Student Guide

Testing and Promotion: Juniors

There are ten levels of rank for Juniors (ages eleven through fourteen 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 Junior student must practice before being considered for testing for a new rank.

 

Rank Belt Color Classes Weeks  
Jukyu-J (Tenth Kyu) Orange w/ Black Stripe 12 8
Kukyu-J (Ninth Kyu) Green 16 8
Hachikyu-J (Eighth Kyu) Green w/ White Stripe 20 12
Shichikyu-J (Seventh Kyu) Green w/ Blue Stripe 24 12
Rokyu-J (Sixth Kyu) Green w/ Black Stripe 28 12
Gokyu-J (Fifth Kyu) Blue 32 16
Yonkyu-J (Fourth Kyu) Blue w/ White Stripe 36 16
Sankyu-J (Third Kyu) Blue w/ Red Stripe 40 20
Nikyu-J (Second Kyu) Blue w/ Brown Stripe 44 20
Ikkyu-J (First Kyu) Blue w/ Black Stripe 48 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 classs 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 class and week 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.