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Old 05-20-2002, 02:49 AM   #1
Jorx
Dojo: Pärnu Aikidoclub Singitai
Location: Pärnu, Estonia
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Belt rankings in Aikido

I know this has come up probably somewhere before but... those who know exactly will be glad to show how smart they are...

Yup I know that the coloured belt system formed in Britain. Japan had just white belt (students) and black belt (seniors) which was implemented by Jigoro Kano. So has Aikido most ordinarily - white - kyu; black - dan.

BUT I know that many dojos use coloured belts (most commonly brown for sempai 3rd to 1st kyu). And I'm sick of explaining to non-Aikido persons that I have a white belt after three years and why. So what would be let's say karate's equivalents (I hope that word exists in english)? (karate because one day my sensei pointed out that in Estonia there exist three martial arts for the ordinary man: karate; judo and kickboxing )

My understanding:
6th kyu = yellow
5th kyu = orange
4th kyu = green
3rd kyu = blue
2nd kyu = purple
1st kyu = brown
all dan grades = black but if you want to be poshy you can add golden stripes etc etc...

Correct me when I'm wrong and let me know of your opinions. And please: no long discussions on the subject that "a belt is not imortant, it's to hold up your pants" I know that... that's not what this thread is about.

Jorgen
Estonian Aikikai
Riveta Sportsclub
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Old 05-20-2002, 03:22 AM   #2
Jim ashby
Dojo: Phoenix Coventry
Location: Coventry, England
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In our organisation we have a system which appears to work well.
Before first grading Red (for danger)
6th Kyu White
5th Kyu Yellow
4th Kyu Orange
3rd Kyu Green
2nd Kyu Blue
1st Kyu Brown
1st Dan Black

We don't tend to put stripes on black belts.
Hope this helps.
Have fun.

Vir Obesus Stola Saeptus
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Old 05-20-2002, 04:01 AM   #3
Chris Tan
Dojo: Aikido Shinju-Kai
Location: Singapore
Join Date: May 2002
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In our organization, we use the following system:

Grades
Children: 6-12 years old
Beginners White
10th kyu Yellow
9th kyu Orange
8th kyu Green
7th kyu Purple
6th kyu Blue
5th kyu Blue with gold tip
4th kyu Brown
3rd kyu Brown with gold tip
2nd kyu Black

Adult Kyu Grades
Beginners White
6th kyu Blue
5th kyu Blue with gold tip
4th kyu Brown
3rd kyu Brown with gold tip
2nd kyu Black
1st kyu Black with gold tip

Jorx, pls disregard my private msg to you as I only saw this thread after I sent out that post.
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Old 05-20-2002, 04:15 AM   #4
jk
Location: Indonesia
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Hi Chris,

Do you happen to know how, and, more importantly, why your organization came up with this particular ranking scheme? Just curious, especially since I think students should have more worthwhile things to do than spend money on belts...

Regards,
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Old 05-20-2002, 05:17 AM   #5
erikmenzel
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Hmm, that looks so complicated.

At our club the belt color scheme is much much much easier to remember:

5th kyu white belt
4th kyu white belt
3th kyu white belt
2nd kyu white belt
1st kyu white belt

(and now the shocker to some people )
shodan white belt
nidan white belt
sandan white belt
...

Simple isnt it.

Erik Jurrien Menzel
kokoro o makuru taisanmen ni hirake
Personal:www.kuipers-menzel.com
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Old 05-20-2002, 07:45 AM   #6
Arianah
Dojo: Aikido of Norwalk
Location: CT
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For AAA:

Before first rank: white
7th: white with stripe
6th: yellow
5th: yellow w/ stripe
4th: blue
3rd: blue w/ stripe
2nd: brown
1st: (you guessed it!) brown w/ stripe

shodan+: black

Sarah

Out of clutter, find simplicity.
From discord, find harmony.
In the middle of difficulty, lies opportunity.
-Albert Einstein
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Old 05-20-2002, 08:33 AM   #7
Tim Griffiths
Dojo: Nes Ziona Aikikai
Location: Suzhou, China
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All kyu grades: White belt.

