Saturday 16 February 2019
“The most important thing that a Karate-ka needs to succeed in their goal of becoming a Black belt is ambition, this they will get from their desire to achieve and their will to win, these are essential if the Karate-ka is to endure the years of hard rigorous training they will undergo.

Training only at the Dojo is not enough, the Karate-ka must take their lessons home with them and practice each day, only then will the karate-ka grow to be skillful and strong both physically and mentally, as the karate-ka matures with each grade so will their good manners and etiquette, outwardly and even more important, inwardly”.

Sensei Hails 5th Dan – JULY 2001

Important facts about Karate
  • The place where Karate training is carried out is called the "dojo". This translates to "the place of the way".
  • The traditional white uniform you wear in the dojo is called a "gi", simply meaning "uniform" in Japanese.
  • The loud yell made during explosive techniques is called a "kiai" (key-i). This is Japanese for "unification of will".
  • The kiai serves two purposes, to empty the body of excess wind incase you are hit in the stomach by a counter attack and to focus all positive energy ("chi") on the technique.
  • Karate is one of the most popular martial arts practiced today.
  • Karate is for just about everyone, for all ages and both sexes and is a great physical workout, no matter what age or physical condition you are in when you start.
  • Karate is a way to a better life, not just a method of fighting.
  • Karate is great for the mind (concentration) and the spirit (emotional stability).
  • There is no such thing as the perfect martial art. Nor is there any one art that is better than another or all the rest. The art is not better, only the practitioner. But, remember that on any given day, anyone can beat anyone!

The language of Karate
Why speak Japanese in the Karate dojo? Karate is no longer “Japanese only,” but because of the international scope which Karate has taken, it is practical to be familiar with the original language of Karate. Karate terms in Japanese should not be memorized from a long list of terms, but should be learned alongside the techniques and concepts as one learns.

For a list of Ishinyru techniques in Japanese together with their English translations and pronounciations, please click here. For starters though, and one of the first things you will hear in the dojo, are the Japanese numbers from 1 to 10:

Ich Ich
Ni Ni
San San
Shi Shi
Go Go
Roku Roku
Sichi Sichi
Hachi Hachi
Ku Ku
Ju Ju

The belts
Japanese Judo was the first martial art to introduce the colored belt ranking system as a visible indication of the students’ progress. The colored belt ranking system was soon adopted by Karate, and was first used by Sensei Gichin Funakoshi and his Shotokan Karate schools. In the old days each student would only ever have one belt which was simply dyed to a new color. This repeated dying process dictated the progressively darkening order of the colors. The Ishinryu belt system is as follows:

Beginner - White Belt
White Belt
8th Kyu - Red Belt
Red Belt
7th Kyu - Yellow Belt
Yellow Belt
6th Kyu - Orange Belt
Orange Belt
5th Kyu - Green Belt
Green Belt
4th Kyu - Green Belt
Green Belt
3rd Kyu - Blue Belt
Blue Belt
2nd Kyu - Brown Belt
Brown Belt
1st Kyu - Brown Belt
Brown Belt
1st Dan - Black Belt
Black Belt