The uniform worn for practicing aikido (dogi) is similar to the training uniform used in most other modern martial arts; simple trousers and a wraparound jacket, usually white. Both thick (single or double weave) and thin cotton tops are used. Aikido-specific tops are available with shorter sleeves which reach to just below the elbow.
In our organisation a white dogi may be purchased at any time before your first grading. We do not require a particular type or weight though we do recommend that the first dogi for a child or teenager should not be too expensive as they will have to be replaced regularly as the child grows.
Most aikido systems add a pair of wide pleated black or indigo trousers called a hakama. In many styles, its use is reserved for practitioners with dan ranks or for instructors, while others allow all practitioners or female practitioners to wear a hakama regardless of rank.
In our organisation the hakama is worn from 2nd kyu (blue Belt) on by both sexes.
Aikido practitioners generally progress by promotion through
a series of "grades" (kyu), followed by a series of "degrees"
Most aikido organizations use belts to distinguish practitioner's grades.
In some organisations these are simply white and black belts to distinguish lower and higher grades, others use various belt colours.
Testing requirements vary, so a particular rank in one organization is not comparable or interchangeable with the rank of another.
Our organisation has 6 kyu grade levels to be achieved before being eligible for Dan rank. A student is classified as ungraded until they pass their first test. The grade levels are:
|Ungraded||White Belt||No Badge|
|6th Kyu||White Belt||Club Badge|
|5th Kyu||Yellow Belt|
|4th Kyu||Orange Belt|
|3rd Kyu||Green Belt|
|2nd Kyu||Blue Belt|
|1st Kyu||Brown Belt|
|1st Dan||Black Belt|
After reaching black belt the belt colour does not change.
There is a prescribed training time between each grade and it typically takes 4 to 5 years to reach Black Belt.
We also have a unique system for juniors (under 12 years) comprising 10 levels of achievement recognised by coloured belt tabs. On reaching Level 10 a junior student is considered to be equivalent to 6th Kyu.
When students come to us from other organisations we accept their current rank but they must become familiar with our syllabus before they can progress to the next grade.