Standards of the Hombu Dojo

The Okinawa Village Karate Association Hombu Dojo (Hutchcroft Dojo) starts with 8th kyu. Other shibu dojo (dojo sponsored by the Homb Dojo) may have different standards such as the 10 kyu standard. This manual addresses the 8th kyu standard grading system for the Hombu Dojo (Hutchcroft Dojo). Reasonable modifications can be made to accommodate a 10 kyu syllabus.

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8th kyuPinan NidanGokui Waza: 1 to 43 months
7th kyuPinan ShodanGokui Waza 5 and 63 months
6th kyuPinan SandanGokui Waza: 7 and 83 months
5th kyuNaihonshi Shodan
Pinan Yondan
Gokui Waza: 9 and 103 months
4th kyuNaihonshi Nidan
Pinan Godan
Gokui Waza: 11 to 133 months
3rd kyuNaihonshi Sandan
Gokui Waza: 1 to 133 months
2nd kyu – NikyuPassai Sho
Gokui Waza: 14 to 166 months
1st kyu – IkkyuPassaiGokui Waza: 17 to 206 months
Gokui Waza: 21 to 251 yr. sub total
4 years
Gokui Waza: 26 to 352 years
SandanUseishiGokui Waza: 1 to 353 years
YondanRyu Sho Ken
Happoren (Babolein)
Gokui Waza: 1 to 354 years


8th kyu to 7th kyu (4-6 months)


Haiichi dachi – Focus stance
Fudo dachi – Immovable stance
Shizentai dachi – Natural stance
Naihanchi dachi – Iron horse stance
Renoji dachi – Defensive stance
Jigo tai dachi – Horse stance
Heisoku dachi – Attention stance
Neko ashi dachi – Cat stance
Kosa dachi – Cross over stance
Kaki dachi – Hook stance


Shuto uke – Knife hand block
Jodan uke – High or up block
Gedan uke – Low block
Chudan uke – Middle block
Mae ude uke – Forearm block
Osoto uke – Outside to middle block


Seiken tsuki – Forefist strike
Tettsui uchi – Hammer fist strike
Tate tsuki – Vertical fist strike
Shuto uchi – Knife hand strike


Mae geri – Front kick
Mae washi geri – Roundhouse kick


Introduction to Pinan Nidan
Prompted performance of Pinan Nidan
Introduction to Pinan Shodan


Gokui waza #1
Gokui waza #2
Gokui waza #3
Gokui waza #4
20 push-ups
25 crunches

Sensei Lineage and Basic Karate History

Koeppel-Ha principle #1:

Karate begins with the feet.



7th Kyu to 6th Kyu (6-9 months)


Shotei uke – Palm heel block
Haishu uke – Back hand block


Maewashi uchi – Hook punch
Utski tsuki – Inverted punch


Gokui waza #5
Gokui waza #6


Solo performance of Pinan Nidan
Solo performance of Pinan Shodan
Introduction of Naihanchi Shodan

The student will demonstrate proficiency in the basic drills worked in the dojo. He will
also demonstrate basic bunkai for Pinan Nidan.

Regular attendance is necessary to achieve proficiency within the prescribed time frame.

Koeppel Ha principle #2:

Body attitude/carriage

a) Centered
b) Weight to the underside
c) Knees remain flexed
d) Elbows down
e) Back straight


6th kyu to 5th kyu (total 12 months)


Neiko ashi dachi – Cat stance
Kosa dachi – Cross over stance


General improvement in usage of blocks and correct form should be demonstrated at
this time.


Age tsuki – Rising punch or strike
Uraken uchi – Back knuckle strike
Mae uraken uchi – Forward back knuckle strike


General improvement in usage of kicks and correct form should be demonstrated at this


Introduction to Pinan sandan
Solo performance of Pinan sandan
Introduction to Pinan yondan
Solo performance of Pinan yondan
Solo performance of Naihanchi shodan


Gokui waza #5
Gokui waza #6
Gokui waza #7
Gokui waza #8

General vocabulary:

See attached vocabulary sheet. Tested.

The journey from 6th kyu to 5th kyu can be significant, for it is here that the karate-ka is
moving from beginner to intermediate level. Total practice time in the dojo will be from
one year to eighteen months. He/she should demonstrate the basics with a level of
precision that no longer requires constant scrutiny and correction. The student should
have a working knowledge of the dojo vocabulary and a appreciation for his lineage and history of the dojo.

Koeppel Ha principle #3:

Physical Ability

A black belt is a white belt that never quit.


