The Training Syllabus


As a beginner you will wear a white belt - the colour of innocence and purity.

After a suitable time, when you have a grasp of a set of prescribed techniques, you will be ready to be examined for the next step up the karate ladder.

You will be examined for your first true "grade" - the 9th Kyu, Orange belt. If successful, you will learn a new set of techniques to prepare you for your red belt (8th Kyu) grading examination.

Every time you learn one set of techniques and are promoted to a higher grade you have a new set of techniques to learn.

Each belt has it's own set of techniques and skills to learn but theses can be divided into three broad categories.

KIHON
Kihon is a Japanese term meaning "basics" or "fundamentals." The term is used to refer to the basic techniques that are taught and practised as the foundation of most Japanese martial arts. The practice and mastery of kihon is essential to all advanced training. At the simple level this would include stances, punches, kicks, blocks, and thrusts but also includes basic representative kata. Kihon techniques tend to be practiced often, and in many cases during each practice session. They are considered fundamental to the mastery and improvement of all movements of greater complexity.

KATA
Kata is often described as a set sequence of karate moves organised into a pre-arranged fight against imaginary opponents. It consists of kicks, punches, sweeps, strikes, blocks, and throws. Body movement in various kata includes stepping, twisting, turning, dropping to the ground, and jumping. In Shotokan, kata is not a performance or a demonstration, but is for individual karateka to practice full techniques with every technique potentially a killing blow (ikken hisatsu) while paying particular attention to form and timing (rhythm).

KUMITE
Kumite, or sparring, is the practical application of kata to real opponents. For beginners, it is introduced as basic blocking and counter-attacking, but will gradually progress to free-sparring (Jiyu Kumite) which develops the timing, reflexes and co-ordination necessary for self defence and competition.
 

Click on the relevant section below to see the required techniques for each belt.

Student Grade Belt Requirements

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  • Orange Belt

    Kihon


    Choku Zuki (Straight punch) (10 times)
    Chudan Oi Zuki (step forwards and backwards 3 times)
    Gyaku Zuki (step forwards and backwards 3 times)
    Jodan Age Uke ( step forwards and backwards 3 times)
    Soto Ude Uke (step forwards and back 3 times)
    Uchi Ude Uke (step forwards and backwards 3 times)
    Shuto Uke from Kokutsu Dachi (step forwards and backwards 3 times)
    (Turn) step forwards Mae Geri Chudan (3 times)
    (Turn) step forwards Mae Geri Jodan (3 times)
    Yoko Geri Keage from Kiba Dachi (both sides 3 times)

    Kumite


    Gohon Kumite (Five Step Sparring)
    to Jodan and Chudan levels

    Kata


    Kihon Kata
  • Red Belt

    Kihon


    Choku Zuki (Straight punch) (10 times)
    Chudan Oi Zuki (step forwards and backwards 3 times)
    Gyaku Zuki (step forwards and backwards 3 times)
    Jodan Age Uke (step forwards and backwards 3 times)
    Soto Ude Uke (step forwards and backwards 3 times)
    Uchi Ude Uke (step forwards and backwards 3 times)
    Shuto Uke from Kokutsu Dachi (step forwards and backwards 3 times)
    (Turn) step forwards Mae Geri Chudan (3 times)
    (Turn) step forwards Mae Geri Jodan (3 times)
    Yoko Geri Keage from Kiba Dachi (both sides, 3 times)

    Kumite


    Gohon Kumite (Five Step Sparring)
    to Jodan and Chudan levels

    Kata


    Heian Shodan
  • Yellow Belt

    Kihon


    Chudan Oi Zuki (step forwards 3 times)
    Chudan Gyaku Zuki (turn step forwards 3 times)
    Jodan Age Uke, Gyaku Zuki (step back 3 times)
    Soto Ude Uke, Gyaku Zuki (step forwards 3 times)
    Uchi Ude Uke, Gyaku Zuki (step back 3 times)
    Shuto Uke from Kokutsu Dachi (step forwards 3 times)
    (Turn) step forwards Mae Geri Chudan (3 times)
    (Turn) step forwards Mae Geri Jodan (3 times)
    Yoko Geri Keage from Kiba Dachi (both sides 3 times)
    Yoko Geri Kekomi from Kiba Dachi (both sides 3 times)

