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BELT MANDATES

 

 

 

The following Belt Mandates are a guide to the student for advancement to the next level of study.

 

Remember, you must be able to demonstrate all Kihon, Kata and Kumite learnt at previous levels.

 

5th Kyu - Yellow Belt

4th Kyu - Orange Belt

3rd Kyu - Green Belt

2nd Kyu - Blue Belt

1st Kyu - Brown Belt

Shodan - Black Belt

 

 

 5th Kyu - Yellow Belt 

 

Physical presentation

 

A student must have a clear understanding of all techniques presented.
Maximum speed and power is not a prerequisite to graduation, although strong spirit and concentration is mandatory.
Full upper and lower body separation is acceptable at this level only.
A karate-ka (participant) must be able to count to 10 in Japanese without verbal hesitation.
They must also demonstrate a basic understanding of dojo etiquette attitude and formalities at all times.

 

Kihon (basics)

 

1. Strikes
basic standing punch
lunge punch
reverse punch
front kick

 

2. Blocks
low block
inside middle block
outside middle block
high block

3. Stances
front stance
horse stance

 

Students must be able to apply the above techniques and stances to simple moving or stepping combinations.

 

Kumite (sparring)

 

3 or 5-step pre-arranged sparring

Students must be able to initiate the basic “steps for preparation” before the exchange of techniques can begin.
These steps would include: facing each other at attention, preparing proper distance, formal bowing, setting into stance and announcing attention.
Techniques must be delivered with good control.
“Visual/physical awareness and good posture” (zanshin) must be present at all times.
After the 3 to 5 attacks are completed, the defender must show strong counter punch delivered on target with good control.
Students must give a strong kiai (shout) when requested by the instructor.

 

Kata (pre-arranged forms)

 

Required kata for this level:

1. Taikyoku shodan
2. 27 movements

 

At this level, students must demonstrate a complete understanding of all movements within the kata.
Maximum speed and power are not a concern at this time, but proper timing must be followed.
Emphasis should be placed on good posture and good stances; strong execution of technique; proper stepping, turning and foot placement; energetic kiai and zanshin.

 

Note: All shotokan kata should start and finish in exactly the same spot if all stances, stepping and turning are executed properly.

 

**************

 

Yellow Belt

 

 4th Kyu - Orange Belt 

 

Physical presentation

 

A karate-ka must have a clear understanding of all technques presented.
Maximum speed is not required but power must be applied to all techniques.
Hip rotation must be applied. Strong effort, spirit and concentration must be shown at all times.
Upper/lower body separation is acceptable, but a reduction is recommended.
A karate-ka must also demonstrate a basic understanding of dojo etiquette, attitude and formalities at all times.

 

Kihon (basics)

 

1. Strikes
kizami tsuki (jab)
nukite (spear hand)
yoko geri kekomi (side thrust kick)
yoko geri keage (side snap kick)

 

2. Blocks
shuto (sword hand)

 

3. Stances
kokutsu dachi (back stance)

 

Students must be able to apply the above techniques and stances to basisc moving or stepping combinations.
Foot and hand positioning must be correct to illustrate readiness for making contact with intended target. For example, front kick - toes pulled back, foot in line with shin bone.

 

Kumite (sparring)

 

3 step pre-arranged sparring (sanbon kumite)

Students must be able to perform all requirements for initiating and completing sanbon kumite (see 5th kyu requirements).
Techniques must be delivered on target with good control.
“Visual and physical awareness and good posture” (zanshin) must be present at all times.
Distance from target is not a main concern at this time.
After the 3 attacks are completed, the defender must be able to counter using tai sabaki (side evasion), while showing a strong counter punch delivered on target and with good control.

 

Kata (pre-arranged forms)

 

Required kata for this level:

1. Heian Shodan
2. Heian Nidan

At this level, students must demonstrate a complete understanding of all movements within the kata.
Speed and power is not demanded at this time, but proper timing must be followed. Emphasis should be placed on good posture and good stances; strong execution of technique; proper stepping, turning and foot placement; energetic kiai and zanshin.

 

Note: All shotokan kata should start and finish in exactly the same spot if all stances, stepping and turning are executed properly.

 

**************

 

Orange Belt

 

 3rd Kyu - Green Belt 

 

Physical presentation

 

A karate-ka must have a clear understanding of all techniques presented.
A combination of speed and power is needed and strong spirit and concentration is mandatory.
Hip rotation should be evident in all techniques.
A reduction of upper and lower body separation must be seen, but it does not yet need to be eliminated completely.
A karate-ka must also demonstrate a good understanding of dojo etiquette, attitude and formalities at all times.

 

Kihon (basics)

 

1. Strikes
mawashi tsuki (hook punch)
empi (elbow strike)
tettsui (hammer fist)
uraken (back fist)
mawashi geri (round house kick)
kagi-zuki (hook punch)

Students must be able to apply the above techniques and stances to basic moving or stepping combinations.
Foot and hand techniques must be aimed at a specific target to illustrate a karate-ka’s ability to control hand/eye co-ordination.

 

Kumite (sparring)

 

3 step pre-arranged sparring (sanbon kumite)

 

Students must be able to perform all requirements for initiating and completing sanbon kumite (see 5th kyu requirements).
A strong understanding of the theories of go-no-sen (attack-block-counter) must be seen at this level.
Techniques must be delivered on target with good control.
Visual and physical awareness and good posture (zanshin) must be present at all times.
Distance from target should be no more than 3 inches.
After the 3 attacks are completed, the defender must be able to counter using tai sabaki while showing strong counters using kicks, punches and strikes delivered on target and with good control.

