Aikido Belts, ranks, and certificates are not usually the main focus of students who practise the art of Aikido. But we are all aware that it is good to have some sort of feedback.
In this way, you can be sure that you are progressing in your training...
Many Aikido associations and organisations around the world lead their students through a whole series of different coloured belts.
But, of course, there are lots of variations on how many levels there are, and the importance of each of the Aikido ranks.
In many groups there are only two belts available... white and black. There are several different levels and often an Aikido grading allows you to pressure test yourself in stressful but controlled circumstances.
You'll also get some recognition of your skill level by passing your grading test and receiving an Aikido certificate. The following gives you the system we use at the Arun Aikido Club in Bognor Regis, West Sussex UK.
At the Arun Aikido Club, all of the above aikido belts require a grading test that is very difficult to pass. You certainly wont reach black belt level with us in 3-5 years that is common in many organisations.
Once you have achieved the Aikido rank of black belt, you'll be a Dan grade and can wear the hakama, which is a pleated divided skirt.
But this is at the discretion of your Instructor, as some organisations don't allow lower dan grades to wear them in general training, but only at more formal occasions like seminars.
Also, some organisations see their dan grades as degrees, which is often the case in the USA. This gives you an indication of how much studying is required to reach a degree level.
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