Joining Aikido Schools of Ueshiba: For Dojos and Individuals
ASU welcomes anyone with a sincere interest in practicing Aikido, as taught by O Sensei’s direct disciple, Mitsugi Saotome Shihan, and his senior students.
If you are an individual training at an ASU member Dojo, you are automatically a member of ASU as soon as your instructor sends in your dues. This will happen by the time you do your first test, at 6th kyu, or if higher ranked, when you join your Dojo.
If you are an individual yudansha wishing to join ASU, the best route is to have established a relationship with an ASU senior instructor as your sponsor. It is recommended that the sponsor be godan or above, though relationships with lower-ranked ASU instructors will be entertained.
Any Dojo in North America (U.S.A. or Canada) wishing to join ASU is welcome to make application via a sponsor, who will generally be an ASU yudansha in good standing ranked godan or higher. If accepted, your Dojo will be a provisional member Dojo of ASU for a period of one year after the date of acceptance. This is to give us both time to see if we make a good fit together. After that one-year period, the Board will review the status of the application and, upon approval, your Dojo will become a regular Dojo member of ASU.
Any satellite Dojo of an ASU Dojo may, after being a satellite for a period of two years, apply to become a regular member Dojo of ASU with status independent of their previous parent Dojo.
Will I be accepted at my current rank upon joining ASU?
Generally, those with a kyu rank from any Aikido organization, or with a dan rank from Aikikai Hombu, will be accepted at that rank by ASU. The time period for you to test for next rank will be at least the minimum time as per our testing requirements, starting at your joining date. Your actual time will generally be longer, as you will be adjusting to a set of requirements that is likely different from the kyu-test requirements of your previous organization.
For those with dan ranking in Aikido, please note that Aikikai Hombu Dojo administers our dan ranking and requires that only those holding an Aikikai Hombu dan rank will be accepted at that rank. If you have a non-Hombu rank, you will be required to start by applying for shodan through ASU and working your way up. ASU will do everything possible to speed this process up to your current rank, but the minimum time guidelines between ranks determined by Hombu will need to be observed.