At the Sanbukan Dojo, in order to achieve the status of "Dan", a student must first pass through eight ranking levels, or Kyu, encompassing four belt colors. Each rank requires the student to demonstrate their ability to perform specific techniques.

The Kyu rankings allow the student to progress smoothly through the Aikido system. By using the step by step process, training is focused and consistent, always building on what has been learned before. The mastery of techniques is kept within manageable goals and the student is easily able to gauge their progress, knowledge and abilities.

Before a student may test for a ranking, they must attain a minimum number of hours in preparation. The length of preparation will vary depending on the Kyu. It should be understood that putting in the required number of hours does not necessarily guarantee that you will be ready to test. In fact, very few students actually test once they have reached the minimum requirement. You should be clearly proficient at the techniques of the rank before requesting a test.

Once a student feels prepared, a pre-test will be conducted by a designated Sempai (senior student). The student will perform the required techniques for the Sempai. If the Sempai feels that the student is ready to test, he/she will notify Sensei and a test date will be arranged. A nominal fee is charged for each test.


Tests for rank are always conducted at the end of class. After the students have lined up are are in seiza (kneeling), Sensei will announce that a test will take place. He will then call the Tori (student testing) and Uke (fall out partner) forward.

Following the execution of all required techniques, the Tori and Uke will be dismissed by Sensei and return to their place in line. After conferring with the Dan, Sensei will call the Tori forward and announce their decision.