The new kids test requirements have been being used for the last several months, but they have now been added to the site under the “Children’s Belt Requirements” link. They are also now in pdf format so you can download them for off-line viewing or printing.
As for the actual requirements, not much has really changed; this is more-so an explicit publication of the requirements. The old documented standard was not very explicit and caused some confusion. The biggest changes are 1) no more pending, and 2) a change to the belt colors themselves. #1 is a tough one. In the past, a student had 3 possible outcomes from a test: Pass, Pend, or Fail. Pass and Fail are pretty obvious, but pend caused a lot of heartache; so we got rid of it.
An important thing to note here, since failures will now be much more common, is that a student DOES NOT have to re-pay for a test that they failed. This has always been the policy, but some people that had never failed/had a child fail a test were concerned about this.
The new belt ranks are as followed (top to bottom, left to right)
|Yellow w/White Stripe
||Yellow w/Black Stripe
|Orange w/White Stripe
||Yellow w/Orange Stripe
|Green w/White Stripe
||Green w/Black Stripe
|Brown w/White Stripe
||Brown w/Black Stripe
|Black w/White Stripe
||Black w/Green Stripe
||Black w/Brown Stripe
Monday nights started out with tournament prep focusing on tournament kata. After that class, Sensei Keyes made an appearance and led the regular class through a very technically grueling class.
Tuesday night was all basics: Seken zuki, age uke, soto uke, and uchi uke; the blocks all performed with gyaku zuki. We spent a little bit of extra time focusing on the non-blocking hand and how it can be employed during the techniques rather than being a “dead hand”.
Thursday night’s kids class was mostly Oyo Tan Ren. This is required to pass the orange belt test, and has single-handedly failed more students than any other exercise or technique. It was good for the beginners to get a chance to start learning it. The last few minutes of the class were spent working on their test kata.
Thursday night’s intermediate class was heavy on tournament sparring. We did 2 minute rounds with the loser of each match doing pushups; then rotating to the next partner. After that we focused on empty handed and weapons kata.
No class on Monday due to inclement weather.
Tuesday night, we did quite a bit of medicine ball work, followed by practicing jab-reverse punch-front kick, jab-reverse punch-round kick, and jab-spinning back kick-backfist strike-reverse punch up and down the floor with partners.
Thursday night we repeated Tuesday’s workout with the addition of focusing on spinning back kick for quite a bit as well. Second class we worked exclusively on the kata Fukyugata Ni. After class, we finished up with some informal free sparring.
It was brought to my attention by a new student last night, that the info on the site is a bit outdated; and the last post I made was 3 years ago. It’s amazing how fast time flies when your life is in shambles. I shall remedy the issue as soon as possible.
I have just updated the dojo calendar for the year, and I shall update more of the site in the next few days.
Been slacking off on the training updates. Here’s the summary for the last 3 nights.
Taught all 3 classes tonight. Nothing but stance training. Lots of sweat and shaking legs. Not much else to say about it.
Tuesday nights class was all partner training with the bo. Really focusing on getting down the 1st 3 drills and learning what it feels like to make solid contact with the bo.
Last Thursday night I taught all 3 classes as well. 1st class was basics with partners. The whole second class was dedicated to partner training with the bo, and the 3rd class was black belt kata.
I started my student off last night with front, side, and round kicks on the heavy bag. This was followed by 4 different types of elbow strikes on the heavy bag. Then on to every kata he knows. Afterwards, we focused on partner training with the bo. We did about 50 reps of 3 different drills. It’s amazing how sore the hands get when you actually make contact continuously with the bo.
For the second class, we simply went through the Shotokan kyu rank kata syllabus. We started with Taikyoku Shodan, all 5 Heian kata, and all 3 Tekki kata. We did this for about an hour and 15 minutes. There was a fair amount of explanation between repetitions due to folks just learning the kata; but it was more than enough to work up a sweat.
Tonights training started with front, side, and round kicks on the bag followed by a kata run through. Afterwards, we focused on knees and elbows on the heavy bag. After that we worked on partner drills with the bo. We practiced the attacker moving forward performing overhead strikes, while the defender moved backwards performing high blocks.
I think the focus for the first part of this year is going to be on elbows, knees, and application of the bo techniques.
Folks seemed interested, so here’s tonight’s pretest workout…
Started with 10 minutes of calisthenics. Next was 100 punches in shiko-dachi. Then 100 stationary front kicks in zenkutsu-dachi. Next was 100 rising block reverse punch combinations in shiko-dachi. Next was 100 stationary side kicks from hesoku-dachi. Next was 50 oi-zuki forward elbow strick backwards combinations in shiko-dachi. All techniques were full-speed, full-power. After the basics, the kids did the kata Fukyugata Ichi 10 times full-speed, full power.
After the yellow, orange, and blue belts tested, there was another 20 minute workout of hard calisthenics. Then Sensei dismissed those who had already tested. I think customer satisfaction was 100% tonight.
The test itself went quite well. I was very happy with everyone’s performance; and a little surprised even by a few of the kids.
Tuesday night marked my return to the dojo after a two month absence due to a crazy work schedule. We worked on building muscles required to do round kick. We started with very slow, six count basic round kick. After many repetitions of that, we added folding chairs to the mix to ensure we weren’t cheating. We finish by doing full-speed round kicks over the folding chairs.
After round kick training, we focused on doing kata in a way that combines the concepts of Yoga with Karate. We performed the kata Fukyugata-ichi holding each posture (including the intermediate steps) for 30 seconds before moving to the next. This caused us to take about 22 minutes to perform one iteration of the kata.
In the words of one of the students, “Owwwww”.
The new site is up and functional. My backup of the old site did not work as planned, and it has been more difficult to restore than I had planned. All the previous page content is online. Please bear with me as I reconstruct some of the pieces (mostly images) that are still not working.