All official requirements for testing and promotion are documented in the ASU Student handbook.  This page provides additional links and resources to help students prepare and apply for testing.

Table of Contents:

Additional Testing Resources

  • Candidate Biography Sheet. (09/2016, Microsoft Word).  This form is required to be filled out by the yudansha test candidate’s instructor, and submitted to the coordinator of the testing event.
  • Shodan Application Form. (09/2016, Microsoft Excel).  This form must be filled out by all candidates for shodan rank, and submitted to the coordinator of the testing event.
  • Application Form for Nidan, Sandan, and Yondan. (09/2016, Microsoft Excel). This form must be filled out by all candidates for nidan, sandan, or yondan ranks, and submitted to the coordinator of the testing event.
  • Application for Replacement Passbook. (09/2016, Microsoft Excel).  Candidates for nidan or higher ranks, or existing yudansha may use this form to apply for an official replacement passbook from Hombu.  This form is to be submitted to the coordinator of the testing event.
  • ASU Yudansha Exam Preparation Handbook (Compiled by Guy Hagen, 2011). A guidebook of useful advice from ASU’s top instructors on how to mentally and physically prepare for a strong test.

For each of the Application Forms, please follow all instructions on the first worksheet and fill out all required fields.  Upon completion, print the second worksheet (which will be auto-filled with the information you provided), and submit the printed forms to the coordinator of the testing event (who may be the presiding examiner).  The coordinator / presiding examiner will submit all forms to ASU for processing and review.  Candidates who have questions or problems completing the forms may contact admin@asu.org.

Policy on Kyu Promotion

Kyu (white belt) tests are to be conducted by the candidate’s personal instructor or another ASU instructor in good standing as follows:

  • Tests for Rokyu through Sankyu may be conducted by an instructor ranked Shodan or above;
  • Tests for Rokyu through Nikyu may be conducted by an instructor ranked Nidan or above;
  • Tests for Rokyu through Ikkyu may be conducted by an instructor ranked Sandan or above

Policy on Dan Promotion

Testing Venue: Dan testing is to take place before a testing board: either at an ASU seminar, intensive or camp lead by one or more ASU instructors or at a “testing-only” event at an ASU dojo, at which other ASU Dojos are invited to participate. It is recommended that the student submit a Candidate Biography to the testing board prior to the test.

Yudansha Testing Boards: These will consist of senior ASU instructors (5th dan or above) in good standing. At a minimum, the board will include:

  • For shodan ranking, one 6th dan; or two 5th dans, one of whom is the candidate’s personal instructor.
  • For nidan ranking, a 6th dan and one other of at least 5th dan rank.
  • For sandan ranking, two 6th dans.
  • For any of these ranks, the candidate may test before a single 7th dan.

Policy on Signing Yudansha Passport Books: These may be signed by instructors ranked 6th Dan or above. In order to be certified or stamped for an ASU event, the attendee must have participated in at least ¾ of the event. Single night or single day attendance does not qualify for a multiple-day event. E.g., for a 4-session seminar, attendance must be a minimum of three sessions; for a 4-day camp/intensive attendance must be minimum three days; for a 5-day event, attendance must be minimum four days; and on a 7-day event, attendance must be minimum five days. Any exceptions to the seminar and camp/intensive requirement must be reviewed by the Examination Committee six months before the scheduled test and written approval received. Anyone needing an exception and arriving at a testing venue without this written approval will not be allowed to test. It is the responsibility of the candidate’s instructor to verify that all requirements are met and to notify the testing board of this in advance.

Materials to be Submitted: The ASU Dan Application Form (Shodan Application, Nidan-Sandan-Yondan Applicationfor the appropriate rank is to be filled online and the printed pages (Candidate Biography, Application for Replacement Passbook if applicable) duly filled in and signed, and must be submitted to ASU along with the testing fees as soon as possible after the examination in order to validate qualifications and to send on to Aikikai Hombu in a timely manner.

Annual ASU Test Preparation Workshops

A number of annual yudansha test preparation seminars are organized at ASU Dojos across the US.  These workshops are intended to focus specifically on the core expectations for yudansha promotion, and to give students the opportunity to participate in mock testing and gain practice for the exams themselves.  While participation in these seminars is not requisite, students are strongly encouraged to participate at one of these venues.  Participating students and instructors alike have expressed that these workshops and seminars are very helpful for setting expectations, increasing confidence, and improving test performance.  Students from any ASU dojo can participate in any of these seminars.

  • Tampa Bay, Florida: The Aikido Chuseikan Dojo (Tampa Florida) in partnership with the JionJuku Aikido Academy (Largo Florida) has been holding preparation workshops since 2010 every July (in preparation for the annual Florida Test Seminar).  For details contact info@tampaaikido.com.
  • Washington D.C.: The ASU Shobukan Dojo in Washington D.C. hosts monthly weapons workshops and Dan test preparation classes throughout the year (with a break through months of June through August).  The classes are held on the 3rd Saturday from 1:00pm to 3:30pm and are open to all ASU students. For details go to their home page at http://aikido-shobukan.org/ or contact .
  • Seattle, Washington: Aikido Eastside hosts a series of One-Day Test Preparation workshops, regular weapons intensives, and randori intensive seminars.  For more information, please visit the events calendar or the Aikido Eastside website.

In addition to the above formal preparation workshops, additional test-focused seminars may be hosted throughout the year. Please refer to the ASU event calendar for details.