Welcome Letter


Your Body
Gravity and Grounding
Speed, Timing, Breathing
Congruity and Training
Uke-Nage Relationship
The Dojo
Our Relationship
Other Instructors,
Students, and Arts
Deciding to Leave


Dojo Etiquette
Helpful Phrases
Aikido Ranks
Basic Counting


The Aikido Rank Structure

The hierarchical structure of aikido follows substantially the ranking system adopted by all the other major Japanese martial arts. The students of the art are divided into two categories: one including students of kyu rank, and the other including students of dan rank.

The category of kyu rank embraces students of aikido who have not yet attained the status of dan, and thus have not yet received their black belt. Collectively they are known as mudansha, or "undergraduates".

The category of dan rank embraces those students of aikido who have been awarded their black belts. Collectively they are known as yudansha (black belt holders).

Categories and Ranks of the Aikido Hierarchy

the kyu category & its ranks

rank of 6th kyu (rokkyu)
rank of 5th kyu (gokyu)

white belt

rank of 4th kyu (yonkyu)
rank of 3rd kyu (sankyu)

white or blue belt

rank of 2nd kyu (nikyu)
rank of 1st kyu (ikkyu)

white or brown belt

the dan category & its ranks

rank of 1st dan (shodan)
rank of 2nd dan (nidan)
rank of 3rd dan (sandan)

black belt & hakama

rank of 4th dan (yondan)
rank of 5th dan (godan)

rank of 6th dan (rokudan)
rank of 7th dan (shichidan)
rank of 8th dan (hachidan)

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