Testing Requirements

United States Aikido Federation Testing Requirements


6th Kyu (Rokukyu) - minimum 20 practice days since beginning

  1. Seiza
    Goal: Demonstrate proper seiza by sitting with toes crossed or next to each other; knees 1-2 fists apart, pelvis forward, back straight, hands on knees.
    1. Bowing/Rei: Left hand down first, then right hand, creating a triangle with fingers and thumbs, lowering your torso with a straight back and neck, bowing from waist; then, raise torso, return right hand to lap then left hand.
    2. Rise from seiza: Right foot forward so kneeling on left knee, then rise into right hanmi.
  2. Shikko: (Instructor's option depending on age and ability)
    Goal: Emphasize hip turn, keeping feet close together. Forward and backward.
  3. Hanmi: (solo)
    Goal: Demonstrate proper hanmi, one foot in front of other with front foot pointed straight ahead and back foot at approximately a 90 degree angle, arms extended. This may also be referred to as kamae.
    1. Migi hanmi: Right foot forward.
    2. Hidari hanmi: Left foot forward.
  4. Ukemi
    Goal: Demonstrate understanding of basic falling techniques.
    1. Ushiro ukemi
      1. Back fall: Start in hanmi, step back with front foot down to knee, roll back, then up to same knee, stand straight up in hanmi.
      2. Back roll: (Instructor’s option depending on age and ability) same as back fall but roll all the way over the shoulder to knee, stand straight up in hanmi.
    2. Mae ukemi
      1. Front roll: (Instructor’s option depending on age and ability) start in hanmi, forward roll over shoulder to kneeling position, stand straight up in hanmi.
  5. Kokyu exercises:
    Goal: Focus on hips initiating the movement with hands following the body, demonstrate ability to shift weight while maintaining balance, posture and connection to the ground.
    1. Funakogi undo: Rowing exercise.
    2. Ikkyo undo: Ikkyo exercise.
  6. Tai sabaki:
    Goal: focus on proper hanmi, angles and suriashi (gliding footwork).
    1. Irimi: 2 ways: Slide forward with front foot or step forward with rear foot, arms extended. In both cases end facing forward at a slight diagonal.
    2. Tenshin: Back foot steps to its side and front foot steps back diagonally switching hanmi.
    3. Tenkan:Without changing hanmi, pivot on front foot, swinging rear leg behind while making a low sweeping movement with the arm resulting in a 180 degree turn.
    4. Irimi tenkan: Arms swing up while stepping forward with the back foot, tenkan and swing arms down.
  7. Hanmi: (with partner)
    Goal: Demonstrate proper individual hanmi and maai in relation to partner.
    1. Ai hanmi
    2. Gyaku hanmi
  8. Atemi: (with partner)
    Goal: Demonstrate balance, control, and proper angles in three basic atemi.
    1. Tsuki: Straight punch toward abdomen ending in gyaku hanmi.
    2. Yokomenuchi: Open hand diagonal strike to temple ending in gyaku hanmi.
    3. Shomenuchi: Open hand straight strike to front of head ending in ai hanmi.
  9. Tai no henko: (with partner)
    Goal: Demonstrate proper maai, connection, leading and following movements while both uke and nage.
  10. Kokyuho (sitting)–aka, Kokyudosa: (with partner)
    Goal: Demonstrate understanding of extension, low center of gravity, connection, and pin.

5th Kyu (Gokyu) - minimum 40 practice days after 6th Kyu

  1. Shomenuchi Ikkyo (omote & ura)
  2. Shomenuchi Iriminage
  3. Katatetori Shihonage (omote & ura)
  4. Ryotetori Tenshinage (omote & ura)
  5. Tsuki Kotegaeshi (tenkan)
  6. Ushiro Tekubitori Kotegaeshi (omote & ura)
  7. Morotetori Kokyuho (omote & ura)