    Kumite


    Sambon Kumite (Three Step Sparring)
    Jodan, Chudan, Mae Geri

    Kata


    Heian Nidan
  • Green Belt

    Kihon


    Sanbon Zuki (step forwards 3 times)
    Jodan Age Uke, Gyaku Zuki, Gedan Barai (step backwards 3 times)
    Soto Ude Uke, Yoko Empi (step forwards 3 times)
    Uchi Ude Uke, Kizami Zuki, Gyaku Zuki (step backwards 3 times)
    Shuto Uke from Kokutsu Dachi, Nukite (step forwards 3 times)
    (Turn) step forwards Mae Ren Geri (Jodan, Chudan) (3 times)
    (Turn) step forwards Mawashi Geri (3 times)
    Yoko Geri Keage from Kiba Dachi (both sides 3 times)
    Yoko Geri Kekomi from Kiba Dachi (both sides 3 times)

    Kumite


    Sambon Kumite (three step sparring)
    Jodan, Chudan, Mae Geri

    Kata


    Heian Sandan
    Any previous Kata of the examiner's choice.
  • Purple Belt

    Kihon


    Sanbon Zuki (step forwards 3 times)
    Jodan Age Uke, Gyaku Zuki, Gedan Barai (step backwards 3 times)
    Soto Ude Uke, Yoko Empi, Uraken (step forwards 3 times)
    Uchi Ude Uke, Kizami Zuki, Gyaku Zuki (step backwards 3 times)
    Shuto Uke from Kokutsu Dachi, Kizami Mae Geri, Nukite (step forwards 3 times)
    (Turn) step forwards Mae Ren Geri (Chudan, Jodan) (3 times)
    (Turn) step forwards Mawashi Geri, Gyaku Zuki (Turn, step forwards 3 times)
    Yoko Geri Keage from Kiba Dachi (both sides 3 times)
    Yoko Geri Kekomi from Kiba Dachi (both sides 3 times)

    Kumite


    Kihon Ippon Kumite (One Step Sparring)
    1 x Jodan, 1 x Chudan, 1 x Mae Geri Chudan

    Kata


    Heian Yondan
    Any previous Kata of the examiner's choice
  • Purple Belt - 1 White Stripe

    Kihon


    Sanbon Zuki (step forward 3 times)
    Jodan Age Uke, Gyaku Zuki, Gedan Barai (step backwards 3 times)
    Soto Ude Uke, Yoko Empi, Uranken, Gyaku Zuki (step forwards 3 times)
    Uchi Ude Uke, Kizami Zuki, Gyaku Zuki (step backwards 3 times)
    Shuto Uke from Kokutsu Dachi, Kizami Mae Geri, Nukite (step forwards 3 times)
    (Turn) step forwards Mae ren Geri, (Chudan, Jodan) (3 times)
    (Turn) step forwards Mae Geri Chudan, Oi Zuki, Gedan Barai (3 times)
    (Turn) step forwards Gyaku Zuki, Mawashi geri, Gyaku Zuki, Gedan Barai (3 times)
    Yoko Geri Keage, step over Yoko Geri Kekomi in Kiba Dachi (both sides 3 times)
    Yoko Geri Kekomi, step over Yoko Geri Keage in Kiba Dachi (both sides 3 times)

    Kumite


    Kihon Ippon Kumite (One Step Sparring)
    1 x Jodan, 1 x Chudan, 1 x Mae Geri Chudan, 1 x Yoko Geri Kekomi, 1 x Mawashi Geri (both sides, left and right)

    Kata


    Heian Godan
    Any previous Kata of the examiner's choice.
  • Brown Belt

    Kihon


    Sanbon Zuki (step forwards 3 times)
    Jodan Age Uke, Gyaku Zuki, Gedan Barai (step backwards 3 times)
    Soto Ude Uke, Gyaku Zuki (step forwards 3 times)
    Uchi Ude Uke, Kizami Zuki, Gyaku Zuki, Gedan Barai (step backwards 3 times)
    Shuto Uke from Kokutsu Dachi, Kizami Mae Geri, Nukite (step forwards 3 times)
    (Turn) step forwards Mae ren Geri (Chudan, Jodan) (3 times)
    (Turn) Gyaku Zuki step forwards, Mawashi Geri, Uranken, Gyaku Zuki, Gedan Barai (3 times)
    (Turn) step forwards Ushiro Geri (3 times)
    Yoko Geri Keage, step over same leg Yoko Geri Kekomi in kiba Dachi (both sides 3 times)
    Same leg on the spot: Mae Geri to the front, Yoko Geri Kekomi to the side, Ushiro Geri to the rear (step back 3 times)

