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Old 03-02-2004, 03:21 AM   #1
drDalek's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 155
Number of Kyu gradings a year?

At my home dojo we have gradings every 4 months or so and we are given the option of taking 2 gradings a year for any grade below 1st kyu.

After 1st kyu you have to wait a year before testing for shodan and ofcourse after shodan there are certain organisational time requirements between gradings.

I am thinking of taking 2 gradings this year, once for 5th kyu and once for 4th and doing the same next year to end up 2nd kyu at the beginning of 2006, this is all still very much "pie in the sky" but how long in general does it take someone in your organisation to move to 1st kyu?

Also, do you have to wait a year between 1st kyu and shodan?

I took my 6th kyu grading after about 8 months of Aikido and I am planning on taking my 5th next month which would be a year after my 6th. Many people have commented that I should take the kyus a bit faster after I tell them I'm still at 6th, if only for the purposes of "leveling the field" and sorting me into the correct bracket at seminars and summer/winter schools where the instructors might not be aware of my skill level. <humble>not that I'm any good yet</humble>

Last edited by drDalek : 03-02-2004 at 03:23 AM.
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Old 03-02-2004, 04:05 PM   #2
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 20
I Just tested for Ikyu saturday, and I've been in aikido for four years. I'm not sure when i'll test for shodan... Whenever my instructer says i'm ready, i guess.
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Old 03-02-2004, 04:28 PM   #3
Ted Marr
Location: Providence, RI
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 94
I think the parent dojo where we (usually) test offers the opportunity 3 times a year. More important, though, is the training hours. And, in our dojo, whether you remember to ask our teacher to test... since he isn't likely to remember to suggest it to you. *grin* He's been a shodan for something like 5+ years, and I think it's a reflection of him not liking other people bugging him to test. Personally, I'm planning to test for 4th this spring (probably), which will be one year or so after my test for 5th. I could have tested late last year, but the scheduling of it was bad for me. Thankfully, I'm in no big hurry.
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Old 03-03-2004, 03:42 AM   #4
JJF's Avatar
Dojo: Vestfyn Aikikai Denmark
Location: Vissenbjerg
Join Date: Jul 2000
Posts: 803
Usually we test in-dojo three times a year. These can go as far as shodan I think. During Easter we have a seminar with a japanese instructor, were you can go for dan-grades, and in the autumn we have a national seminar where you can go for 3. kyu and above.

We usually tend to go for at least a year between 1. kyu and shodan - but not allways. It's the formal requirement, but in the end it depends on so many issues.

I see no problem in taking 5. and 4. kyu in one year.

Just don't focus too much on the gradings. It's the time between them that should count the most

- Jørgen Jakob Friis

Inspiration - Aspiration - Perspiration
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Old 03-03-2004, 03:53 AM   #5
PeterR's Avatar
Dojo: Shodokan Honbu (Osaka)
Location: Himeji, Japan
Join Date: Mar 2001
Posts: 3,319
We have a grading every three months.

The Shodokan system is pretty much driven by the gradings especially at the beginning - very much a step by step approach. Sure you practice what everyone else does but there are also defined things you must practice. As you advance the hours that you need between gradings increases but it is entirely possible to go through 4 kyu levels in one year - we have 8.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 03-03-2004, 04:25 AM   #6
Dojo: Ren Shin Kan
Location: Birmingham
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 362
United Kingdom
In our dojo threee months between 6th, 5th & 4th Kyu; six months 4th to 3rd & 3rd to 2nd; one year 2nd to 1st and 1st to Shodan.

Seems to work OK.
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Old 03-03-2004, 08:04 AM   #7
Dojo: Kiburn, London, UK
Location: London
Join Date: Oct 2002
Posts: 899
United Kingdom
In my first association, we had two gradings in eight years. My current one is more along Peter & Wynands'. Gradings are held every quarter, there is a minimum of 6 months between a persons kyu gradings (unless previous experience warrants faster grading) and a year between 1kyu and dan grade. Time between dan grades varies, but there's a 2 year minimum between 1st and 2nd dan.

Wynand, go for it, as long as you're enjoying it and your ukes can cope with your enthusiasm for grading
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Old 03-03-2004, 07:29 PM   #8
p00kiethebear's Avatar
Dojo: Tonbo Dojo
Location: Bainbridge Island WA
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 374
i think of the few ikkyus we have, they were all in it for more than 4 years.

"Fighting for peace is like screwing for virginity"
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Old 03-03-2004, 07:35 PM   #9
p00kiethebear's Avatar
Dojo: Tonbo Dojo
Location: Bainbridge Island WA
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 374
also, if you're only allowed 2 test per year, maybe you should space them out over more than 4 months. Have your basics really solid, I had the choice of testing poorly for 5th kyu or waiting another few months, I chose to wait and I was extremely happy with that decision because I had lots of re-inforced confidence behind my technique. When you're watching people test, you really CAN see a difference between someone who's trying to make it to the test as fast as possible, and someone who has taken the time to really understand his technique and practice.

"Fighting for peace is like screwing for virginity"
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Old 03-05-2004, 08:06 AM   #10
Location: Catalonia, Spain
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 12
In our dojo, the rule is one examination/year

(in may/june).

No test for 6th kyu.

Between 1st to Shodan, one year mininum and assistance to seminars.

Ours senseis tell us if they allow to exam for shodan.

In fact, they are doing continuous evaluation on every student.

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Old 03-08-2004, 02:49 AM   #11
Bronson's Avatar
Dojo: Seiwa Dojo and Southside Dojo
Location: Battle Creek & Kalamazoo, MI
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 1,677
Kyu exams every quarter, dan exams whenever sensei feels like it.

rokyu & gokyu--minimum 40 hours of mat time for each and instructor approval.

yonkyu & sankyu--minimum 60 hours of mat time for each and instructor approval.

nikyu & ikkyu--minimum 80 hours of mat time for each, one year between and instructor approval.

One year between ikkyu and shodan, two years before nidan, etc. You are "invited" to test for dan ranks when sensei feels you are ready.

No limit on how often you can test as long as you meet the requirements.


"A pacifist is not really a pacifist if he is unable to make a choice between violence and non-violence. A true pacifist is able to kill or maim in the blink of an eye, but at the moment of impending destruction of the enemy he chooses non-violence."
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