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Old 01-16-2004, 08:28 AM   #4
Location: Maidenhead
Join Date: Dec 2000
Posts: 167
United Kingdom
This is a very interesting topic for me at the moment as I have been designing a new grading syllabus for kyu grades.

We have an existing syllabus, however I think there are some fundamental problems with it and am proposing a new structure for consideration by the head of my organisation (at the request of the organisation's committee).

There are several basic questions that one needs to consider when designing a syllabus, for instance:

1. Should the kyu grading syllabus include every standard technique or just a sample?

2. Should different grades focus on different areas, eg ukemi, suwariwaza, jiyuwaza,

3. Should/could gradings be objectively scored, and how?

4. Should there be minimum hour/month requirements, and why, if the grading is a fair assessment on its own?

5. Should there be any comparison with grades from other organisations?

6. What, if anything, is expected at each level in addition to 'knowing' the techniques. For instance, what about maai, zanshin, flow, attitude, attendance record, ability to deal with different uke, quality of attacks and so on. How can these be assessed?

7. As a student, is it clear to me why techniques a,b and c are required at 4th kyu and d,e,f at 3rd kyu? Is it level of difficulty, groupings based on aikido principles? Purely random?

I've been graded under three different organisations during my aikido career, and I've never seen any well documented expectations for each kyu grade level other than lists of techniques. The usual argument is that the examinar 'knows' what they want, but if so, how come it is rarely/never put into words? There must be some out there somewhere....

If it is possible to tell the difference between, say, a 2nd kyu and 3rd kyu, can this be written down? I think that in the west, where we spend a long time going through the kyu grades, this begins to matter. Lists of techniques alone make sense in an environment where it takes 2-3 years to shodan, but if it takes 8+ years?

Has anyone here designed a grading syllabus from scratch? If so, what principles did you use?

I'd be interested in any thoughts or advice!!



Last edited by justinm : 01-16-2004 at 08:30 AM.

Justin McCarthy
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