When a person begins their Aikido training, they are referred to as beginners or mukyusha (literally, those who lack a kyu rank). A person earns their kyu ranks as milestones in their training by performing tests on the skills and techniques they have learned. Trainees with a kyu rank are given white belts (differing from how other martial arts use colored belts) until they pass their shodan test, at which point they have earned their black belt and their first dan rank.
At Halifax Aikikai, we ask our members to perform tests based on their individual progression and time spent training (among other factors). Avoiding a rigid schedule, we can better assess and aid our students in their development as individuals, rather than as a class.
Resources for Beginners
Test requirements are available at the dojo and on the CAF Website (log-in required)
Books, Technical DVDs, and practice weapons are available. Ask an instructor before or after class about borrowing one of these items!