Shodan: Black belt + hakama.

Nidan: Black belt with gold stripe.

Sandan: Black belt with gold stripe, gold stripe down sides of black silk hakama.

Yondan: Gold belt, gold stripe down sides of black silk hakama, pair of golden dragons of back of (black silk) gi.

Godan: Gold belt, gold stripes down hakama, pair of golden dragons on gi, UV lamps mounted under hakama to give purple glow on mat during techniques.

Rokudan: Gold belt, hakama and gi. UV lights under hakama, red dragon on back of gi, special gold pointy hat.

Shichidan: Gold belt, hakama and gi. Gold pointy hat with bobble. Small children spread rose petals ahead of movement.

Hachidan: Gold belt, hakama and gi. Gold pointy hat with gold bobble and earflaps, with red stripe. Zen 'emptyness' symbol on gi. Techniques preceded by ritual cleansing of mat area by shinto priest.

Kyudan: Brilliant white belt hakama and gi. Very large floppy white hat. Small tape player under hakama plays celestial music. Velvet underwear gives of blue flashes of static electricity when walking.

Jyudan: White gi, black belt and hakama. Small ponytail, string of beads around neck.



Tim

If one makes a distinction between the dojo and the battlefield, or being in your bedroom or in public, then when the time comes there will be no opportunity to make amends. (Hagakure)
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Old 05-20-2002, 09:05 AM   #8
deepsoup
Dojo: Sheffield Shodokan Dojo
Location: Sheffield, UK
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Re: Belt rankings in Aikido

Quote:
Originally posted by Jorx
Yup I know that the coloured belt system formed in Britain. Japan had just white belt (students) and black belt (seniors) which was implemented by Jigoro Kano.
According to Jigoro Kano's book "Kodokan Judo", the system implemented by Kano was actually:
beginner- 4th Kyu white belt
3rd kyu - 1st kyu brown belt
Shodan black belt

Did the (other) coloured belts used in Judo really originate in Britain? Does anyone know more about how that came about?

Aikido was first introduced to the UK by visiting Judo instructors, who generally taught it to their Judo students at first.
So perhaps it just made sense for them to use the same system that the students were already used to.

I've noticed that a lot of Aikido organisations also use hakama to denote rank. So perhaps when we're talking about belt colours in different organisations, we should also mention when people start wearing hakama (if at all).

The system used in Shodokan in the UK goes:

beginner - white
8th kyu - red
7th kyu - red
6th kyu - red
5th kyu - yellow
4th kyu - orange
3rd kyu - green
2nd kyu - blue
1st kyu - brown
dan grades - black

And nobody wears hakama, regardless of rank.

Sean
x
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Old 05-20-2002, 09:19 AM   #9
jimbaker
Dojo: Aikido of Norfolk/ Aikido Society of Memphis
Location: Norfolk, VA
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Quote:
Originally posted by Tim Griffiths
All kyu grades: White belt.

Shodan: Black belt + hakama....

Jyudan: White gi, black belt and hakama. Small ponytail, string of beads around neck.

Tim
Tim,
You almost made my coffee come out of my nose!

Thanks,

jimbaker
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Old 05-20-2002, 10:21 AM   #10
jk
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Talking

Classic, Tim...

I think this one deserves enshrinement in the humor section...

Regards,
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Old 05-20-2002, 10:43 AM   #11
erikmenzel
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Quote:
Originally posted by Tim Griffiths

Jyudan: White gi, black belt and hakama. Small ponytail, string of beads around neck.
Briljant

Thanks, you brightened up my day!

Erik Jurrien Menzel
kokoro o makuru taisanmen ni hirake
Personal:www.kuipers-menzel.com
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Old 05-20-2002, 04:08 PM   #12
Bronson
 
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My sensei's dojo and all his student's affiliate dojo:
rokkyu: blue
gokyu: blue
yonkyu: purple
sankyu: purple
nikyu: brown
ikkyu: brown
shodan and above: black

(no stripes at any rank)

hakama when begin to assistant instruct.

