Kata (pre-arranged forms) is the heart of traditional karate and through the study of kata, students are able to reach a full understanding of all the techniques, beauty and philosophy of karate-do.
Training is further enhanced in Shorei-Kan by the practice of Bunkai. Two students face each other, one doing the defense and the other doing the attacking part of the kata.
In Kumite, one student attacks with pre-arranged moves while the defender uses pre-arranged defense moves. With this type of traditional training, students can practice the techniques in complete safety.
Free sparring is only done at advanced stages and under direct supervision.
The Dojo also teaches weapons which includes bo (staff), sai (dagger with two prongs), and tonfa (T-baton).
The student curriculum by class/belt is shown below and includes a combination of the above topics based on the belt level. The curriculum is also displayed at the Dojo on the subjects boards wall. Subjects manuals and various Martial Arts books can be found in the Dojo book cart and can be signed out for up to two weeks. Jack Shihan has prepared 7 excellent Home Training Guides. Click here to view the Guides. Videos and pictorial sequences of many subjects are available on the Dojo Members-only password protected page. The password can be found on page 3 of the Student Record of Promotions booklet.
The 5-6 years old class is an introduction to Karate. The focus of the first session is on basics; the following sessions focus on the basic katas, followed by the first two kumites.
Testing takes place at the end of each session. Minimum training time between testing is 1 session for white belts and 2 sessions for green/brown belts; green/brown belts require additional time to learn the more advanced subjects.
Students considered ready for testing will be informed one to two weeks before the test date. Testing eligibility requirements are:
Regular class attendance (minimum 75%). When you enter the Dojo, ensure you check in on the attendance sheets.
Meet the minimum time between testings.
Demonstrate a solid level of competence and understanding of the applicable subjects.
Follow the Dojo rules and display proper attitude and behavior.
Arrive to class on time.
Wear a clean dogi (uniform).
Student fees are paid-up for the session.
Regular class attendance plays a vital role in a student's karate skills and growth as well as fostering discipline. The Dojo is not just a space to practice karate but it is where students cultivate social skills and develop a sense of responsibility, belonging and commitment. Since many subjects are performed with partners, students can practice those with their fellow students. Home practice and the use of the Dojo videos/pictorial sequence of subjects complement (do not replace) regular class attendance.
Not all students progress at the same rate. In addition to the above requirements, age, commitment, skill level and prior martial arts experience are all taken into account prior to being invited to test. If a green or brown belt student has displayed significant progress towards testing readiness, early testing may be considered.
Promotion dates are recorded in our student database and in the Student Record of Promotions booklets.
In Shorei-Kan Karate, the Kyu ranks have four colours of belts (white, green, brown and black); three stripes must be earned for each belt to move to the next belt. Once Black Belt is achieved, there is no dan ranking displayed on the belt. Shorei-Kan Black Belts have Japanese calligraphy embroidered on the belts. On one side is the student's name and on the other side is Shorei-Kan Goju Ryu.
When a student is promoted to Brown Belt:
He/she becomes a senior student/assistant instructor and referred to as Senpai. As such, Brown Belts are expected to help teach at least one day a week. This includes conducting warm-ups/kihons and helping to teach subjects to students from white to green belts.
Each Brown Belt is assigned a Black Belt mentor to oversee his/her readiness for continued Brown Belt instruction and progression toward an eventual Black Belt. The mentor will not be the only instructor teaching the Brown Belt, but is overall responsible for ensuring that all requirements are covered for future testing eligibility.
Senior Brown Belts can attend the monthly Black Belt class.