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Gradings are wonderful opportunities for growth and change, as well as recognition for our hard work. The intensive effort of properly preparing for a grading often helps us break through barriers and obstacles in our training, yielding new insights into our practice, deepening our awareness and understanding, and developing our ability to teach ourselves. A beautiful essay on Takeda Shihan’s approach to gradings can be found here.

Adults and teens students progress through a series of ‘kyu’ or ‘white-belt’ grades (6th kyu to 1st kyu) and then through the dan or ‘black-belt’ grades. Gradings from 6th kyu to 2nd kyu are held at Sydney City Dojo four times a year. Gradings for 1st kyu to 2nd dan are conducted at intensive training camps called ‘gasshuku’ which are held several times a year. Higher dan gradings (3rd dan and above) are taken in Japan with Takeda Shihan.

AKI gradings are internationally recognised and registered with Aikikai Japan.



Click here to download the 6th kyu syllabus (your very first grading).
Click here to download the current AKI Australia Grading Syllabus (5th kyu to 2nd dan).


Application Process

To apply for a grading, please:

  • Take the initiative to learn the techniques required for your grade. Use free time before and after class for self-study and ask your sempai for help. Bring a copy of the syllabus with you to each class so you can make notes as you learn.
  • Ensure you’ve met the minimum attendance requirements. Special consideration is given for gasshuku attendance, leadership, and support of the children’s program etc.
  • Apply for a practice grading with your instructor before the cut-off date (i.e. at least one full month in advance of the grading) to confirm your readiness.


Key Grading Dates in 2018

Autumn gradings – 17 March (applications close 17 February)
Winter gradings – 23 June (applications close 23 May)
Spring gradings – 1 September (applications close 1 August)
Year-end gradings – 24 November (applications close 24 October).