshi - Grasping elbows from behind/ "Wrist-turning" throw and pin
  • Munetsuki Kokyunage - Thrusting strike to the chest / "Timing throw;" pivot-throw variation required
  • Katatori Gokyo - Lapel grab/ "Fifth teaching" and pin
  • Ushirotori Kokyunage - Grasping from behind (bearhug)/ "Timing throw;" executed in the manner of Ushirotori Undo
  • Ryotetori Kaitenage - Grasping both wrists/ "Rotary throw"
  • Katateryotetori Nikyo - Grasping a forearm with both hands/ "Second teaching" and pin
  • Suwariwaza ( The following techniques performed from seated (seiza) position ):
    • Shomenuchi Kokyunage
    • Shomenuchi Ikkyo
    • Katatori Nikyo
  • Bokken Kata I - First sword form - 13 movements ("Happo Giri" cutting in eight directions)
  • Jo Kagrame #3 – Third mirrored movement with staff
  • Jiyu Waza - "Free technique" defense against grasping attack, no pinning techniques. Katatetori, katateryotetori, katatori, ryokatatori or ushirotekubitori, based on test committee’s request
2nd KYU – Brown Belt

Time and Events Requirements

  • Minimum 8 months and 80 hours of training since earning 3rd Kyu
  • Prior attendance at 1 AWA seminar since earning 3rd kyu
  • Prior attendance at 1 AWA camp OR Kangeiko OR Shochugeiko**
  • **( minimum 6 hours attendance at each event )

Ki Tests and Exercises

  • Agura no Shisei - Sitting cross legged
  • Agaranai Karada - Unliftable body
  • Kokyuho - Demonstration of breath training

Technique

  • Ryokatatori Kokyunage - Grasping both lapels/ "Timing throw;" pivot-throw variations required
  • Ushirokatatori Kokyunage - Grasping both shoulders from behind/ "Timing throw;" variation with bowing movement required
  • Katateryotetori Kokyunage - Grasping a forearm with both hands/ "Timing throw"
  • Ryokatatori Kotegaeshi - Grasping both lapels / "Wrist-turning" throw, pin
  • Katatori Menuchi Iriminage - Lapel grab with shomenuchi or yokomenuchi to head/ "Entering throw"
  • Hanmi Hantachi Waza (the following techniques performed from a seated (seiza) position against a standing attacker:
    • Katatetori Shihonage o Katatetori Sankyo
    • Munetsuki Kotegaeshi
  • Ryotetori Koshinage - Grasping both wrists/ "Hip throw"
  • Maegeri Kokyunage - Front snapping kick/ "Timing throw"
  • Jiyu Waza - "Free technique;" defense against a striking attack, no pinning techniques. Shomenuchi, yokomenuchi or munestuki, based on test committee’s request.
  • Jo Kagrame #4 – Fourth mirrored movement with staff
  • Jo Kata I - First staff form; 22 movements
1st KYU – Brown Belt with Stripe

Time and Events Requirements

  • Minimum 10 months and 100 hours of training since earning 2nd Kyu
  • Prior attendance at 1 AWA Camp OR Shochugeiko OR Kangeiko since earning 2nd Kyu
  • Prior attendance at 1 Yudansha kai since earning 2nd Kyu
  • 1st kyu test video taped and sent to Sato sensei for pre shodan test review

Ki Tests and Exercises

  • Tai Sabaki with Bokken - Body movement and striking with the sword against an opponent, against shomenuchi, yokomenuchi, sliding munetsuki, and stepping munetsuki attacks

Technique

  • Ushirotekubitori Jujinage - Grasp both wrists from behind/ entwining the arms in the shape of the Japanese number "10" (a cross) and throwing
  • Yokomenuchi Sudori - Strike to the side of the head/ "Disappearing" throw
  • Katateryotetori Kotegaeshi - Grasping a forearm with both hands/ "Wrist turning" throw and pin
  • Munetsuki Sumiotoshi - Thrusting attack to the chest/ "Corner drop" throw, both irimi & tenkan
  • Katatori Ganmenuchi Ikkyo - Lapel grab with straight punch to face/ "First teaching" and pin
  • Tantodori – "Seizing the knife", unarmed defense against knife attacks; minimum 3 techniques each against shomenuchi, yokomenuchi, and munetsuki attacks required
  • Jo Kagrame #5 – Fifth mirrored movement with staff
  • Bokken Kata II - Second sword form; 13 movements
  • Randori - "Seizing chaos;" defense against multiple attackers (3)
Shodan – Black Belt, 1st Degree

Time and Events Requirements

  • Minimum 12 months and 120 hours of training since earning 1st Kyu
  • Attendance at 1 Yudansha kai OR Instructor seminar since earning 1st kyu
  • Attendance at 1 AWA seminar since earning 1st kyu
  • Prior attendance at 1 Yudansha kai since earning 2nd Kyu
  • (minimum 10 hours attendance at Yudansha kai, minimum 6 hours attendance at AWA seminar)

Two written essays required:

  • "What is your understanding of what is Aikido ?"
  • "What is your understanding of what is Shugyo?"

Technique

  • Munetsuki - Free demonstration, nage waza & katame waza; minimum five arts
  • Yokomenuchi - Free demonstration, nage waza & katame waza; minimum five arts
  • Ushirotekubitori - Free demonstration, nage waza & katame waza; minimum five arts
  • Ryotetori - Free demonstration, nage waza & katame waza; minimum five arts
  • Hanmi Hantachi - Free technique, no pinning
  • Bokken Dori - "Seizing the wooden sword:" unarmed defense against sword attack; minimum 3 techniques each against shomenuchi, yokomenuchi, and munetsuki attacks required
  • Jo Kata II - Second staff form; 22 movements
  • Randori - Defense against multiple attackers (4)