How long will it take me to get to black belt?
If training an average of 2 sessions a week, it will take between 3 to 5 years to reach Shodan (1st Dan Black Belt), however your aim should be more towards continued improvement of technique rather than worrying about what coloured belt you are wearing.
Can I wear my coloured belt I received from Karate, Judo, etc..?
No. You may find that some skills are transferred from other martial arts training but the coloured belt is an indication of your skill in Ken Shin Kai Aikido, not another martial art.
Can I wear my coloured belt I received from another style of Aikido?
No. Various styles of Aikido differ as much as Aikido differs from Karate or Judo. For your own protection you will have to re-grade to a Ken Shin Kai Aikido coloured belt so that the Instructors know your level of experience.
Is a Junior grade equivalent to an Adult grade?
No. All Junior grades are lower than Adult grades. Therefore the highest Junior grade is still ranked below the lowest Adult grade. Any juniors that move into the Adult class will need to be re-graded with an Adult grade. Juniors are not able and not expected to perform on a level equivalent with an adult and therefore must be ranked accordingly.
Can I take time off and then return where I left off?
No. If you stop training for a period of 3 months or more you will be required to wear a white belt on your return and train as a white belt until the Instructor feels that it is safe for you to continue training at the level at which you left.
How do I line up for the REI (bow) if there are a number of us at the same grade?
The person to the right should be senior in grade, however if you hold the same grade the person who took their grading at an earlier date is more senior. If however you took the grading on the same date then the person that holds the highest instructor rank is more senior. More details on seniority are available in the Instructors Guidelines.
If training or warm-up has already started why must I wait at the edge of the mat to be invited onto the mat?
The instructor may not be aware of your arrival if you are late, and it is dangerous to step foot on the mat when training or warm-up is in progress without the observation of the Instructor.
Why do we not use real swords or knives during weapons practice?
All members are covered by Personal Accident insurance issued by the British Aikido Board, this insurance is made void if real swords or knives are used during training.
Why, when I have done enough sessions, was I not entered for a grading examination?
A minimum number of sessions is just one requirement for being allowed to take a grading examination. Technical ability, ability to breakfall, attitude, consistent training and many other criteria are used to assess whether a member is ready for a grading examination. If you are unsure as to why you have not been asked to grade you should speak with your Club Instructor.
Why am I told it is incorrect to resist a technique to see if it really works?
The dojo is an artificial environment for testing the effectiveness of techniques, in that if a student knows what technique is to be applied it is easy for them to adjust their posture to prevent the technique from being applied. This does not show that the technique does not really work, as in a street environment an attacker would never know in advance what technique is to be applied. Resistance in this manner shows a complete lack of understanding of the fundamentals of Aikido and Martial Arts and is expected at a lower grade where students are new to the concepts of Aikido. However if displayed at a higher level this student will not be able to progress until they adjust their mental attitude and uke work to allow students to practice the techniques as shown.
I have obtained the BAB Coach Award and/or a Yoshinkan Instructor Award, can I teach as a Ken Shin Kai Instructor?
No. Each Aikido Organisation has its own criteria for the award of Instructor status. Although the BAB Coach Award and the Yoshinkan Instructor Award are part of the requirement for Ken Shin Kai, there are additional requirements that must be fulfilled. These are all listed in the Ken Shin Kai Constitution and Instructor Guidelines which will be provided to any students felt to be ready to apply for a Ken Shin Kai Coaching level.
Who can wear a Hakama?
Instructors and Club Instructors when instructing at regular Ken Shin Kai classes where permission is given by the Club Instructor and either the Principal Coach and/or Chief Instructor. Senior Instructors at regular Ken Shin Kai classes at any time. Instructors, Club Instructors and Senior Instructors at internal and external seminars where the permission is given by the Host Instructor and either the Principal Coach and/or Chief Instructor. All students ranked Shodan or above at Ken Shin Kai weapons classes.
Why is kihon dosa practiced so much?
Kihon dosa is fundamental to the practice of Yoshinkan Aikido. It is what distinguishes Yoshinkan Aikido from all other styles of Aikido. Every technique practised uses an element of the Kihon dosa and therefore good Kihon dosa will mean good techniques are practised.