Testing Information Requirements


Tests are only brief moments in your aikido development. Regardless of the color of your belt, the techniques, movements, and attitudes you have internalized, and the dedication you bring to your training determine your understanding. Rank does provide some mark of your progress, but the real value in testing is the period of intensive training prior to the event that can lead to significant advances in your aikido progress.


While it is certainly possible to fail a rank test, the head instructors will generally only permit you to test if they feel that you are ready to be the new rank. If you are thinking about preparing for your next test you should:


  • Speak with one or both of the head instructors well in advance (weeks to months, for the senior kyu ranks) of the test date.
  • Find one of your sempai to be a mentor - a person you go to for help and for vigorous practice.
  • Take a 'mock test,' a week or two before the actual test. This should not be a cause for alarm or more stress!
  • Test. Remember, it's just practice.


Regardless of how it goes, your test will point the way to the next phase of your training.


NOTE: All testees must be members of the ASU ($35/year). The fee for kyu testing is $35. Dan testing will take place with Saotome Shihan or Ikeda Shihan at regional seminars or camps.


General: It is expected that you will be able to recognize the Japanese name and perform any technique listed under the rank for which you are testing or under any previous rank. The precision and fluidity of execution should increase with rank level. Consideration for your uke is essential; lack of control or deliberate disregard for uke's safety will be grounds for failure. The demonstration of rank-appropriate ukemi is also important. If possible you should volunteer to take ukemi for another person who is testing for the same rank (or a close rank). If that is not possible you may be asked to demonstrate your ukemi with another partner during your test.


Rokyu (30 h/3 months)


  • Tenkan
  • Kosa dori ikkyo
  • Katate dori ikkyo
  • Katate dori shihonage
  • Katate dori iriminage
  • Katate dori kotegaeshi
  • Katate dori kokyo ho
  • Seated Kokyo tanden ho


Ukemi: back fall, back roll, front roll, following nage's movement


Gokyu (60 h/4 months)


  • Shomenuchi ikkyo/nikkyo
  • Shomenuchi iriminage
  • Shomenuchi kotegaeshi
  • Yokomenuchi shihonage
  • Katate dori kaitenage (uchi & soto)
  • Katate dori kokyo nage (uchi & soto)


Ukemi: shikko, 1-armed front roll


Weapons: Sword suburi set


Yonkyu (60 h/4 months)


  • Shomenuchi sankyo and yonkyo
  • Yokomenuchi ikkyo and kotegaeshi
  • Yokomenuchi iriminage (3 ways)
  • Ryote dori tenchinage and shihonage
  • Morote dori kokyu tanden ho
  • Shomenuchi udekeminage
  • Munetsuki kotegaeshi
  • Kata dori ikkyo and nikkyo


Ukemi : shikko turns, cross-handed roll, roll over small obstacle


Weapons: Paired sword cutting practice


Sankyu (70 h/4 months)


  • Ushiro ryokatate dori ikkyo and shihonage
  • Ushiro kubi shime kotegaeshi
  • Ushiro waza kokyunage
  • Morote dori irminage (2 ways)
  • Munetsuki kaitenage



  • Kata dori ikkyo and nikkyo
  • Shomenuchi sankyo
  • Shomenuchi iriminage


Note: these are example techniques. Generally you should be prepared to do any technique that you can execute from standing in the suwariwaza position


Ukemi: break fall, no-hands roll


Weapons : Jo suburi set, 13-count jo kata


Nikkyu (80 h/6 months)


  • Katate dori koshinage
  • Shomenuchi koshinage


Hanmi handachi:


  • Katatedori kaitenage (uchi & soto)
  • Ushiro ryokata dori kokyunage
  • Katate dori and ryote dori shihonage


Note: these are example techniques. Generally you should be prepared to do
any technique that you can execute from standing in the hanmi handachi position


Jiyu waza: Katate dori


Randori: 2 person, ryokata dori


Tanto dori (shomen, yokomen, tsuki)


Ukemi : break fall from koshinage




Kumi tachi #1-3
Kumi jo #1-3


Ikkyu (90 h/6 months)


Jiyu waza: standing, hanmi handachi, suwariwaza


Tachidori (shomenuchi, yokomenuchi, munetsuki)


Randori: 3 person, 3 attacks


Yokomenuchi koshinage (3 ways)


Any specific open-hand technique from any specific attack in any position




Kumi tachi #1-5
Kumi jo #1-6


* Test requirements may be modified to accommodate physical limitations. Please discuss any concerns of this nature with one of the head instructors prior to your test.


Time and Technique Requirements for Dan Promotion


Shodan (120 hours and 12 months after receiving Ikkyu)


  • All basic techniques and previous requirements plus:
  • Kumi tachi: First five basic kata.
  • Kumi jo: First six kata (not ASU standard, but Ikeda Shihan usually asks these)
  • Tanto dori: A different technique from each - shomenuchi, yokomenuchi, tsuki, two different techniques from ushiro.
  • Tachi dori: A total of five different techniques. Attacks will be shomenuchi, yokomenuchi, tsuki.
  • Randori: Three people attacking.


Nidan (Minimum 30 months and approx. 400 hours of consistent training after receiving shodan.)


  • All basic techniques and previous requirements plus:
  • Kumi tachi: First twelve basic kata.
  • Kumi jo: First six basic kata.
  • Randori: Three people attacking with shinai.


Sandan (Minimum 3 years of consistent training after receiving Nidan.)


  • All basic techniques performed to demonstrate the student's understanding of the principles of kokyu tanden ho, and all previous requirements.




  • Only by recommendation at the discretion of Saotome Shihan or Ikeda Shihan.