USAF Kyu & Dan Testing

Heaven and Earth Aikido Center conducts group testing in January and during scheduled seminars or special events. The Chief Instructor may also schedule testing at his discretion for individuals based upon their readiness. This page provides information about test dates, test fees, and determining who is eligible for testing.

New Year's Testing

To kick off the new year, HEA will schedule testing for the second Saturday in January. Testing will occur during the 11:15 AM training session in lieu of regular training and will be followed by a group lunch. Details will be communicated prior to the testing date.

Annual Mountain Training Seminar

Each year, HEA students head for the hills in beautiful Bluemont, Virginia. Eligible candidates will test Saturday afternoon. Special guest instructors or senior aikidoka will join the Chief Instructor in test evaluation. 

USAF Summer Camp

HEA students who are eligible for dan (black belt) testing may be submitted by the Chief Instructor to test before the USAF Technical Committee at the annual USAF Summer Camp event. This is a week-long seminar attended by students and special instructors from all over the world.

Sugano Memorial Seminar

HEA remembers the passing of one of aikido's great instructors, Seiichi Sugano, each August. During this special event, eligible candidates will be tested. Special guest instructors or senior aikidoka will join the Chief Instructor in test evaluation.

Ad Hoc Testing

The Chief Instructor may offer to conduct an ad hoc test based upon the readiness of individuals at any time during the year. Eligible students will be approached by the Chief Instructor to determine a date that testing may be conducted outside of the dates mentioned above.

Test Eligibility

The USAF has established guidelines that specify which skills must be demonstrated, minimum training duration, and seminar participation requirements for each grade. Students must meet minimum training requirements to be considered for testing. Details can be found on our Youth Grading Guidelines and Adult Grading Guidelines web pages. Students who have met minimum training time requirements and have demonstrated to the Chief Instructor that they are prepared to be tested will be invited by the Chief Instructor to test.  

Each month, HEA posts the names of students who have met minimum training hour requirements to be considered for testing. Meeting this threshold does not mean a student is ready to test. Students may approach an instructor to discuss whether they are sufficiently prepared for testing if the Chief Instructor has not already initiated the discussion.

Test Fees

Testing fees are set by the USAF and cover applicant processing, certificates, belts, and rank registration. HEA students may use the bookings feature to schedule participation on a specific test date and process their testing fee. Fees for tests are listed below. For questions about grades not listed, please approach the Chief Instructor.

  • Kyu tests (9th kyu - 1st kyu)   $50.00

  • Shodan test (1st degree)        $250.00

  • Nidan test (2nd degree)          $250.00

Students who have successfully passed their test must maintain a USAF membership to be eligible for future testing. See our payments page for details.