Grading

 

The advancement in aikido is marked with levels, similar to the other martial arts originating from Japan.  According to the rules of Aikikai foundation in Japan there are student levels and master levels. The number of student levels varies in different national federations, but usually there are 6 or 5 (which are counted backwards when advancing). The number of master levels is strictly determined by the rules of the Aikikai headquarters and there are 8 master levels. Greater levels than 8 do exist among few old masters, but they have been issued before the establishment of the latest rules.

MAF – Aikikai Macedonia uses the examination program compiled by the Aikikai shihan Masatomi Ikeda in 1999. This program is also being used in some of the aikido federations in Switzerland, Czech Republic, Holland, Poland, Slovakia, Ireland, Croatia and Serbia.

According to this program, there are 6 student levels, followed by the master levels from 1 to 8. The 4th master level is the highest level that can be achieved by examinations. For the 5th and the 6th level the candidate has to be proposed by the technical committee at his federation and the 7th and the 8th are in discretion of the Aikikai headquarters in Japan.

The student levels are called KYU (in Japanese) and are not marked by various belt colors as it is usual in karate. Instead, for the period of time until the master level is being acquired, the belt is simply white. After the passing of the exam for the 1st master level (in Japanese: DAN), black belt is being worn and to the training uniform, i.e. to the GI, a hakama (wide black trousers) are added. The holders of 1st KYU level (the highest student level) can wear hakama only when they practice at their own dojo, as a preparation for the next level, but under it they wear the white belt. An exception to the rule for wearing hakama in MAF can be done with special permission.

Examination requirements

Necessary requirements for taking an exam are: a certain period of active training, a number of attended trainings after the last exam and participation to seminars and summer schools
degree number of trainings after the last exam time period after the last exam seminars summer schools fee
           
6. KYU 50 trainings 5 months     500 MKD
5. KYU 60 trainings 6 months     600 MKD
4. KYU 75 trainings 7 months 1   700 MKD
3. KYU 100 trainings 8 months 1+   800 MKD
2. KYU 110 trainings 9 months 1+   900 MKD
1. KYU 160 trainings 12 months 1+ 1 1.000 MKD
1. DAN 200 trainings 14 months 1+ 1 (Hombu)
2. DAN / 3 years 2+ 1 (Hombu)
3. DAN / 4 years 2+ 1 (Hombu)
4. DAN / 5 years 2+ 1 (Hombu)

 

You can download the full program - here.

Application for the exams can be downloaded - here.

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Jane Sandanski 62/3-21, Skopje, 1000, Macedonia

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