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All About Shinkyokushin Karate Belts Grading

Grading.

A word, an event, which many get anxious about and have mixed feelings towards it.

Getting ready during grading

It is an exam.

A test which each karateka (practitioner of karate) has to go through in order to move on to the next level of learning. Levels are denoted by the different belt colours.

Orange Belts of Kyokushin Karate

So what is involved in this karate grading? What are being tested on specifically?

In summary, segments can be classified into:

  • Correct warming-up techniques
  • (Kihon) Fundamental techniques- these are the different types of stances (horse-stance, right sanchin stance, etc), punches (middle, high, low, etc), blocks, kicks, etc.
  • (Ido-geko) Moving basics- the different aspects of incorporating the fundamental techniques with movements; usually in 3-steps forward / backward motion.
  • Step-sparring techniques (you would be paired with a partner, & your task in this test is to be able to demonstrate how you would defend and strike when there is an attack from your partner)
  • Kata (detailed patterns of movements which you would have learnt for your belt level requirement)
  • Kumite (free sparring)
  • Tameshiwari (breaking of wooden planks) / Jumping Sticks / Jumping squats (strength and flexibility)
  • Pad works- usually tested for jodan mawashi-geri (high kick), ushiro-geri (back kick), ushiro mawashi-geri (reverse roundhouse kick)
  •  Push-ups
The level of difficulties increases as the belt color level gets higher.
Because the range of skillsets required in each segment is so wide, it is up to the discretion of grading examiner to determine what and which types of skills in the different categories would be tested upon.
Singapore Branch Chief cum President of World Karate Organisation Shinkyokushin Karate Singapore-
Shihan Patrick Teo with Vice President of World Karate Organisation Shinkyokushin Karate Singapore- Shihan Bong
As such, it is essential that you attend training lessons regularly.
The key to passing each grading is to revise what you have learned from each lessons, and ensure that you keep to a consistent revision.
Displaying right movement is essential during grading
Grading for all ages
Flexibility and Confidence
Commands during grading are given in Japanese language. You would have repeatedly heard these commands during the trainings, hence if you had gone for regular lessons, you would be very familiar with them during grading.
Kumite (free sparring), is always the main highlight of grading for many. Almost every karateka are excited about kumite.
Full Contact Fighting
Senior Belters exchanging blows

It takes at least months of practice to achieve a good pass in grading. Every promotion in belt level is earned with the heart and sweat of each karateka through their devotion of time and effort.

Though the recent grading has ended, it does not mean slowing down or taking a break in training. Next grading will be in 4 months time, & till then, it will just be more sweat at Dojo Wu.

3 years to master the grip, 3 years to master the stance, 3 years to master the strike. -Senpai Melvern
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