Congratulations to Roaring Fork Aikikai Chief Instructor Mike Jones for achieving the rank of Yondan (4th Degree Black Belt), granted by the United States Aikido Federation (USAF). Mike was invited to test during the USAF Winter Camp in Fort Lauderdale, Florida in November 2017.
This was the first time in over a decade that the USAF has chosen to administer testing for the rank of Yondan. During testing at lower ranks, students are asked to execute specific techniques which they have prepared for in advance. At the Yondan level, test requirements are determined by the examiner at the time of examination, and the tester must be prepared to execute any technique. The testing committee, comprised of Shihans Peter Bernath, Harvey Konigsberg and Donovan Waite, requested continuous attacks with any strike or grab from three or four ukes at a time. The tester had to demonstrate proficiency from suwariwaza, hanmi handachi, and tachiwaza positions in response to attacks from the front and the rear. Other requirements included koshinage, henkawaza, weapon takeaways, jo nage, and randori.