Technical Area - Grading

 

preston course shihonage variation

Grading Syllabus

This area provides access to the senior and junior grading syllabus.

As in other martial arts, we have a grading system. ⟨Please note: The syllabus in the white members' handbook has been superseded. ⟩

Following a syllabus allows you to have recognition that you are progressing and learning.

The first grade you will take, 6th Kyu, is validated by Lancashire Aikikai. All the following senior grades, from 5th Kyu to Dan grade level are awarded jointly by Lancashire Aikikai and the Aikikai Headquarters (Hombu Dojo, Tokyo).

The Junior grading syllabus is validated by the Lancashire Aikikai

Student's should also read background information provided under Member home tab that is not repeated here.


Weapons

The Aikikai considers learning weapons important as it serves to accelerate skills and understanding of ones Aikido

The syllabus has a requirements for weapons. The aim is being to judge the candidates understanding of weapons in relation to Aikido at the grade being undertaken rather than a test of memory.

Who may grade:

Grade held by Grader at least

Can Grade up to:

5th Dan

3rd Dan

4th Dan

2nd Dan

3rd Dan

1st Dan

2nd Dan

1st Kyu

Our Principal, Mr. Spence, and our Technical Director, Mimuro Sensei, are responsible for grading those who are 4th Dan or higher.

Mimuro Sensei will grade all Dan Grades sitting with a grading panel. Sensei will ask for feedback from the panel following the grading but the Panel will not indicate whether they think the person should pass or fail. A honest feedback on their performance will be given. ⟨ This is not done in private ⟩

1st Kyu gradings would advisably include an Aikikai Dan grade external to the club on the grading panel.

Gradings in ClubsGradings - will generally take place in the local club up to and including 1st Kyu gradings.

1st Kyu gradings would advisably include an Aikikai Dan grade external to the club on a grading panel.

Consistency and moderation of standards for grades will be through Association courses and direction of our Technical Director and Principal of our Association. Our Technical director recognises the standards we have adopted and we should continue to maintain these

Guidance given in the past by our Principal for gradings......"The grading syllabus is a guide to what might be assessed and hence each item was not mandatory. However that similarly didn't mean that for example weapons would not be examined. There is to be flexibility between younger students and those more experienced but older."

The Senior syllabus should apply to those on a Senior mat. However Examiners and Coaches should familiarise themselves with BAB requirements in respect of Aikido for under 18 year olds and take note of the comment that each item is not mandatory.

Aikikai grading fees - can be found on student grading page these paid by the Club to the Membership Secretary in the monthly BAB / membership return

Hombu grading fees and associated membership are set in Japan and payable in Yen - details can be found in “6. Grading Admin” - they vary because of currency exchange rates.

It is recommended Clubs should think about running gradings in April and October to coincide with the submission cycle to Japan.

Dan Gradings

Dan Gradings would be taken on designated Aikikai courses in conjunction with the Technical Director who will sit with a grading panel.

1st Kyu's being graded for 1st Dan will not wear hakama. (See hakama in FAQ)

Club Leaders should make known to our Principal and our Hombu Membership Representative - Chris Wallace any candidates for Dan Grading well in advance.

Having taken 1st Kyu - Senior Dan Grade’s will monitor candidates from 1st Kyu to ensure the skills and knowledge are being developed for the next grade. (At the direction of our Principal)

Dan grade candidates will give short demonstrations at Dan Grade courses or other courses to prove their ability and readiness to take Dan Grade and / or progression to this goal. Hence the importance of Club Leaders letting our Principal know well in advance.

Provided the candidate is deemed ready a Dan Grading will then be scheduled at the next opportunity after discussion with our Technical Director.

This opportunity to grade will be tied into Mimuro Sensei visiting the UK

Club Leaders will submit a candidate history (and list any relevant restrictions or relevalent information), prior to the grading date for Mimuro Sensei and the panel to both our Principal and our Hombu Membership Representative

Mimuro Sensei Gradings

Ensure Chris Wallace has got prior to the grading: your LA blue membership book and Hombu card (and Yudansha book if already a dan grade) and the necessary Hombu grading application form (If going for 1st Dan an application for Yudansha book also required.) That the Aikikai have your grading fee in good time.

  • If there is a practice before a grading Sensei will probably make a point of showing the techniques in the way he wants to see them in the grading - but he will not penalise anyone who does a technique in a different way. What he expects to see is basic technique done accurately.
  • He is not impressed by speed and dozens of fancy variations if the basics are not shown.
  • He will be pleased to see an attempt to follow his principles and to see the LA progressing towards his style of practise.

