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The National Cultural Association of Aikido (ACNA) was founded in June 1980 by Michel Bécart. It is an organisation registred at the French Ministry of Sports.The headquarters of the ACNA are in Paris.


On April 1st, 2016, the ACNA was officially recognised by Hombu Dojo Aikido World Headquarters, Tokyo, Japan.

L'ACNA has classes in Paris every day (except Sundays), open to all levels. Regularly organised during the year and open to everyone, the ACNA seminars  (both weapons and bare hand) are taught by Michel Bécart. Dan Aikikai exams are held during certain seminars.

The ACNA seminars  provide a follow-up in learning  aikido techniques. Each seminar allows to study in detail bare hand techniques (taijutsu) and weapons techniques (buki waza), respecting the spirit of O’Sensei as well as the rules of the Aikikai Hombu Dojo of Tokyo. The seminars help students, besides giving them focus in their training, understand better the principles of aikido.

Most important to us is the spirit in which the seminars are held. To practice aikido merely  to improve your  technique is not enough. Being  respectful and courteous on the tatami, as well as being friendly and straighforward is essential.

Whether you are a Dojo or an individual person, you can easily join the ACNA and become a member.

 The grading system at  the ACNA school


The dan grades that are awarded within the ACNA school are given in accordance with  the regulations  and rules of the Aikikai  Hombu Dojo of  Tokyo, either after a demonstration of techniques, or by nomination.

At the ACNA, there is no exam per se. Michel Bécart Shihan  teaches  and trains  his students everyday day, and thus he  is aware of the level of each one of them.  Therefore  he does not send someone to a grade dan exam to  fail them. During the exam the student presents their technical skills in Aikido.


In the case of students from other dojos (members of the ACNA),  the teachers of those dojos  recommend their students for particular grade dan level to  Michel Bécart. This recommendation is essential, however Michel Bécart will pay particular attention to the technical skills of the student during ACNA seminars to decide in favour of  accepting the  student for a dan grade exam.  The student must have the necessary  technical skills as well as  the years of experience expected for the  dan grade they wish to be awarded. The student presents techniques in Suwari Waza, Hanmi Hantachi Waza, Tachi Waza and Buki Waza. Their  work as uke is also part of the exam. Michel Bécart Shihan decides on the  the intensity of the exam session, as well as the change of uke when necessary.

Being awarded a grade reflects more than good technical skills in Aikido,  even though the latter is  essential. Obtaining a grade dan  should also reflect a person’s perseverance and  regularity in practice,  and also their  years of experience and that they have proper mentality for Aikido practice within the ACNA school and  that they accept accept its values.


The grade system


6th Kyu (級) au 1st Kyu (級)

Shodan (初段) : 1st Dan (Beginner)

Nidan (弐段) : 2nd Dan

Sandan (参段) : 3rd Dan

Yondan (四段) : 4th Dan

Godan (五段) : 5th Dan

Rokudan (六段) : 6th Dan

Nanadan (七段) : 7th Dan


Aikido regulation : Article 4 - 1.2

"Dan grades are legitimated by Aikido Doshu. An Aikido organization which has been given Hombu Recognition must hold in esteem the Aikido dan grades legitimated by the Doshu. The members of that organization must obtain dan grades to be legitimated by Doshu and registered at the Hombu regardless of a situation in which national dan grades are issued by the country or government due to the national legislation or some other reason".


The ACNA school having been given the Hombu Recognition, abides by its rules.


The Titles in ACNA 


FUKU SHIDOIN  (副指導員): Instructor assistant.

is a person whose technical skills and experience allows them to guide other students in their practice. They are of  2nd dan or 3rd dan.


SHIDOIN  (指導員) : Qualified instructor.

is a person with an advanced technique in aikido. They are persons of 4th dan or above. Their technical skills in Aikido should serve as an example  to  be followed by  other students. They also play the role of intermediary between the Shihan and  the dojo.


SHIHAN  (師範) : Teacher.

they are the master of the school. The title of  Shihan is awarded to people who are 6th dan and above. They are  the role-model for their students, as much as for their technical skills as for their mentality. The Shihan depends directly from the Aikikai Hombu Dojo of  Tokyo.

As master and role-model of the school, the Shihan is  endowed  with the responsibility of transmitting their technical knowledge and of the values of aikido as  defined  for future generations by the creator of aikido Morihei Usheiba.

The Shihan should concentrate on  developing  their school while respecting other aikido groups, in accordance with the specifications of the Aikikai Hombu Dojo of  Tokyo.

Bercy 2008 (Paris, France), uke Cyril Lefebvre.

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