A Conversation for Aikido

I want to try it!

Post 1


I was always interested in Aikido, but never managed to begin a course. A teacher at my school gave us one lesson and it was really fascinating.

I ´ve still have some questions:

Are there any exams like in judo ( like the belts)?

Is it easy to learn or rather difficult for someone like me, who hasn´t any experiences in fightsport?

Do I need special equipment?

Thanks! smiley - smiley

I want to try it!

Post 2


You should, I've tried it for a couple of weeks, but then my friends insisted we try something more demanding(I ended up trainig karate but I'm switching back soon). The thing is that Aikido only gives you back what you put into it...put in a lot of effort and you learn a lot...plus I've never felt so in touch with my body as when throwing around people twice my size...

There are exams, if you want to get to a higher ranking (usually working your way down from 9th kyu (if a minor 6th otherwise) to 1st and then up from 1th dan to 10th dan(only honorary) you have to show that you know certain throws etc...this of course get's harder and harder...when you reach 3rd kyu you are allowed to use the dress of the initiated, a training jacket made from heavier cloth, called keiko-gi(jap. training-jacket), and wide pants (more like a dress) which are called hakama. Before that regular sweatpants and long armed sweatshirt is good to wear.

I want to try it!

Post 3


Actually, the rankings depend on the Aikido organization. Most now use five ranks below black belt and up to 10 ranks of black belt. In the more traditonal groups, the hakama is worn after black belt.

The Ki-Aikido groups also include a set of "Ki tests", used to determine how well you have incorporated their concept of "Ki" into your practice.

The content of the tests also vary according to the organization. In some, a black belt test lasts about ten minutes; in others, it can last three hours. Some groups add weapons use to the tests; both attacking with and defense against wooden swords and sticks, as well as knives. Most tests include defense from up to five attackers at once.


I want to try it!

Post 4


Also, surprisingly enough, you can go to www.aikido.com to get more info. I study in the Kokikai Ryu (www.kokikai.org) and our rankings are as tractor said, 6th kyu up through 1st and then black-belt from there. My sensei has also instituted ranks for minors (I believe 12th kyu through 7th kyu) which have the same concepts but a little toned down.

At 4th kyu, the tests start to involve weapons. All tests involve Ki testing. Also, at some point, there are free-style tests where people attack with whatever attack they wish as opposed to testing a specific move or throw.


I want to try it!

Post 5


I am participating in Aikido classes in my home town of Bloomington, Indiana. The web site is:

The style of Aikido that is taught is Jiyushinkai Aikido, whose web site is:


Post 6


Actually, in traditional dojo, the hakama is worn by everyone, not just black belts. O Sensei intended that all Aikidoka wear it.

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