 

Kata (pre-arranged forms)

 

Required kata for this level:

1. Heian Sandan
2. 1 to 3 other kata of the instructor’s choice

 

At this level, students must demonstrate a complete understanding of all movements within the kata.
Speed and power should be offered, and proper timing must be followed. Emphasis should be placed on good posture and good stances; strong execution of technique; proper stepping, turning and foot placement; energetic kiai and zanshin.

 

Note: All shotokan kata should start and finish in exactly the same spot if all stances, stepping and turning are executed properly.

 

**************

 

Green Belt

 

 2nd Kyu - Blue Belt 

 

Physical presentation

 

A karate-ka must have a clear understanding of all techniques presented.
Maximum speed and power must be applied and strong spirit and concentration is mandatory.
Upper and lower body separation should be eliminated and the use of basic kime (focus) principles must be attempted.
A karate-ka must also demonstrate a good understanding of dojo etiquette, attitude and formalities at all times.

 

Kihon (basics)

 

1. Strikes
haito (inside ridge hand)
teisho (palm heel strike)
kizami geri (front kick from front leg)
ushiro geri (back kick)

 

2. Blocks
uchi gedan barai (inside low block)

3. Stances
sanchin dachi (hour glass stance)

 

Students must be able to apply the above techniques and stances to shifting and stepping combinations.
Foot and hand techniques must be aimed at a specific target to illustrate a karate-ka’s ability to control hand/eye co-ordination.

 

Kumite (sparring)

 

1 step pre-arranged sparring (ippon kumite)

 

Students must be able to perform all requirements for initiating and completing ippon kumite (see 5th kyu requirements under sanbon kumite).
The theories of sen-no-sen (simultaneous attack and counter) should be practiced but proficiency is not mandatory at this time.
Techniques must be delivered on target with good control. Visual and physical awareness and good posture (zanshin) must be present at all times.
Distance from target should be no more than 1 inch.
After the attack is completed, the defender must be able to counter using tai sabaki while showing strong counters using kicks, punches and strikes delivered on target and with good control

 

Kata (pre-arranged forms)

 

Required kate for this level:

1. Heian Yodan
2. 1 to 4 other kata of the instructor’s choice

 

At this level, students must demonstrate a complete understanding of all movements within the kata.
Maximum speed and power should be attempted at all times and proper timing must be followed.
Emphasis should be placed on: good posture and balance; strong execution of technique; proper stepping, turning and foot placement; energetic kiai; zanshin and kime.

 

Note: All shotokan kata should start and finish in exactly the same spot if all stances, stepping and turning are executed properly.

 

**************

 

Blue Belt

 

1st Kyu - Brown Belt

 

Physical presentation

 

A clear understanding of all techniques presented. Maximum speed and power is a pre-requisite to graduation, along with strong spirit and concentration. Upper and lower body separation is no longer acceptable and complete kime (focus) must be seen.
Dojo etiquette must be strictly followed and the sampai-kohai system must be fully understood and implemented at all times.
A student should have a strong basic understanding of Japanese terminology.

 

Kihon (basics)

 

1. Strikes
ura-mawashi geri (back hook kick) - basic understanding only
ashi barai (foot sweep)

 

2. Blocks
a basic understanding of “guiding blocks” for redirecting attacks as opposed to stopping them

 

3. Stances
neko hachi dachi (cat stance)

 

Students must be able to apply the above techniques and stances to advanced shifting and stepping combinations.
Students must be able to show their ability to pick an exact target with any strike with full speed and power.
Foot and hand techniques are aimed at a specific target to illustrate a karate-ka’s ability to control hand and eye co-ordination.

 

Kumite (sparring)

 

1 step pre-arranged sparring (ippon kumite)

 

Students must be able to perform all requirements for initiating and completing ippon kumite (see 5 kyu requirements).
At this level students must be able to complete an entire ippon kumite routine without the assistance of the instructor to call out preparation or attack.
The theories of sen-no-sen should be understood and the theories of sen (counter before attacker strikes) should begin exploration.
Techniques must be delivered on target, with good control.
Visual and physical awareness and good posture (zanshin) must be present at all times.
Proper kime (focus) must be present on all techniques.
No pulling back of punches or strikes unless asked for by the instructor.
Proper distance from target should be “touch karate gui” or “skin touch”.
Under no conditions should impact or contact by made with your partner.
After the attack in completed, the defender must be able to counter using tai sabaki while showing strong counters using kicks, punches and strikes delivered on target and with good control. The defender could be asked by the instructor to counter using a combination of techniques.

 

Kata (pre-arranged forms)

 

Required kata for this level:

1. Heian Godan
2. 1 to 5 other kata of the instructor’s choice

 

At this level, students must demonstrate a complete understanding of all movements within the kata.
Maximum speed and power are essential with proper timing.
The student must know the bunkai (breakdown) for all the major movements or combinations in the kata and be able to offer an explanation or demonstration if requested.

 

Note: All shotokan kata should start and finish in exactly the same spot if all stances, stepping and turning are executed properly.

 

**************

Brown Belt
   

 

 
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