The kicker of this is that our organization allows it's individual dojo to adopt it's own policy on this. Some use white for all kyu ranks, some use white until nikyu then brown, then black for shodan. I believe that some dojo in our organization forego the hakama and some may require it from day one, still others require it from day one for women but not men (if I remember correctly, which is happening less and less these days )

It makes working with people at camps interesting

Bronson

"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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Old 05-20-2002, 04:21 PM   #13
Arianah
Dojo: Aikido of Norwalk
Location: CT
Join Date: Nov 2001
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Quote:
Originally posted by deepsoupDid the (other) coloured belts used in Judo really originate in Britain? Does anyone know more about how that came about?
Good, informative article:
http://www.concentric.net/~Budokai/articles/belts.htm

Sarah

Out of clutter, find simplicity.
From discord, find harmony.
In the middle of difficulty, lies opportunity.
-Albert Einstein
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Old 05-20-2002, 07:33 PM   #14
batemanb
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by Tim Griffiths
Shichidan: Gold belt, hakama and gi. Gold pointy hat with bobble. Small children spread rose petals ahead of movement.

Kyudan: Brilliant white belt hakama and gi. Very large floppy white hat. Small tape player under hakama plays celestial music. Velvet underwear gives of blue flashes of static electricity when walking.

Tim
One of the funniest things I`ve read in a while, glad I wasn`t drinking my coffee at the time

A difficult problem is easily solved by asking yourself the question, "Just how would the Lone Ranger handle this?"
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Old 05-20-2002, 07:41 PM   #15
batemanb
 
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Talking

Not wishing to stray off topic, but in light of some the replies.

www.dumblaws.com

Being English, two of my favourites are:

Liverpool

It is illegal for a woman to be topless in public except as a clerk in a tropical fish store.
(I bet they do a roaring trade )

York

Excluding Sundays, it is perfectly legal to shoot a Scotsman with a bow and arrow.

Last edited by batemanb : 05-20-2002 at 07:44 PM.

A difficult problem is easily solved by asking yourself the question, "Just how would the Lone Ranger handle this?"
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Old 05-20-2002, 07:45 PM   #16
PeterR
 
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Dojo: Shodokan Honbu (Osaka)
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Re: Re: Belt rankings in Aikido

Quote:
Originally posted by deepsoup
The system used in Shodokan in the UK goes:

beginner - white
8th kyu - red
7th kyu - red
6th kyu - red
5th kyu - yellow
4th kyu - orange
3rd kyu - green
2nd kyu - blue
1st kyu - brown
dan grades - black

And nobody wears hakama, regardless of rank.
Interesting. At Shodokan Honbu which is also a neighbourhood dojo we have
0 Kyu White
8-6 Kyu Light Blue
5-3 Kyu Green
2-1 Kyu Brown
Yudansha - Black (no stripes, no hakama)

Members of University and High School clubs wear only white and black which really messes some people up when a white belt looks like the second comming.

In the kids classes the blue belt is exchanged for yellow and orange with some rearrangement of the numbers. No clue what the rearrangement is.

Lack of hakama is mainly for safety, seen some Embu done in hakama, usually reserved for formal occaisions. I have never seen hakama worn by anyone at the Honbu dojo other than a visiting Aikikai gaijin who then proceeded to tenkan all over the place - very strange. I think he was the reason why Nariyama perfers non-Shodokan visitors to watch.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 05-20-2002, 08:46 PM   #17
akiy
 
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We wear a white belt until we reach shodan when we start wearing a black belt. Hakama are acceptable to wear by anyone regardless of rank, although most people wait until after their first test (5th kyu)...

