Arjan de Vries
As I was browsing through the kyu grades on the Aikikai Hombu dojo I noticed that they do not have sixth kyu.
Are there any 'rules' on this? I have 6th kyu in my requirements.
What is your opinion about the 6th kyu?
I think the kyu grades are very much a matter of individual dojo and instructor. When I was in the UK, there were six kyu grades, but givng them was an intenral matter, without reference to the Aikikai.
Here in Japan, we are one of the few dojos to follow the Hombu's kyu system and have our dojo members become members of the Aikikai on obtaining 5th kyu. However, the examination and syllabus is a matter for each dojo to decide, but it is assumed that we will follow the Aikikai's guidelines as a bare minimum.
In Europe there is a tradition of having 6 kyu ranks, but there is also a tradition of seeing shodan as a kind of halfway point, which comes at the end of a laborious descent of the kyu grades. So at shodan and even 1st kyu, you can begin to teach. I have never come across kyu grades and shodan yudansha teaching in Japan, except in very special circumstances. In Japan shodan is where you really start and so it is comparatively easier to obtain.