    Kumite


    Kihon Ippon Kumite (One Step Sparring)
    1 x Jodan, 1 x Chudan, 1 x Mae Geri, 1 x Yoko Geri Kekomi, 1 x Mawashi Geri, 1 x Ushiro Geri, (both sides, left and right)

    Kata


    Tekki Shodan
    Any previous Kata of the examiner's choice.
  • Brown Belt - 1 White Stripe

    Kihon


    Sanbon Zuki (step forwards 3 times)
    Jodan Age Uke, Gyaku Zuki, Gedan Barai (step backwards 3 times)
    Soto Ude Uke, Yoko Empi, Uraken, Gyaku Zuki, Gedan Barai (step forwards 3 times)
    Uchi Ude Uke, Kizami Zuki, back leg Mae Geri, step back to Zenkutsu Dachi, Gyaku Zuki (step backwards 3 times)
    Shuto Uke from Kokutsu Dachi, Kizami Mae Geri, Nukite (step backwards 3 times)
    (Turn) step forwards Mae Geri, Oi Zuki, Gyaku Zuki (3 times)
    (Turn) Gyaku Zuki, step forwards Mawashi Geri, Uranken, Gyaku Zuki, Gedan Barai (3 times)
    (Turn) step forwards Ushiro Geri, Uranken, Gyaku Zuki i (3 times)
    Step over Yoko Geri Kekomi same leg Yoko Geri Keage in Kiba Dachi (both sides 3 times)
    Same leg on the spot: Mae Geri to the front, Yoko Geri Kekomi to the side, Ushiro Geri to the rear, Mawashi Geri to the front (3 times)

    Kumite


    Kihon Ippon Kumite (One Step Sparring)
    1 x Jodan, 1 x Chudan, 1 x Mae Geri, 1 x Yoko Geri Kekomi, 1 x Mawashi Geri, 1 x Ushiro Geri (both sides, left and right)
    Jiyu Ippon Kumite (Semi Free Style)
    1 x Jodan, 1 x Chudan, 1 x Mae Geri, 1 x Mawashi Geri

    Kata


    Bassai Dai
    Any previous Kata of the examiner's choice.
  • Brown Belt - 2 White Stripes

    Kihon


    Sanbon Zuki (step forwards 3 times)
    Jodan Age Uke, Gyaku Zuki, Gedan Barai (step backwards 3 times)
    Soto Ude Uke, Yoko Empi, Gyaku Zuki, Gedan Barai (step forwards 3 times)
    Uchi Ude Uke, Kizami Zuki, back leg Mar Geri, step back to Zenkutsi Dachi, Gyaku Zuki (step backwards 3 times)
    Shuto Uke from Kokutsu Dachi, Kizami Mawashi Geri, Nukite (step forwards 3 times)
    (Turn) Kizami Mae Geri, Gyaku Zuki, step forwards Mae Geri, Gyaku Zuki, Gedan Barai (3 times)
    (Turn) step forwards Mae geri Chhudan, Yoko Geri Kekomi Jodan (3 times)
    (Turn) step forwards Mae Geri Chudan, Mawashi Geri Jodan (3 times)
    (Turn) step forwards Ushiro Geri, Gyaku Zuki (3 times)
    Yoko Geri Keage, Yoko Geri Kekomi (same leg) from Kiba Dachi (both sides, 3 times)
    Same leg on the spot: Mae Geri to the front, Yoko Geri Kekomi to the side, Ushiro Geri to the rear, Mawashi Geri to the front (3 times)

    Kumite


    Kihon Ippon Kumite (One Step Sparring)
    1 x Jodan, 1 x Chudan, 1 x Mae Geri, 1 x Yoko Geri Kekomi, 1 x Mawashi Geri, 1 x Ushiro Geri (both sides, left and right)
    Jiyu Ippon Kumite (Semi Free Style)
    1 x Jodan, 1 x Chudan, 1 x Mae Geri, 1 x Mawashi Geri, 1 x Ushiro Geri

    Kata


    Bassai Dai
    Any previous Kata of the examiner's choice.