-- Jun

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Old 05-20-2002, 08:55 PM   #18
shihonage
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Quote:
Originally posted by Tim Griffiths

Kyudan: Brilliant white belt hakama and gi. Very large floppy white hat. Small tape player under hakama plays celestial music. Velvet underwear gives of blue flashes of static electricity when walking.
Raiden !
I knew it.
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Old 05-20-2002, 10:21 PM   #19
guest1234
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Tim, that was one of the funniest things I've read here ... even stranger, I may have seen some of those folks at the Expo...

Jun, so you guys don't have a 6th kyu test? ?
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Old 05-20-2002, 10:35 PM   #20
akiy
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by ca
Jun, so you guys don't have a 6th kyu test? ?
Nope. I think they "skip" the sixth kyu requirement ss the fifth kyu requirement only contains something like three extra techniques more than the sixth kyu one. People usually end up taking the fifth kyu test about eight or nine months into training so it's not much different from if you add the minimum time requirement for sixth kyu (30 days and three months minimum) and the minimum required for fifth (60 days and four months)...

-- Jun

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Old 05-21-2002, 02:34 AM   #21
Jorx
Dojo: Pärnu Aikidoclub Singitai
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Tim - thanks... that was THE joke I just needed... shows brilliantly how irrelevant and ridiculous the physical attributes actually are.

Coloured belts derived in early shotokan karate of Britain to motivate the students as far as I know it.

And just for the record - in our dojo one can wear the hakama from senior student status - which in our dojo is from 3rd kyu. The best thing is that our wonderful sensei made hakamas for all us just before that test

But in estonian main dojo you are allowed to wear hakama from 1st dan.

Jorgen
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Old 05-21-2002, 03:03 AM   #22
Tim Griffiths
Dojo: Nes Ziona Aikikai
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Glad people liked it...

Goes to show - Shihonage really does have a picture for every thread...

Tim

Quote:
Originally posted by shihonage


Raiden !
I knew it.

If one makes a distinction between the dojo and the battlefield, or being in your bedroom or in public, then when the time comes there will be no opportunity to make amends. (Hagakure)
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Old 05-22-2002, 12:39 AM   #23
renfieldKuroda
Dojo: azabu aikido
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I think someone also mentioned dojo in Japan, but for the 4 dojo I've been to in Japan, for adults it was white belt until 2kyu, sometimes white sometimes brown for 1kkyu, and then black for all dan ranks. Hakama for women after first kyu rank, for men starting either 1kkyu or shodan.
Kids had a bunch of different colored belts, but I think it was b/c they're kids and to motivate them they get a different colored belt every time they pass a test; makes it feel like progress or something.
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Old 05-22-2002, 04:54 AM   #24
Mr. P
 
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Exclamation

I don't think talking about colored belts are a good idea to distinguish anyone on the mat.

First, isn't it rude to ask : "What kyu/dan are you ?". It's almost the same thing, after all !

Second, where I practice, there are lots of kids, "make-believing" all the time, showing their waist when you call them, ...
Later, they'll behave more as a bouncer (showing his/her gold medal in public , waiting for applause when making a demo) than as a Aïkidoka. Too bad, since some of them are more gifted than I am ... I think one should start practicing later, around 20 years old, when one's more "mature" (I'm uncomfortable with this word, I must say).

Third, some Aïkidokas are upset about questions like "Is it for defense or for attack ?", "Can we win with your Art ?", etc. ... But, acting with those awful belts is a way to make our Art be mistaken for other martial arts, isn't it ?

So, I like Tim's good joke , because it makes rookies realize that it's not important, after all ...

Last edited by Mr. P : 05-22-2002 at 04:57 AM.

Mr. P

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Old 05-22-2002, 05:13 AM   #25
Mr. P
 
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I shall add a point at my previous post, to make it clearer ...
If I remember well, the "requirements" to upgrade are :
- in one hand, the technical qualities of the Aïkidoka ;
- in the other hand, the way he/she behaves on the mat (it was already written, I think ).
So, the question of belts, or any marks of difference, may be irrelevant . Practicing is personal ; I don't need others' admiration to improve !

Mr. P

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