4th Kyu (Yonkyu) - minimum 80 practice days after 5th Kyu

  1. Shomenuchi Nikkyo (omote & ura)
  2. Yokomenuchi Shihonage (omote & ura)
  3. Tsuki Iriminage
  4. Ushiro Tekubitori Sankyo (omote & ura)
  5. Ushiro Ryotetori Kotegaeshi
  6. Suwari Waza: Shomenuchi Ikkyo
  7. Suwari Waza: Katatori Nikkyo (omote & ura)
  8. Suwari Waza: Katatori Sankyo

3rd Kyu (Sankyu) - minimum 100 practice days after 4th Kyu

  1. Yokomenuchi Iriminage - (2 ways)
  2. Yokomenuchi Kotegaeshi
  3. Tsuki Kaitennage
  4. Ushiro Ryokatatori Sankyo (omote & ura)
  5. Morotetori Iriminage (2 ways)
  6. Shomenuchi Sankyo (omote & ura)
  7. Suwari Waza:Shomenuchi Iriminage
  8. Suwari Waza: Shomenuchi Nikkyo (omote & ura)
  9. Hanmi-Hadachi: Katatetori Shihonage
  10. Hanmi-Hadachi: Katatetori Kaitennage (uchi & soto mawari*)

2nd Kyu (Nikyu) - minimum 200 practice days after 3rd Kyu

  1. Shomenuchi Shihonage
  2. Shomenuchi Kaitennage
  3. Yokomenuchi Gokyo
  4. Ushiro Tekubitori Shihonage
  5. Ushiro Tekubitori Jujinage
  6. Ushiro Kubishime Koshinage
  7. Morotetori Nikkyo
  8. Hanmi-Handachi: Shomenuchi Iriminage
  9. Hanmi-Handachi: Katatetori Nikkyo
  10. Hanmi-Handachi: Yokomenuchi Kotegaeshi
  11. Freestyle - 2 persons

1st Kyu (Ikkyu) - 300 practice days after 2nd Kyu

  1. Katatori Menuchi - 5 techniques
  2. Yokomenuchi - 5 techniques
  3. Morotetori - 5 techniques
  4. Shomenuchi - 5 techniques
  5. Ryotetori - 5 techniques
  6. Koshinage - 5 techniques
  7. Hanmi-Handachi - Ushiro Waza - 5 techniques
  8. Tantotori - 5 techniques
  9. Freestyle - 3 persons

Sho-Dan - 300 practice days after 1st Kyu

  1. All of 1st Kyu requirements
  2. Tachitori
  3. Jotori
  4. Henkawaza**
  5. Freestyle - 4 persons

Ni-Dan - 600 practice days after Shodan/Not<2 years

  1. Attend 2 seminars per year after Sho-Dan
  2. All of Shodan requirements
  3. Tachitori - 2 attackers
  4. Kaeshiwaza*** Freestyle - 5 persons

San-Dan - 700 practice days after Nidan/Not<3 years

  1. Attend 2 seminars per year after Ni-Dan
  2. All of Nidan requirements
  3. Subject of exam determined by examiner at the time of exam


Hour requirements are counted from the last test.

* Uchi & Soto Mawari -- both the inside (uchi) and outside (soto) movements or variations.

** Henka-waza -- techniques were the nage (thrower) switches from one technique to another technique. Examiner will call the first (or starting) technique.

*** Kaeshi-waza -- counter techniques. Uke (attacker) appies the technique to nage. Then nage counters with the appropriate counter. Original techniques (for uke) will be called by the examiner. (E.g., to apply sankyo against nikkyo).

Glossary of Words of Attack

Uchi - inside
Soto - outside
Omote - in front
Ura - behind
Hamni-Handachi – uke standing, nage sitting seiza
Jotori – jo techniques
Katatetori – one hand grab to wrist
Katatori – one hand grab to collar
Morotetori – two hands grab to one wrist
Ryotetori – both hands grab one wrist
Shomenuchi – strike to forehead
Suwariwaza – techniques from sitting seiza
Tachitori – attack with boken or standing technique
Tantotori – attack with knife
Tsuki – thrust or punch
Ushiro Kubishime – choke from behind with free hand grabbing wrist
Ushiro Ryokatori – both shoulders grabbed from behind
Ushiro Tekubitori – both wrists grabbed from behind
Ushiro Waza – any attack from behind