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What is a Grading?

Gradings refer to martial art students taking exams or tests to achieve their next belt or grade. 

Club kyu Gradings (up to 1st Kyu) are held approximately three times a year in our Dojo and they are a formal club event. Eligible members are graded in front of a panel consisting of a minimum of three examiners one of whom must be 4th Dan or higher. The first grade a junior student (5- 10 yrs) can achieve is a White belt. The next belt grades are:- Yellow, Orange, Green, and Blue. Incremental achievements can be awarded, indicated by one, two or three tags in the colour of their next full belt. Youth students (10 - 15 yrs) are awarded belts in colour from White through to Brown (10 - 16yrs). Youth and Adults (16+) are awarded belts from white (6th kyu) through to black (1st Dan). 

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What is examined at a Tomiki/Shodokan Aikido kyu grading?

Students are asked to demonstrate skills, in front of a grading panel, in three key areas:  Kihon (basics),  Kata (form) and KakariGeiko (FreePlay)

1. Kihon: The very basics include:  Unsoku Undo (Foot Movements), Tandoku Undo (Hand movements), Atemi (basic strikes and attacks), Tai Sabaki (basic Avoidance) and Sichi-hon-no-kazushi (7 basic balance breaking methods) 

2. Kata: There are various Kata to be performed with a partner and examined depending upon the grade being examined and can include: Ju-nan-Hon (the basic 17 techniques for randori), ura-waza (counter techniques), suwari-waza (Kneeling techniques), nage-no-kata,  and more depending on grade.

3. Kakarigeiko: There are generally three "bouts' of 60 seconds each where the student is to demonstrate application of technique against an attacking opponent(s) offering varying levels of resistance.

Afterward, all students line up and their achievement is read out publically by a member of the examining panel and awarded the right to wear the next belt. In the event that a student is unable to perform on the day or fails to demonstrate required syllabus to an adequate standard, they are provided detailed feedback privately by all members of the examination panel so that there is no misunderstanding in respect to where work is needed to ensure that they are successful  at their next examination attempt.

From White to Black ..and back again

BAA Grading system and belts *

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