The rank of Shodan (first degree black belt) may be given at one year if the total hours and technical requirements are met. The recommended hours per week listed here, if followed, will result in the total hours needed at the recommended time in grade and the total time in the art.
No person shall be deprived of a rank when the total hours and technical requirements are met, regardless of how long it takes to meet those hours.
Not everyone can practice 3 to 4.5 hours per week. However, a student may be required to demonstrate all prior rank requirements if it is deemed necessary. This should only be used in the case of a person who has been absent from the art for a considerable length of time.
Red & White
Yonkyu — Randori series exercizes
Sankyu — Randori series exercizes
Nikyu — Randori series exercizes
Ikkyu — Randori series exercizes, advanced ukemi including side falls
Shodan — Tegatana no Kata, Ni Ju San Hon Kata, plus the first 5 movements of Owaza Ju Pon
Nidan — Advanced skills in all areas, Owaza Ju Pon complete, 1-16 of San Kata
Sandan — 1-34 of San Kata, the first 14 techniques of Yon Kata, advancement of all skills especially in the areas of teaching the application of the principles of our system of Aikido
Yondan — This is a PhD level rank. Candidates must demonstrate a deep knowledge of all aikido principles, katas and techniques, and a commitment to the art and to teaching
Godan — Assistant professor, advancement of all skills
Rokudan — Full professor, extraordinary teaching and leadership skill