Karate gradings are a great way of focusing student’s minds on reaching specific targets and goals. The student’s first full grade will be that of yellow belt and this can be usually attained in around 3 months of training based on one lesson a week.
Our gradings are a big occasion and we invite our students families to come and support them.
Our grading syllabus is based on 6 major points
The basics are the ABC of karate, the punching, the kicking, the blocking and the stances. In the early stages the new student will concentrate mainly on learning these new techniques. As the student advances, the emphasis from learning new techniques to honing them. With strong foundations we can build good karate!
If basics are the ABC of karate then combinations are learning how to spell. We start with putting a block, a punch and a kick together. At this stage a student’s confidence really grows and body movement becomes more fluid. At this stage the moves are still done in a shadow boxing kind of way or in thin air, mainly so the student can focus 100% on their technique
This is now where all the previous work pays off! With the basics and combinations becoming firmly committed to muscle memory we start to work on our impact. Hitting thin air, as stated, is great for perfecting one’s technique but this is not enough! Using the focus pads the student quickly learns how to use their body to develop and generate power!
Kata, to the untrained eye looks like some sort of mystical karate dance! This could not be further from the truth! Kata is packed full of self-defence/protection techniques, strategies and principles. It is practised in thin air the same way as the combinations are in order to gain great technique with no distractions. Solo kata performance can be physically and mentally demanding in its own right as well as aesthetically pleasing, but this is not the real purpose of kata……
Once we have got an understanding of the kata and our bodies have adapted to the movement within it we can take the next step and practice with a partner. Your instructor will help the student identify what the moves mean and how they can be applied for self-defence. This is where we often see light bulbs go on! The students will practice the self-defence techniques from the kata in a compliant way with each other.
Kumite is where we gain live practice of our karate techniques on an opponent or partner. There are different types of kumite the most popular of which is sports influenced, where two competitors will try to score points on each other with punches and kicks until the referee separates them. We do practice in this way as it’s a lot of fun and promotes speed and timing, however as our main focus as a club is practicality we see kumite as good time to practice the self defence applications of our kata in a less compliant, more frantic and chaotic way. A student with a good level of this kind of kumite will be very well equipped to look after themselves in a real life situation.
For detailed information please visit the student corner.
Student corner link