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.
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. Red stripes on a white belt are used to show progression. A student will normally move from the 5-6 years old class to the 7-11 years old class during the session he/she turns 7 years old or the following session. Before the move, the student's overall knowledge of all the subjects learned in the 5-6 years old class will be assessed by the instructors. To ensure a seamless transition to the 7-11 years old class, the red stripes will be removed and replaced by the appropriate number of green stripe(s) based on the 7-11 years old class curriculum. As a minimum, the student will get one green stripe on one end of the belt.
Testing is held at the end of each session. Minimum training time between testing is 3 months (1 session) for white belts and 6 months (2 sessions) for green/brown belts. 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.
The above criteria are used as a guide. There are circumstances depending on age, prior experience, attitude and ability which allow some students to progress at different rates.
When a student is promoted to Brown Belt, he/she will be assigned a Black Belt mentor to oversee his/her readiness for continued Brown Belt testing and progress towards an eventual Black Belt. The mentor will not be the only instructor teaching the Brown Belt, but is overall responsible to ensure that all required are covered for future tests.
In Shorei-Kan Karate, the Kyu ranks have three colours of belts (white, green and brown); three stripes must be earned for each belt to move to the next belt. Once Black Belt is achieved, there is no dan ranking on the belt. Shorei-Kan Black Belts have Japanese calligraphy embroidered on the belts. On one side is their name and on the other side is Shorei-Kan Goju Ryu.