Updated by Board Resolution March 31 2017.

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. 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.

Yudansha Testing Boards: 

  • Promotion to shodan (1st Dan) may be performed by a yondan (4th Dan).
    Optional considerations:
    • If the examinee’s primary instructor is below yondan, he/she may request to also sit in review of the examinee.
    • If the examinee’s primary instructor is yondan or above, he/she may request additional yudansha, including the primary instructor, sit in review of the examinee.
  • Promotion to nidan (2nd Dan) may be performed by a godan (5th Dan).
    Optional considerations:
    • If the examinee’s primary instructor is below godan, he/she may request to also sit in review of the examinee.
    • If the examinee’s primary instructor is godan or above, he/she may request additional yudansha, including the primary instructor, sit in review of the examinee.
  • Promotion to sandan (3rd Dan) may be performed by a rokudan (6th Dan).
    Optional considerations:
    • If the examinee’s primary instructor is below rokudan, he/she may request to also sit in review of the examinee.
    • If the examinee’s primary instructor is rokudan or above, he/she may request additional yudansha, including the primary instructor, sit in review of the examinee.
  • Additional Considerations:

    • The EC strongly encouraged videotaping the examination. Exam video can provide opportunities for primary instructors to receive feedback from senior mentors; provide a library of exams for prospective students to gage their skills and abilities; a learning experience for a lower ranked primary instructor, thereby enhancing institutional knowledge and personal growth of primary instructors.
    • Primary instructors are encouraged to foster a relationship with senior mentors in ASU. Whenever possible, primary instructors should request feedback from senior mentors to enhance their personal teaching skills and abilities.

    Signing of Yudansha Passport Books:

    Students must attend at least two-thirds (2/3) of a seminar, intensive or camp to have it recorded in the yudansha passport.

    Qualifying Camps and Seminars/Intensives

    Only ASU approved camps qualify for promotion. Currently these are Summer Camp in Washington, D.C., Fall Camp in Redlands, CA and Winter Camp in St. Petersburg, FL. In order to qualify, seminars/Intensives must have eight hours or more of training time (i.e., aside from time taken for testing) and are to be ASU seminars/intensives (i.e., those taught solely by ASU instructors), except that one seminar for each promotion may be taught by a non-ASU instructor or be a “friendship” seminar with various teachers from different organizations. The majority of instructors at all such seminars/intensives must have a sixth dan or above issued by the Hombu Aikikai.

    Materials to be Submitted: 

    ASU dues must be up-do-date for the requisite minimum number of years for testing to take place. The ASU Dan Application Form (Shodan ApplicationNidan-Sandan-Yondan Applicationfor the appropriate rank is to be filled online and the printed pages (Candidate BiographyApplication for Replacement Passbook if applicable) duly filled in and signed, and must be submitted to the ASU office 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.

    Waivers to Attendance Requirements

    These may be requested for a student via e-mail from the dojo-cho to the Board Secretary who will forward them to the Waiver Committee. Waivers are for family, work, or health issues, not for financial problems. A scholarship program is in place to help those students with financial constraints.

    Testing Venue Recommendations

    The following recommendations were resolved by the ASU Board Examination Committee (EC) to identify accommodations that might be necessary when considering an examinee’s age (elder/younger) and disabilities or limitations (physical/mental).  The EC were also asked to identify an approach that takes an examinee’s limitations into consideration while still providing a test reviewer(s) the capability to assess an examinee’s progress toward yudansha rank: an assessment of physical and movement skills development; the ability to resolve attack conflict using Aikido technique, etc. for the expressed purpose of providing optimal space for the performance of a successful examination and avoiding the possibility of injury.

      Examinee Provides a Biographical Description
      • The EC recommended a bio be provided by the examinee as outlined in the ASU Yudansha Prep Book (pp 25-26).
      • The primary instructor should provide notes addressing any limitations that require modifications in the demonstration of techniques or performance of certain tasks.
      • In its July 5 meeting (2022), the ASU Board of Directors recommended this be verbal and not written so as to avoid privacy issues.
      The individual presiding over the examination discusses requested accommodations with the primary instructor
      • Required to ensure safety for a test candidate.
      • The primary instructor’s knowledge of the candidate’s abilities is key to customizing accommodations needed for an examinee.
      The primary instructor may be asked to call the exam.
      • Optional once accommodations have been decided.
      • Provides the primary instructor to showcase a student’s strengths and demonstrate skills and abilities in the best possible light.
      The primary instructor or a panel member may request specific ukes or specific types of ukemi
      • Required to ensure safety for a test candidate.
      • Provides control over the speed and force of attacks where an accommodation is required.
      Expunge all written records of limitations and accommodations to maintain privacy
    • Required for privacy concerns.

Updated by motion of the ASU Board of Directors 7/5/2022