Student Guide

Testing and Promotion: Children

There are ten levels of rank for Children (ages six through ten years). Students achieve rank through a combination of practice time and formal evaluation (testing). Each student must satisfy the minimum number of classes and weeks of practice before being considered for evaluation to a new rank. At this Dojo all students start unranked as a "Beginner" (white belt) . The following table lists the minimum number of classes and weeks that a Child student must practice before being considered for testing for a new rank.

 

Rank Belt Color Classes Weeks  
Jukyu-C (Tenth Kyu) White w/ Yellow Stripe 6 4
Kukyu-C (Ninth Kyu) White w/ Black Stripe 12 8
Hachikyu-C (Eighth Kyu) Yellow 16 8
Shichikyu-C (Seventh Kyu) Yellow w/ White Stripe 20 12
Rokyu-C (Sixth Kyu) Yellow w/ Orange Stripe 24 12
Gokyu-C (Fifth Kyu) Yellow w/ Green Stripe 28 16
Yonkyu-C (Fourth Kyu) Yellow w/ Black Stripe 32 16
Sankyu-C (Third Kyu) Orange 36 20
Nikyu-C (Second Kyu) Orange w/ White Stripe 40 20
Ikkyu-C (First Kyu) Orange w/ Purple Stripe 44 24

 

The number of classes and weeks required at each level are counted from the last testing date (or the date the student first began practicing). Students qualify for testing only after both the number of classes and weeks are met. The "Stripe" is a strip of colored cloth sewn lengthwise down the middle of the belt. A record of your practices will be kept at the Dojo. This record will list the date of your last promotion (or the date you started practicing), your current rank, and the number of practice classes and weeks since your last promotion. As you near the minimum classes and weeks limits required for your next evaluation you should approach Sensei and inquire about that promotion. Sensei will then schedule a time to discuss the exact requirements for that evaluation with you, and to plan necessary practice and review sessions.Sensei will also give you an evaluation checklist, which will detail the skills that you will be asked to demonstrate at your evaluation.

 

In this way no promotion is ever overlooked or forgotten, nor is any evaluation a surprise. Properly followed this procedure ensures that you will have more than adequate preparation for each test, making that experience more a demonstration of your current knowledge than a experience that you feel you will "fail". Your evaluation is also a chance for you to reaffirm your growing skills in Aikido in front of your fellow students, friends, and family. It is a time to be happy in your success, and visitors are especially encouraged to come to class on evaluation days!

 

The running record of practices is obtained from the weekly sign-in rosters available at each class. For this reason it is vitally important that you sign in each and every time you attend an Aikido practice. If you forget to sign in at a class, or believe that the information on this running record may be incorrect, be sure to bring it to Sensei's attention immediately.

 

Aikido is aikido, whether practiced at the Prairie Aikikai dojo or elsewhere. Many students will travel to other places to practice Aikido, whether as part of a seminar, special camp, or just while away from the Prairie Aikikai on vacation. Your practice time while at these other Dojos counts towards your practice time for evaluation purposes. Just keep a running record of when you practice (what days), the number of hours practiced, and the kinds of things you did (arts practices, new things learned, etc.). Bring those back to the Prairie Aikikai dojo and they will be added to your cumulative attendance record. A friendly warning, though -- it is not uncommon for students who visit other Dojos to be asked to share new things they have learned once they return to the Prairie Aikikai! Try to remember at least one or two new "arts" while you practice at a different location so we may all benefit from your experience.