Dan - Aikido Knowledge Base - Aikido Glossary

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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:

A dan-ranked practitioner of a style is usually recognized as a martial artist who has surpassed the kyū, or basic, ranks. They may also become a licensed instructor in their art, in many styles however, achieving a dan rank means that while one is no longer considered a beginner, one is not yet necessarily an expert.

The total number of dan ranks is style-specific (1st through 5th and 1st through 10th are common in Japanese arts). The lower dan grades can normally be attained through a grading examination or sometimes through competition. The higher dan grades usually require years of experience and contribution to the relevant martial art. This may be through instruction or research and publication. These grades can only be awarded by a higher-graded representative of the principal dojo or sometimes by a steering committee. There is no set achievement level that is universal. An important point to note that ranking systems is that they are specific to the school or style, thus the ranks achieved do not necessarily translate across different martial arts styles. In fact, dan ranks do not necessarily indicate one wears a black-belt, in certain martial arts such as iaidō, kendō or jōdō, no external signifier of rank is worn, though it is by far the most common and recognizable symbol by the general public.

The highest dan ranks are sometimes reserved for the founder or leaders of a style and other high ranking students can only be promoted by them. This has led to upper level ranks becoming extinct in some arts. For example, in judo there are only three living tenth-level dans in the world and only fifteen have been promoted to the rank since its inception.[5] In other styles the dan ranks are not the highest level that might be attained, with instructor certification and judge/judgment authorization being understood as higher-level or more sophisticated.

Ranks in Japanese

Many arts use between one and ten dan ranks:

1. shodan (初段:しょだん): first degree black belt
2. nidan (二段:にだん): second degree black belt
3. sandan (三段:さんだん): third degree black belt
4. yodan (四段:よだん): fourth degree black belt
5. godan (五段:ごだん): fifth degree black belt
6. rokudan (六段:ろくだん): sixth degree black belt
7. nanadan (七段:ななだん): seventh degree black belt (also, shichidan)
8. hachidan (八段:はちだん): eighth degree black belt
9. kudan (九段:くだん): ninth degree black belt
10. jūdan (十段:じゅうだん): tenth degree black belt

In certain styles, shodan implies that all the basics of the style have been mastered. At sandan the student is deemed capable of teaching independently as a teacher or instructor, often called sensei. At Godan, the budōka may receive certification as a master level practitioner (Shidōin). Generally, the lower dan ranks are validated on the basis of knowledge and physical skill. The higher the dan rank, the more leadership ability, teaching experience, and service to the style play a role in promotion. For example, in British judo, to gain promotion from 1st to 5th Dan, judo players must demonstrate theoretical technique and competitive skill in graded competitions. Promotions from 6th to 10th Dan are awarded for services to the sport of judo.

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Aikido is a modern Japanese Martial Art and is very different from disciplines such as Karate, Kick Boxing, Taekwondo, Kung Fu, MMA, BJJ, Kempo and Krav Maga where there is emphasis on kicking, punching or wrestling.

Aikido is an extremely efficient self defence (also as Self-Defence Women London) system utilising balance-taking and posture-breaking movements to achieve joint locks, pins and throws. It contains elements of Ju Jitsu, Kendo, Judo and other budo.

Aikido Classes are held every Tuesday and Wednesday evening at our Harrow dojo, and Thursday evening at our Pinner dojo in NW London. Pinner Aikido Club London is a part of the Kai Shin Kai International Traditional Aikido Association (KSK), which is a member of the Aikido Alliance.

Aikido is essentially a non-violent Martial art system that encourages the avoidance of confrontation and harmony with an aggressor. The classes are well attended with Aikido students always on the mat and aimed at all levels, from beginner to advanced but everyone is welcome to come along regardless of fitness or experience.

Our Aikido students work at their own pace during the training sessions and no one is forced into doing anything they are not comfortable with.
Pinner Aikido Club in London can help you achieve self-defense skills, self-esteem, confidence, and fitness. Most of all though, our classes are fun.

You do not have to be competitive or naturally athletic to take part in the Aikido class. Learning Aikido is about self-improvement and self-confidence.

Regardless of your size, body type and current level of physical ability or disability. If you are looking for a healthier, more confident way of life, then the modern art of Aikido may well be for you.

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