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TAA 6th and 5th kyu curriculum

by on June 15, 2012

I said at the outset that this blog was not going to be about curriculum, and I don’t intend for it to be. However, at the moment we are preparing one of our students for his 5th kyu exam but have dropped practices back to once a week for the summer. Chad practices aikikai twice a week as well, but I wanted to put some material online so that he can review outside of practice.

6th Kyu

I’ll start with the text of an email I sent to a couple students about the 6th kyu curriculum:

Hi guys, as promised, here’s a list of the material for the test. I’ve broken the technique names down if that helps you remember them. It always helped me to make some sense of them.

We are working on a set of 5 atemiwaza:

Atemiwaza = 当身技 当身(atemi) = strike, 技(waza) = technique

1. Shomenate = 正面当て — 正面(shomen) = front, 当て(ate) = to strike (a verb in the gerund form).
2. Aigamaeate = 相構え当て — 相(ai) = matching, 構え(k(g)amae) = stance
3. Gyakugamaeate = 逆構え当て — 逆(gyaku) = opposite
4. Gedanate = 下段当て — 下段(gedan) = low level
5. Ushiroate = 後ろ当て — 後ろ(ushiro) = behind

For the next test we’ll introduce 5 hijiwaza (elbow techniques).

The other material on the test is:

Unsoku (basic footwork)
tegatana dōsa (hand movements) 手(te) = hand, 刀(k(g)atana) = sword
Ukemi (falls)
Counting to 10

shi (also yon…)
shichi (also nana…)
kyu (also ku…)
here’s a video for pronunciation:

See you soon,


The atemiwaza are not officially on the TAA curriculum until 5th kyu, where they are required in 3 forms: from kihon, cross-hand, and same side grabs. We decided to move the kihon versions of the techniques up one test to allow the students to become familiar with the techniques before they have to execute them from grabs.

Here are a few versions of the atemiwaza from kihon, done by Endo sensei, Nariyama shihan, and Kobayashi sensei:

5th Kyu

For 5th kyu our students have to learn the atemiwaza from cross-hand and same-side grabs:

They also have to learn 座技 正面打ち-押し倒し抑え:Suwariwaza shomenuchi oshitaoshi osae

座技 – Suwariwaza

座(り) Suwari – seated 技 – waza

正面打ち – Shomen uchi

正面 – shōmen – front, 打ち – uchi – strike

押し倒し – oshitaoshi

押し oshi – pushing 倒し – taoshi – topple

抑え – Osae – control

(note that I’m not positive I’ve written these exactly correctly.  If you see a mistake please let me know and I’ll correct it.)

Here are three videos of the oshitaoshi omote and ura from the 2009 all-japan student tournament in Saitama:

Also included are the Kansetsu waza, tegatana jodan no tsukuri (oshitaoshi, hikitaoshi) – 関節技-手刀上段の「つくり」 押し倒し、引き倒し otherwise known as the “grab and stabs”…

関節技 – kansetsuwaza – joint techniques

手刀 – tegatena – hand sword

上段の「つくり」 – jodan no tsukuri – done at a high level (spatially). I’m unsure of the kanji but 「つくり」  is how they’ve got it written on the shodokan site.

押し倒し – oshitaoshi

引き倒し – hikitaoshi

引き – hiki – pulling 倒し- taoshi – topple

The last element on the official 5th kyu exam is 基本の「つくり」 当身技-本体の「つくり」 正面当て、相構え当て Kihon no tsukuri Atemi waza, hontai no tsukuri (shomenate, aigamaeate)

基本 – kihon – fundamental

「つくり」 – tsukuri – I believe in this context means more or less “setting up” or “making”. I’m unsure of the kanji but 「つくり」  is how they’ve got it written on the shodokan site.

本体 – hontai – real form

This video actually begins with aigamaeate, but you can imagine shomenate, or see it later with the jumping drill:

Finally, we have moved the 5 hijiwaza from kihon up from the 4th kyu exam. In this video we have Endo sensei demonstrating them from kihon, and then two versions from competition where yudansha are required to do it from a knife strike:

The 5 techinques are:

押倒し – oshitaoshi

腕返し – udegaeshi

腕 – ude – arm 返し- k(g)aeshi – return

引倒し – hikitaoshi

腕廻し – ude mawashi

腕 – ude – arm

腕 – ude – arm 廻し – mawashi – rotate

脇固め – wakigatame

脇 – waki – armpit “under one’s arm” 固め – gatame – lock  hold

I’ve probably made a mistake or two with my Japanese, if you see something let me know in the comments and I’ll correct it. (Edit: Wakigatame. Thanks Eric!)

(6-29-12 Edit: I have updated the links for the curriculum videos, which are now coming from my 207aikido youtube channel, rather than the Hudson Media Empire channel.)

  1. A great and valuable post. I really like the video with the three teachers doing the atemi waza. I have wanted to compile one like this for a long time. That being said they do it all very stylized and similar in execution. I would like to get a better cross comparison of the variation that exist out there.

    Outstanding post. I see now why it took you so long since you last one.

    Oh and armpit is a poor choice of words in waki gatamae. ‘Side’ is better or ‘under one’s arm; flank.’ People start doing the technique weird if they focus on armpits. (I have had this discussion several times) I have never used the armpit in this technique myself.

    The short sword in Japanese, wakizashi – 脇差 has nothing to do with the armpit.

    Judo on the other hand has a ground technique called waki gatame using this kanji 腋, which I feel is more of the armpit idea. You defiantly use the armpit on this technique.

    I will do a bit more research on this topic to clarify it in my own mind.

  2. Thanks for the Japanese corrections Eric!

    I chose very orthodox JAA material where I could. We go pretty far out onto limbs (as you know) in practice, but the tests will be officially TAA (JAA lineage) tests and I’d like my students to see how they are currently doing these techniques in Japan.

  3. Terrific videos! Thanks.

  4. I think the tsukuri kanji is – 作り

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