Aikido Schools of Ueshiba (ASU) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit association that welcomes non-member dojo and individuals with a sincere interest in practicing Aikido, as taught by O Sensei’s direct disciple, Mitsugi Saotome Shihan, and by his senior students. Our policy for membership is described herein.
Participation in the ASU is dependent on paying annual dues through your ASU member dojo. ASU annual dues are separate from dojo dues and are required for rank promotions in ASU. Typically, for new students (white belt, or mudansha, ranks), you will be required to pay ASU dues at the time you take your first test (6th kyu) at the ASU Dojo where you are training and annually thereafter. For existing ASU students your membership dues are collected and paid through your dojo annually.
ASU welcomes individuals holding black belt, or yudansha, ranks that have been conferred through Hombu Dojo and are currently training at a non-member dojo. If you currently hold a yudansha rank from another organization and wish to join ASU, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for information on becoming an Associate of ASU.
Establishing a Dojo Membership:
Established non-member dojo wishing to join ASU are welcome to make an application to the ASU Board of directors by completing the application form located on ASU’s website here. Following the submission of your application a sponsor will be assigned to lead you through the new membership process. Submission of your application will also initiate a provisional period for a period of 12 months. During the provisional period, the prospective dojo should work to establish a relationship with the assigned sponsor by attending or hosting seminars/classes taught by the sponsor. In addition, one or more senior members of your Dojo will be required to attend at least one of the approved ASU intensive training Camps within the provisional period.
New Dojo Membership Acceptance/Denial: Having met the requirements of the provisional period, the ASU Board of Directors will convene to recommend the prospective member be accepted as a Member Dojo of ASU or disqualified for consideration in ASU. A formal letter will be sent to the Dojo Cho notifying the prospective dojo of its decision as an ASU member dojo.
Dojos Outside of the U.S.A.
If you represent an established Dojo outside of the United States, and wish to join ASU, please contact the ASU Foreign Dojo Liason, Sensei Chetan Prakash (email@example.com). As stated above, your Dojo will require a sponsor, and one or more senior members of your Dojo will need to have attended at least one of the approved ASU intensive training Camps (link) within the past year.
Will I be accepted at my current rank upon joining ASU?
Generally, those with a kyu rank from any Aikido organization 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 could 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.