Aikido Yellow Belt
Walk the Aikido yellow belt road, the first steps to your journey to Mastery
The 5th and 4th Kyu are the Aikido yellow belt ranks. In this level, you learn basic Aikido techniques and ukemi (break falls and rolls)
You usually grade for your first Aikido yellow belt after three months of training. By this stage, you have your Aikido uniform (gi), you would have discovered the challenges of the mat, and probably got overwhelmed by the loud kiai from the senior students.
With your Aikido gi, you probably have your first bokken and jo set and walked the streets of Sydney feeling like a modern samurai in an urban world. You probably started dreaming of Aikido in your sleep. Your friends and strangers have probably caught you doing the kokyu shape when opening doors or windows and doing ‘tai no henko’ at bus stops.
If this is happening to you, you are definitely on the Aikido yellow belt road. This road is the first year of your Aikido journey. Welcome, and enjoy this road, it will be a very memorable one.
I just want to firstly clarify what are the kyu levels are, here at North Sydney Aikido:
- 5th Kyu (Yellow Belt)
- 4th Kyu (Yellow Belt)
- 3rd Kyu (Brown Belt)
- 2nd Kyu (Brown Belt)
- 1St Kyu (Brown Belt)
What to expect when on your Aikido yellow belt road journey?
When you are in your Aikido yellow belt level, there are things to expect in this journey.
- You are on the first few steps to mastery. You are in your first year of your apprenticeship. The road to Aikido Mastery is a life long journey. You are NOT an Aikido Master yet. Relax and be patient with your learning.
- The mat is your friend. If you have one mission in your Aikido yellow belt level, that would be to learn and ideally be an expert on ukemi (break falls and rolls). Learning your break falls and rolls will give you the keys to Aikido techniques. If you can fall or roll, you can do Aikido techniques.
- Relax, relax and relax. Aikido is a martial art that works better when you relax. When you are relaxed, you are not tense and you will learn quicker. This is easier to say than actually doing. The kyu levels will introduce you to relax when doing martial art techniques. I cannot explain this anymore, you have to come to class, to feel it, and practise it. This is your first step to a calm mind.
- Learn to count from one to ten in Japanese (1 Ichi, 2 Ni, 3 San, 4 Chi, 5 Go, 6 Roku, 7 Sich, 8 Hachi, 9 Ku, 10 Ju).
- Remember at least one tip for every class. This could be a concept, an Aikido step or move, a grip, or part of a form. Whatever it is, make sure you learn at least one new thing every class.
- Train with a brown belt or a black belt. This is the secret to effective learning. Train with someone ahead of you. If you train with someone in your level, it is like the blind leading the blind. Avoid training with another yellow belt.
What do you need to know for your Aikido yellow belt grading?
Gokyu – Fifth Grade, Yellow Belt
A minimum of 30 classes (3 months) as a white belt (beginner)
- Dai Ikkyo to Dai Sankyo, from Shomen-uchi, omote and ura, Dai Gokyo, from Yokomen-uchi, ura only
- Hanmi-Handachi Shiho-Nage from Katate-Dori, omote waza
- Shiho-Nage from Katate-Dori, omote waza
- Kote-gaeshi from Mune-Dori
- Kokyu-Nage from Morote-Dori
- Irimi-Nage from Shomen-uchi
- Kaiten-Nage from Katate-Dori
- Forward roll
- Back break fall and side break fall
- Ken suburi (first ken suburi), grip, form, and stance
- Jo suburi (Choku Tsuki), grip, form, and stance
Yonkyu – Fourth Grade, Yellow Belt
At least 70 more classes and a minimum of 6 months as a 5th Grade Yellow Belt
- Suwari-waza (seated techniques) Dai Ikkyo to Dai Yonkyo, from Shomen-uchi, omote and ura, Dai Gokyo, from Yokomen-uchi, ura only
- Hanmi-Handachi (choose 1)
- Shiho-Nage (choose 1)
- Kote-gaeshi (choose 1)
- Kokyu-Nage (choose 1)
- Irimi-Nage (choose 1)
- Koshi-nage (choose 1)
- Ushiro-waza (choose 1)
- Ken suburi 1-5 (sword)
- Jo Suburi 1-10 (staff)
- Koshi Nage Ukemi