The test list provides some of the requirements for advancement in Aikido. The list contains the techniques you will be asked to demonstrate at your test and the amount of practices necessary to test.
All members are expected to contribute to our school. There are many ways to contribute and a few are listed below. If you are not sure how you can help, ask one of the hakama level members. Members are encouraged to participate in cleaning up after every practice.
Typical contributions include cleaning the mat, vacuuming the mat, the dressing rooms, and the common areas, cleaning the mirrors and windows, changing the announcement board, and donating supplies like paper towels and toilet paper for the Loveland dojo. More advanced members are expected to help new members on the mat on their first class or two for warm-ups, stretches and rolls. Hakama level students can also help with all of the above, help choose other members for cleaning the mat after each practice, sign up new members and get them oriented, talk to visitors and welcome them, and help organize seminars. Hakama level members are often chosen by lower ranking kyu members to be sponsors for test. It is required for hakama level members to be sponsors as part of their own advancement.
To summarize, the requirements for advancement include the necessary hours of practice, a certain level of participation, and a good Aikido attitude, and maturation of mind and spirit. Safety, consideration and mutual respect are at the top of our list of priorities. Careless or purposefully harmful practice precludes readiness for advancement. At higher levels of advancement a member is expected to feel good about themselves and their accomplishments but this is to be balanced with a sense of curiosity and wonder. Incorporation of aspects of this essence of Aikido will be demonstrated at black belt testing by an ability to discuss concepts such as Ki, and one point. Examples of using Aikido in non physical, and possibly physical ways will be given by the candidate. Finally the black belt candidates’ curiosity and awareness that black belt level symbolizes a new beginning will be assessed.