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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 dan gradings are internationally recognised and registered with Aikikai Japan.



Click here to download the 6th kyu syllabus (your very first grading) and click here to view a video of the techniques.

Click here to download the current AKI Australia Grading Syllabus (5th kyu to 2nd dan).


Application Process

To qualify for a grading you must:

  • Be able to demonstrate each of the techniques at the level required for your grade. This is most important! Use your initiative and the time available before and after class for focused self-study and skill development. Ask your sempai for help and bring a copy of the syllabus with you to every class so you can make notes as you learn.
  • Satisfy the minimum attendance requirements. Special consideration is given for gasshuku attendance, leadership, and support of the children’s program etc. A minimum of two classes per week is recommended to develop the required muscle memory and fitness. Training less often than this will make it harder to progress.
  • Apply for a practice grading before the cut-off date. A mock grading must be successfully completed at least one full month or more in advance of the grading to confirm your readiness. However, you should discuss your desire to grade with your instructor as soon as possible so you can develop a focused training plan together that will ensure you meet your goals.


Key Grading Dates in 2018

Autumn gradings – 17 March
Winter gradings – 23 June
Spring gradings – 1 September
Year-end gradings – 1 December (applications close 1 September)