Senior (Black) Belt Requirements

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  • Shodan - Black Belt 1st Rank

    Kihon


    Sanbon Zuki (Jodan, Chudan, Chudan) (step forwards 3 times)
    Jodan Age Uke, Gyaku Zuki, Gedan Barai (step backwards 3 times)
    Soto Ude Uke, Yoko Empi, Uraken, Gyaku Zuki, Gedan Barai (step forwards 3 times)
    Uchi Ude Uke, Kizami Zuki, back leg Mae Geri, step back to Zenkutsu Dachi, Gyaku Zuki (step backwards 3 times)
    Shuto Uke from Kokutsu Dachi, Kizami Mawashi Geri, Nukite (step forwards 3 times)
    (Turn) Kizami Mae Geri, Gyaku Zuki, step forwards Mae Geri, Gyaku Zuki, Gedan Barai (3 times)
    (Turn) Gyaku zuki, step forwards Mawashi Geri, Uranken, Gyaku Zuki, Gedan Barai (3 times)
    (Turn) step forwards Mae Geri Chudan, same leg Yoko Geri Kekomi Jodan, Gyaku Zuki, Gedan Barai (3 times)
    (Turn) step forwards Mae Geri Chudan, same leg Mawashi Geri Jodan, Gyaku Zuki, Gedan Barai, (3 times)
    (Turn) step forwards Ushiro Geri, Gyaku Zuki, Gedan Barai (3 times)
    (Turn) Yoko Geri Keage, Yoko Geri Kekomi (same leg) from Kiba Dachi (both sides 3 times)
    Zenkutsu Dachi Shomen (kicking with the same leg)
    Mae Geri to the front, Yoko Geri Kekomi to the side, Ushiro Geri to the rear, Mawashi Geri to the front (3 times each side)

    Kumite


    Jiyu Ippon Kumite (Semi Free Style Sparring) (both sides)
    1 x Jodan, 1 x Chudan, 1 x Mae Geri, 1 x Yoko Geri Kekomi, 1 x Mawashi Geri, 1 x Ushiro Geri

    Jiyu Kumite
    Free style sparring against two consecutive Dan grades

    Kata


    Candidates choice from
    Bassai Dai - Kanku Dai - Jion - Empi - Jitte
    Plus examiner's choice from Heian / Tekki
  • Nidan - Black Belt 2nd Rank

    Kihon



    Kizami Zuki step forwards Mae Geri, Oi Zuki (3 times)
    (Turn) step back Jodan Age Uke, step forwards Mawashi Geri, Uraken, step forwards Oi Zuki (3 times)
    (Turn) step forwards Uchi Ude Uke, Kizami Zuki, back leg Mae Geri, step back to Zencutsu Dachi, Gyaku Zuki (3 times)
    (Turn) Step forwards Oi Zuki Jodan, Gyaku Zuki, Step back Shuto Uke Kokutsu Dachi, Ushiro Geri, Gyaku Zuki (3 times)
    (Turn) step forwards Mae Geri Chudan, (same leg) Mawashei Geri Jodan, Gyaku Zuki (3 times)
    (Turn) Step forwards Mawashi Geri Jodan, (same leg) Yoko Geri kekomi Chudan, Gyaku Zuki (3 times)
    (Turn) Ushiro Mawashei Geri (3 times)
    (Turn) Kizami Yoko Gei Kekomi, step Mae Geri, Oi Zuki (3 times)
    Zenkutsu Dachi Shomen (kicking with the same leg)
    Mae Geri to the front Yoko Geri Kekomi to the side, Ushiro Geri to the rear, Mawashi Geri to the front: 3 times each side

    Kumite


    Jiyu Ippon Kumite (semi free style sparring)
    1 x Jodan, 1 x Chudan, 1 x Mae Geri, 1 x Kekomi, 1 x Mawashi Geri, 1 x Ushiro-Geri (both sides)

    Jiyu Kumite
    Free-style sparring against three consecutive Dan grades

    Kata
    Candidates 1st choice from
    Bassai Sho - Kanku Sho - Tekki Nidan – Gankaku - Hangetsu

    Candidates 2nd choice from
    Bassai Dai - Kanku Dai - Jion - Enpi - Jitte
  • Sandan - Black Belt 3rd Rank

    Kihon


    Fudō Dachi Gedan Barai
    Chūdan Oi Zuki in Fudo Dachi stance
    Stepping punch (stomach height)
    Sanbon Zuki in Fudo Dachi stance
    Stepping triple punch changing to front stance on reverse punch
    Jiyū Na Gamae Shōmen
    Kizami Zuki – Tai Sabaki 90° Tate Shutō - Gyaku Zuki - Jiyū Na Gamae
    Front hand punch - Knife edge block (to the side) - reverse punch - return to starting position
    Kizami Zuki - Gyaku Zuki - Mawashi Geri - Uraken - Gyaku Zuki - Jiyū Na Gamae
    Front hand punch (pivoting on front foot to turn 45º) - reverse punch - roundhouse kick - back fist - reverse punch - return to starting position
    Kime Waza
    Kizami Zuki / Gyaku Zuki
    Front hand punch / reverse punch
    Zenkutsu Dachi Shomen (kicking with the same leg) Mae Geri to the front, Yoko Geri Kekomi to the side, Ushiro Geri to the rear, Mawashi Geri to the front. 3 times each side