Bowing:

Sensei will say:
   At the beginning
     Firstly “shomen ni rei”, to the shrine or picture.
     Then “otagai ni rei” (to each other)

   Return to your position at the end
   At the end:
     “otagai ni rei” (to each other)
     “shomen ni rei”

  • Mimuro Sensei will conduct the grading but there will be LA high Dan grades to act as observers and sub testers. They will be asked for an opinion on the grading.
  • Listen carefully to instructions - the procedure will be different from Lancashire Aikikai gradings. If it is evident that you are struggling to understand an instruction then it can be repeated by someone on the panel.
  • Mimuro Sensei does not usually specify each technique individually. Usually he will say shomenuchi ikkyo two times, nikkyo 2 times, sankyo, yonkyo etc and expect you to go through the sequence omote and ura. Continue until instructed to change.

Application Forms

Our affiliation with Aikikai Headquarters is via Yokohama International Aikido Club, therefore membership of this club and of Aikikai Foundation is due before any Senior grading from 5th kyu onwards. These are one-off payments for lifetime membership.

Members who have been graded by other organisations then Yokohama membership is required. Hombu membership is not required till you grade further.

Members who already hold a Hombu grade, and are therefore already a Hombu member, should give a copy of their membership card / grading certificate for the Lancashire Aikikai records held by our Hombu Membership Representative. Only Yokohama membership will be  required in these circumstances.

Guidance to filling your forms in. To assist as well examples of completed forms are provided below. Click on blue highlighted links

Application Forms needed from 5th Kyu can be downloaded here:

Application Forms needed for those who already are Hombu recognised can be downloaded here:

  • Grading Form (Form 1) (Hombu grading other than first time) Example
  • Yudansha Book (Form 3) {Dan grades only and once only} Example

The forms should be downloaded and completed by typing the information in. (pdf allows for this). This is so that the entered information is clear and legible for the process.

Forms need to be signed, and returned either electronically or by post to our Hombu Membership Representative from the Club Leader or known Official. Electronic would be preferred as they will be sent electronically to Japan

Fees are dealt with at “6. Grading Admin”

Grading Admin:

Following a club grading details of name, new grade, date of grading and who graded is sent off to the Membership Secretary to put into the Aikikai records by recording in the monthly return clubs send. Remember, also, either to pass details to the Newsletter contact in your club details or send directly to the Aikikai Newsletter editor.

Prepare and present a grading certificate when one is not provided by Hombu. This will be for the Junior grades and the 6th Kyu senior grade. A template is available to Clubs on the Resource site.

The Aikikai grading fees are passed to the Membership Secretary as part of the Club's monthly return.


Hombu grades

For these grades (5th Kyu and above) costs vary according to currency exchange rates notified by the Treasurer to Clubs in April and October.

    The ¥ fees are:
  • Hombu and Yokohama Life time membership fees (one off payment needed for the first Hombu grade) ¥10640¥
  • Kyu grade fee ¥3240
  • 1st Dan ¥15040
  • 2nd Dan ¥25760
  • 3rd Dan ¥37560
  • 4th Dan ¥49360

For the first Hombu grade both the Hombu and Yokohama membership and Kyu grading fee are subsidised by the Lancashire Aikikai paying half

At October 2017 (¥144 to the £) Clubs need to pay 5th Kyu's £59.44 (inc membership & subsidy) ; other Kyu Grades £22.50, 1st Dan £104.44, 2nd Dan £178.89, 3rd Dan £260.83, 4th Dan £342.78

for a detailed break down click here

Clubs send completed Forms electronically to the Hombu Membership Representative and money to our Treasurer in a six month cycle circa early April and early October.

It is recommended Clubs should think about running gradings in these months prior to the submission date.


Hombu Cards & Yudansha Book – These need to be kept safe, as they need to be sent back with every grade application for updating.


Documents to be returned with the Forms

  • Yudansha Books (Dan Grades)
  • Membership Cards (Old card versions)
  • If Membership Cards are the new plastic type, we just need the Membership No, date, present grade and date of previous grade (Although this should be on the returned form)

Hombu Certificate translation

Little bit different on Dan and Kyu grade ones but the nuance is the same.

In general it says from RHS to LHS, column by column

  • Aikikai's name
  • Number of certificate
  • Evidence/certification
  • Persons name
  • The person on the right this time aikido give ..... kyu/dan date aikido doshu Ueshiba Moriteru

See example of certificate and translation

Membership book

Blue Lancashire Aikikai Membership books are issued to all members. These Books are used for all Grades to record annual membership, hold their current BAB Insurance Certificates, course attendance and grades. As part of joining a passport photograph is expected to be stuck in the book

Yudansha Books are issued and apply from Shodan and in some aspects overlap with the blue book. Some Dan Grades’s have expressed a desire to keep both books going (and stamped) there is no objection to this. The Yudansha book should at the least record the grade and be stamped for courses run by our Technical Director and other high ranking teachers

Both Books are to be kept

Similarly to the Hombu card for Kyu grades to be recorded on the Yudansha book are to be returned to record new gradings - so keep safe.