The International Yōseikan Budō Federation has its headquarters in Torrance, California (south of Los Angeles). Contrary to the norm in the world of martial arts, this federation is a non-profit organization which exists solely to serve its members. In North America, the Federation is managed by Patrick Augé Sensei Shihan, technical director.
The IYBF is affiliated with the Kokusai Budo Seifukai (International Budo Seifukai) based in Japan, headed by Tetsuma Mochizuki Saiko Shihan, for which Augé Sensei Shihan is the Director for International Operations.
In the IYBF, selection for testing is made according to the following criteria: time dedicated to study and training, class attendance, improvement and attitude. Examinations are an important part of Budō study but are not compulsory. However proper etiquette requires that students who wish to be excused from the test notify their teacher beforehand.
The purpose of testing is to give serious students who have been selected, an evaluation of their levels at a certain time with the expectation that they will heed the advice given to them and keep studying diligently. For this reason, the results are given after several weeks. Ranks are never given as a reward or an encouragement and are valid only as long as the students are active.
All students are encouraged to observe the examination as a part of study. IYBF ranking exams are usually held twice a year, under the direction of Patrick Augé Sensei Shihan.
Ranks & Belts
The IYBF utilizes the colored belts and "dan" system conceived for Jūdō by Jigorō Kanō Sensei. This system was later adopted by other martial arts.
From Shodan to Godan, the IYBF belt is black with a red stripe along its center. Minoru Mochizuki Sensei introduced this feature in the fifties in order to distinguish the Yōseikan Budō Aikido black belt from the Jūdō black belt and out of respect for Jūdō founder Jigorō Kanō.
The Rokudan to Hachidan belt is red and white with the red stripe. Kyudan and Judan belts are plain red with a yellow stripe.