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 kyu||Pinan Nidan||Gokui Waza: 1 to 4||3 months|
|7th kyu||Pinan Shodan||Gokui Waza 5 and 6||3 months|
|6th kyu||Pinan Sandan||Gokui Waza: 7 and 8||3 months|
|5th kyu||Naihonshi Shodan|
|Gokui Waza: 9 and 10||3 months|
|4th kyu||Naihonshi Nidan|
|Gokui Waza: 11 to 13||3 months|
|3rd kyu||Naihonshi Sandan|
|Gokui Waza: 1 to 13||3 months|
|2nd kyu – Nikyu||Passai Sho|
|Gokui Waza: 14 to 16||6 months|
|1st kyu – Ikkyu||Passai||Gokui Waza: 17 to 20||6 months|
|Gokui Waza: 21 to 25||1 yr. sub total|
|Gokui Waza: 26 to 35||2 years|
|Sandan||Useishi||Gokui Waza: 1 to 35||3 years|
|Yondan||Ryu Sho Ken|
|Gokui Waza: 1 to 35||4 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
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:
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
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
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:
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
Bunkai, both verbal and with uke
KOEPPEL HANSHI’S EMBLEM
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
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:
b) Self remembering
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
Okinawan Karate, Teachers, Styles and Techniques, by Mark Bishop.
KI, A Road that Anyone Can Walk, by William Reed.
Protect to the Center. Strike to the Center
Nidan to Sandan
Gokui waza #1 through #35
Must be able to demonstrate the “Hateful Eight” Naihanchi drills
Sandan to Yondan
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.