A person who has taken dan degrees ties his black belt

Dan Ranks – Exams and Recommendations

The requirements from Hombu Dojo, Aikikai, in both times and number of days has increased in recent years. This means that you have to be active in order to grade or be recommended.

Note that all information below concerns days of practice (not practice sessions) with organized classes (not extra practice outside of ordinary class times.)

Dan Exams

Minimum number of practice days:

  • 1st dan – minimum 70 training days 
  • 2nd dan – minimum 200 training days
  • 3rd dan – minimum 300 training days
  • 4th dan – minimum 400 training days

One thing which should be emphasized – the minimum time between dan ranks is the least possible time (which means that the examinee needs to have practiced 3-4 days per week as well as having attended several seminars since their last examination.)

Higher Dan Ranks

Minimum times, age limits, as well as number of practice days since the previous exam/rank to be recommended for higher dan ranks:

  • 5 dan: min. 5 whole calendar years since 4 dan – min. 900 practice days
  • 6 dan: min. 6 whole calendar years since 5 dan; at least 33 years old – min. 1080 practice days
  • 7 dan: min. 12 whole calendar years since 6 dan; at least 45 years old – min. 2160 practice days
  • 8 dan: min. 15 whole calendar years since 7 dan; at least 60 years old – min. 2700 practice days

Added to this is a requirement for a minimum of 180 days of organized practice per year. 

Note that it is the whole calendar year which counts. This holds special significance for 5 th dan (since 4 th dan exams can take place anytime during the year.) 

A recommendation does not mean that you automatically receive a rank. In Sweden the process is that Jan Nevelius (for those students who have taken exams with Vanadis Dojo) recommends you to the Swedish Examining Committee Aikikai, which then recommends you to Hombu Dojo, Aikikai. 

Each of these must approve the recommendation. Higher ranks by recommendation are made public at the Kagami Biraki ceremony at Hombu Dojo in the beginning of January each year. It is first then that it is completely sure that the recommendation has gone through and that the new rank has been recognized within the Aikikai.

This page is updated continuously.
Last revision: 2023-11-30