There is no enemy for Ueshiba of Aikido. You are mis­taken if you think that budo means to have opponents and enemies and to be strong and fell them. There are neither opponents nor enemies for true budo. True budo is to be one with the Universe ; that is, to be united with the Centre of the Universe .
Morihei Ueshiba




The hierarchical structure of Aikido follows a similar ranking system as adopted by most Japanese martial arts.


The grades are divided into two categories, namely that of KYU and DAN (“black belt”) rank. According to Japanese custom, the Founder and his heirs are above the ranking system.


Students are examined and first awarded KYU ranks ranging from 6th KYU (lowest) up to 1st KYU according to the time spent and their degree of experience and proficiency.


Please consult the AFSA grading manual for details.


DAN grades are reserved for higher-ranking and may range from SHODAN (1st dan) to Judan (10th dan). The highest grade currently achievable has been restricted to HACHIDAN (8th Dan).