Kyu gradings are usually held 3-4 times a year and all instructors are able to grade their students up to 1st kyu brown belt.
To ensure the standard for Shodan is maintained, all students testing for Shodan and above must do so at the dan gradings held twice a year. If they cannot make this trip then Jon Marshall Shihan must be consulted for alternative arrangements.
There are no honorary grades given out in Gyokushin ryu. There are also minimum time lines that must be adhered to in regards to dan rankings. To maintain a high standard these timelines are to be looked upon as a minimum guide, for someone training at least 3-4 times a week.
When considering grading a student, a combination of the following is critical:
Guideline for ranking in Gyokushin ryu
To obtain Shodan, a minimum of 3-5 years of consistent training.
Shodan-Nidan: 2 years
Nidan- Sandan: 3 years
Sandan-Yondan: 4 years
Yondan- Godan: 4 years
Godan- Rokudan: 5 years
Rokudan and above: Honbu dojo to decide
Grading students from other Martial arts
The Gyokushin ryu comprises several martial arts primarily Judo, Karate and Kenjutsu and is practiced by high ranking practitioners and teachers of other arts. Unlike some schools, the Gyokiushin ryu is a progressive art and it is Washizu Sensei’s greatest wish that you develop your own budo and not just imitate the movements but rather try and think of the fundamental principles and fit them to your body. In saying this, the very core of the art is Aikido. People holding rank in other budo may be considered on a case by case basis in regard to ranking. Despite their current rank, a strong grasp on the fundamentals of Aikido is imperative and the awarding of ranks in these cases will be made solely by Jon Marshall Shihan. There should be no expectation or mention that they will be awarded a specific grade.
Instructor titles are authorised by Washizu Kancho and awarded by Jon Marshall Shihan on his behalf.
These titles are for instructors only and are not automatically awarded once a certain dan level has been achieved. These titles are:
Jyokyo : 1st-2nd dan
Kyodo: 3rd -4th dan
Shihan-dai: 5th dan
Shihan: 6th dan
On attainment of 6th dan, the red and white belt (kohaku-obi) may be worn to signify 6th dan and the recognition of the Shihan title. Unlike other schools of Aikido/Aikijujitsu, the hakama is not worn in Gyokushin ryu Aikido.