    Kumite


    Jiyu Kumite (free style sparring) against three consecutive Dan grades

    Kata


    Candidates choice from
    Soachin – Nijushiho – Tekki Sandan – Chinte – Jiin

    Any previous Kata of the examiner's choice.
  • Yondan - Black Belt 4th Rank

    Kihon



    From Yoi
    Step forward Chūdan Oi Zuki (Zenkutsu Dachi)
    Step back Shutō Uke (Kōkutsu Dachi)
    In place, Nukite (Zenkutsu Dachi)
    In place, Gedan Barai (Fudō Dachi)
    Step forward Chūdan Oi Zuki (Fudō Dachi)
    Step back Chūdan Oi Zuki (Fudō Dachi)
    Turning backwards to face the rear execute Yoko Enpi bringing the attacking arm from under the other arm (Kiba Dachi)
    Turning backward to face the front execute Gedan Barai bringing the attacking arm from over the shoulder of the other arm (Neko Ashi Dachi)
    In place Gyaku Zuki (Neko Ashi Dachi)
    Change to face the front Maswashi Uke (Hangetsu Dachi)
    Step forward Maswashi Uke (Hangetsu Dachi)

    Kumite


    Jiyu Ippon Kumite (semi free style sparring)
    1x Jodan, 1x Chudan, 1x Mae Geri, 1x Kekomi, 1x Mawashi Geri, 1x Ushiro Geri (both sides)

    Jiyu Kumite (free style sparring) against four consecutive Dan grades

    Kata


    Candidates choice from
    Meikyo – Unsu - Wankan – Gojushiho Sho – Gojushiho Dai

    Any previous Kata of the examiner's choice.
Apart from being able to perform correctly the prescribed techniques there are other minimum temporal requirements for taking a grading examination.

Grade

Requirements

Below 1st Kyu

3 months training twice a week (>20 sessions)

1st Kyu to 1st Dan

6 months training twice a week (>40 sessions)

1st Dan to 2nd Dan

2 years and over 16 years old (>160 sessions)

2nd Dan to 3rd Dan

3 years training and 21 years old (>240 sessions)

3rd Dan to 4th Dan

4 years training and 25 years old (>320 sessions)

4th Dan to 5th Dan

5 years training and 30 years old (>400 sessions)

6th Dan and above

Awarded for time served

Karate cannot be adequately learned in a short space of time. Like a torpid bull, regardless of how slowly it moves, it will eventually cover a thousand miles. So too, for one who resolves to study Karate diligently two or three hours every day. After three or four years of unremitting effort one’s body will undergo a great transformation revealing the very essence of Karate.
Anko Itosu (the grandfather of modern Karate)
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Initially people seem to think that the ultimate goal of karate is to obtain a black belt. How wrong they are!

The black belt is the equivalent to completing an apprenticeship; the basic training is over and now you can start doing it for real!

In truth, being a black belt means that you have sufficient knowledge and skill to start studying karate in depth. And many people continue with their practise of karate for decades.

In many sports you reach a "certain age" and give up particiating in that sport, preferring to spectate or maybe coach/organise. Karate, on the other hand, has many active participants in their 50s, 60s and even 70s!

When you first attain your black belt you are awarded a Shodan - 1st Dan / First Level. This suggests that there are other, higher levels ... and there are another nine levels of black belt to go.

Higher level black belts are more difficult to obtain (as you would expect), and take considerably longer.

As a rule of thumb, once you have attained 1st Dan you have to wait two years before you are even considered for a 2nd Dan. After 2nd Dan it is a three year wait to take 3rd Dan, and four years to 4th Dan, and so on to a 10 year wait before you are considered for your 10th Dan, the highest karate grade.

Theoretically, you can go from a beginner to a 10th Dan Master in a minimum of 57 years of regular and dedicated training.

Our Art
Karate-do

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Our Association
English Karate Organisation

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Our Club
Sunderland  Karate Central

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Self Defence • Focus • Confidence • Respect • Self-Discipline • Honour • Fitness
Stress Reduction • Achievement • Positive Family Safe Environment

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The Black Belt