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Dojo Etiquette
Read more about the Dojo Etiquette and the policy of Aikidoschool Aikikaz Maastricht on this page.

Rankings / degrees
In our Aikidoschool it is possible to get a higher rank in Aikido after a certain period of (regular) training. The difference between the ranks (and thus the beginners and advanced students) will be done by the Kyu- and Dan degrees. Another part of the higher ranks is to be able to wear a hakama, a traditional type of Japanese clothing. A seperate examination will have to be succefully accomplished (ukemi exam), which can be given if the student has the 3rd Kyu and based upon advice of the sensei. After the completion of this ukemi exam the student can wear the hakama inside Aikidoschool Aikikaz, however, during outside our school (i.e.: during seminars) a student has to be 2nd Kyu to officially wear the hakama.
Although various degrees can be obtained, all of the students will wear a white belt during training (whatever the degree of the student may be), this has been done to retain uniformity.

- WHITE -   6TH KYU                - BLACK -    1ST DAN                     - BLACK -   7TH DAN
 - YELLOW - 5TH KYU  - BLACK -   2ND DAN    - BLACK -   8TH DAN
 - ORANGE - 4TH KYU               - BLACK -  3RD DAN   - BLACK -   9TH DAN
  - GREEN -   3RD KYU  - BLACK -  4TH DAN   - BLACK -     10TH DAN  
    - BLUE -    2ND KYU  - BLACK -  5TH DAN   - BLACK -  
 - BROWN -  1ST KYU  - BLACK -  6TH DAN   - BLACK -  

Test requirements
For the different Kyu and Dan levels during tests, we expect that the candidate has the experience for the level he or she will do the test (inclusive the test requirements from previous tests). Furthermore we expect that the candidate understands the Japanese terminology before doing the test. 

Click here for Kyu test requirements (6th Kyu - 1st Kyu)

Click here for Black belt test requirements (1st Dan and up)

Folding the Hakama

The folding of the hakama takes place after each class on the tatami. There are several ways of folding a hakama. As a example how to fold your hakama you can click on the next instructional video. Furthermore you will find a image of folding a hakama in a different way. 


A hakama is the skirt-like pants that some Aikidoka wear. It is a traditional piece of samurai clothing. The standard gi worn in Aikido as well as in other martial arts such as Judo or Karate was originally underclothes. Wearing it is part of the tradition of (most schools of) Aikido.

The hakama were originally meant to protect a horseman's legs from brush, etc., -- not unlike a cowboy's leather 'chaps'. Leather was hard to come by in Japan, so heavy cloth was used instead. After the samurai as a class dismounted and became more like foot-soldiers, they persisted in wearing horseman's garb because it set them apart and made them easily identifiable.

There were different styles of hakama though. The type worn by today's martial artists - with "legs" - is called a joba hakama, (roughly, horseriding thing into which one steps). A hakama that was kind of like a tube skirt - no legs - another and the third was a very long version of the second. It was worn on visits to the Shogun or Emperor. The thing was about 12-15 feet long and was folded repeatedly and placed between the feet and posterior of the visitor. This necessitated their shikko ("knee walking") for their audience and made it extremely unlikely that they could hide a weapon (retainers suited them up) or rise quickly to make an attack.

The 7 folds in the hakama (5 in the front, 2 in the back) are said to have the following symbolic meaning:

Yuki = courage, valor, bravery

Jin = humanity, charity, benevolence

Gi = justice, righteousness, integrity

Rei = etiquette, courtesy, civility (also means bow/obeisance)

Makoto = sincerity, honesty, reality

Chugi = loyalty, fidelity, devotion

Meiyo = honor, credit, glory; also reputation, dignity, prestige 

In many schools, only the black belts wear hakama, in others everyone does. In some places women can start wearing it earlier than men (generally modesty of women is the explanation - remember, a gi was originally underwear).

Japanese terminology
Japanese terminology is often used during the aikido classes. We call the names of the techniques in Japanese, attacks and standard dojo etiquette meanings. It is important that you make yourself familiar with these terms to simplify and understand what you have to do. By doing and hearing the names you will get used to the Japanese terminology after a few weeks. 

You can find a great list with Japanese terminology we use in our classes right here!





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