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Old 09-26-2002, 04:17 AM   #1
Dojo: Pärnu Aikidoclub Singitai
Location: Pärnu, Estonia
Join Date: Mar 2002
Posts: 322
General Shodan test requirements?

Are there somewhat standardized requirements for Shodan test? What are those? What is usually done in Shodan tests? For how long they usually ask? What was "asked" in your test?

Estonian Aikikai
Riveta sportsclub
(hopefully a future shodan)
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Old 09-26-2002, 06:06 AM   #2
Creature_of_the_id's Avatar
Dojo: Alnwick aikido club (UKAU)
Location: Newcastle, England
Join Date: Dec 2000
Posts: 217
In my association our shodan test consists of:

A section in which the examiner names attacks and you do which ever pins and throws come to mind for that attack. (this section is basicly to get you into your rhythm and calm your nerves).

we then have a section of Kata. In which the 5 basic pins are done (irimi and tenkan) from shomen uchi attack (apart from gokyo, which is done from yokomen). Very slowly and extremely precisely.

We have a section of defense against a knife. 6 different attacks 2 or 3 different techniques from each attack, with suitable disarmament.

We have a section of randori. only against one opponent.

of course the examiners are looking for many things within the test. But, you are not asked to take it unless the head of the association is sure you are competant enough to pass. Which is slightly different to previous grades, since in all kyu grades you can grade when you want to and when you feel you are good enough... but if you are not good enough you fail. (but you get feedback over where to improve)

gotta dash for lunch

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Old 09-26-2002, 07:08 AM   #3
JJF's Avatar
Dojo: Vestfyn Aikikai Denmark
Location: Vissenbjerg
Join Date: Jul 2000
Posts: 801
In Danish Aikikai the student prepares a program based on a curriculum where it is stated which types of techniques the student should demonstrate. This inlcudes:

suwariwaza (ikkyo-gokyo, Iriminage, kotegaeshi)

Hamni handachi (at least 5 variations and until instructed to stop)

Tachiwaza (3 categories from this list: Ryote tori, Aihamni katate tori, Gyakuhamni katate tori, Sode tori, Katatori men uchi, Yokomen, Tsuki, Shomen, Morote, Ushirowaza - at least five variations in each cat.

tanto tori (10 variations)

And then something quite specific for students of Nishio Shihan:

Ken tai ken Shihonage

Ken tai jo Shihonage

Usually before the grading one of the Tachiwaza categories is decided by the grading committee.

This type of program usually lasts for about 15-20 minutes.

- Jørgen Jakob Friis

Inspiration - Aspiration - Perspiration
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Old 09-26-2002, 12:13 PM   #4
Alan Drysdale
Dojo: Enmei Dojo
Location: Florida
Join Date: Oct 2001
Posts: 28
I think all the different organizations have different requirements, and sometimes the requirements are not even standard within organizations.
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Old 09-26-2002, 01:03 PM   #5
Larry Feldman
Dojo: Atlanta School of Aikido
Location: Atlanta, GA
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 373
It does vary by organization.

My previus organization had 50 techniques,and 2 weapons katas. followed by randori. TaiGi - a kind of Kata were added.

My current organization has a fairly stringent test. 287 techniques, and about an hours worth of bokken and jo katas.
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Old 09-26-2002, 01:12 PM   #6
akiy's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 6,011
Eek -- 287 techniques plus an hours' worth of weapons work?

I think our last batch of shodan tests were about fifteen to twenty minutes each.

There's another batch of yudansha exams coming up in about a week; I'll see about timing them.

-- Jun

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Old 09-26-2002, 02:29 PM   #7
Larry Feldman
Dojo: Atlanta School of Aikido
Location: Atlanta, GA
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 373
Eek was my first impression of the requirements as well. It's a long test. It is usually given over 2 days. 1 day for Aikido (and randori), 1 for weapons. Once you have the skills it really becomes somewhat of a physical requirement for the Aikido - a mental test with all the weapons.

It is also the current requirements for Nidan. Obviously the techniques are expected to be more fluid/polished.
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Old 09-26-2002, 04:54 PM   #8
MikeE's Avatar
Dojo: Midwest Center For Movement & Aikido Bukou Dojos
Location: Hudson, WI
Join Date: Jul 2000
Posts: 407
I started in the Aikikai testing tradition with specific techniques and such.

In the IAA we do:

Minimum 1 year assistantship under Chief Instructor

1. Demonstrate 5 different defenses against any attacks selected by the examiner (usually 6 or 7 different attacks)

2. Must know all the names of the basic Aiki

Taiso and Aikido Arts.

3. Must be able to execute any leads from

any basic arts as examiner may specify

4. Must have the ability to instruct the basic


5. Jo-nage (throwing with jo).

6. Tanto tori (disarming knife attack).

7. Jo Jiyuwaza

8. Must be able to execute any jogi or kengi.

9. Defenses against kicks, ground defenses.

10. Yonin-gakari (4 person randori).

11. Kokyudosa

Mike Ellefson
Midwest Center
For Movement &
Aikido Bukou
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Old 09-26-2002, 06:01 PM   #9
Dojo: Federación Mexicana de Aikido
Location: Mexico City
Join Date: Mar 2002
Posts: 188
These are our school´s shodan requirements (were Aikikai/I.A.F. affiliated):

5 different defenses against:

1.Katatori Menuchi





5 different forms of Koshinage

5 different forms of Ushiro Hanmi Handachi

Tantotori (freestyle)

Jotori (optional)

Tachitori (optional too)

Henkawaza (the examiner calls the technique)

Freestyle against 4 ukes.

That´s it, it usually takes about 15 minutes.
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