5th kyu to 4th kyu

General understanding and application of all stances, blocks, strikes and kicks should be demonstrated at this time. He/she should demonstrate the basics with a level of precision that no longer requires constant scrutiny and correction.


Gokui waza #9
Gokui waza #10


Introduction to:
Naihanchi nidan
Bunkai, both verbal and with uke
Pinan godan


The emblem below is called the Double-Bladed Axe. It is the personal insignia of
Phillip W. Koeppel, Hanshi.

The color white stands for purity. The color black stands for strength. The eight sides of the octagon represent the “eight-fold path”.

1. Right understanding

2. Right thoughts

3. Right speech

4. Right conduct

5. Right occupation

6. Right effort

7. Right mindfulness

8. Right meditation

These eight precepts encircle the Axe itself which has four sides representing the “Four
Noble Truths”.
1. There are sufferings in life.
2. Sufferings are caused by ignorance.
3. Suffering ceases when one overcomes ignorance. When a person reaches this
condition, he is said to become enlightened.
4. The way or path to overcome the causes of ignorance is the “Eight-fold Path”.


4th kyu to 3rd kyu (24-30 months)

In the Hutchcroft dojo, adults wear a white belt from 8th kyu through 4th kyu. This is an old tradition that many have copied from our dojo. The students kyu grade is hand written by Sensei on your obi (belt) as you earn it. Some commercial schools have many kyu levels and a multitude of belt colors so that the student can be constantly and consistently rewarded for each small goal obtained. Usually, testing fees are assessed. Hutchcroft dojo is not a commercial dojo.

Upon earning the grade of san kyu (3rd kyu) the first of three levels of brown belt, the student shall wear a brown belt. The person training for brown belt is training for the point of no return. He/she has spent years coming to this point and realizes that it would be senseless to throw those years away.


Gokui waza #11
Gokui waza #12
Gokui waza #13


Prompted and Solo performance of Pinan godan
Prompted performance of Naihanchi nidan
Prompted performance of bunkai, both verbal and with uke

Solo performance of Naihanchi nidan
Solo bunkai performance, both verbal and with uke

Introduction of Passai sho

The karate-ka shall demonstrate and verbalize the Principles of Matsumura Seito Shorin ryu Koeppel-Ha.

Koeppel Ha principle #4:

Self Observation
a) Visualization
b) Self remembering
c) Meditation
d) Repetition (time) (age) (breath)
e) Itten (one point)
f) Principles, external feedback


San kyu (3rd, 2nd, 1st) to Shodan

The period from san kyu to shodan depends on the student, as always. This time frame may extend from two to four or more years. It is my goal as a Sensei, to provide the training atmosphere so that the motivated karate-ka can attain the goal of shodan after two years training as a brown belt. Brown belts are expected to be active in the dojo, teach lower ranked kyus when asked, and demonstrate skills and knowledge leading up to the shodan (first degree black belt) test.


Gokui waza #14, #15, #16 Nikyu
Gokui waza #17, #18, # 19, #20 Ikkyu
Gokui waza #21, 22, 23, 24 & 25 Shodan


The katas Naihanchi sandan, Matsumura No Passai, Seisan, Niseidi sho and Chinto
will be introduced and practiced extensively during the student’s years as a brown belt.

Nikyu (at least 5 months at San kyu)

Solo performance of Matsumura No Passai
Solo performance of Niseidisho

Ikkyu (at least 5 months at Nikyu)

Solo performance of Naihanchi sandan
Solo performance of Seisan


The student is required to write a thesis on their experiences and insights in the practice
of karate to this point and prepare 6 copies in folders presentable for submission prior to their test for shodan. The student will be formally taught the movements to Wansu, Tensho and Sanchin

Koeppel Ha principle #5:

Transformation wisdom/True Understanding/

Koeppel Ha principle #6:

Principle of Kosa dachi: Heel of moving foot positioned to the toes of the stationary foot


Shodan to Nidan




Gokui waza #26 through #35

Motobu/Hutchcroft principle:

Protect to the Center. Strike to the Center


Nidan to Sandan


Useishi (Gojushiho)


Gokui waza #1 through #35


Must be able to demonstrate the “Hateful Eight” Naihanchi drills


Sandan to Yondan


Bobalein (Happoren)
Ryu sho ken

Time requirements for the dan grades will be determined by Hutchcroft Sensei

Koeppel Ha principle #7:

Sensory perception, Insight, Intuitive Thinking, Clarity of

Koeppel Ha principle #8:

Karate is nothing more than a discipline of self struggle.