Sunday, 26 October 2014

The new JKA Grading Syllabus

Mawashi geri is now not `formally tested' until the JKA Nikkyu-shinsa.
Although feeling better—I am still very unwell—so, today I thought I’d briefly analyse the new JKA (Japan Karate Association) grading requirements, which were recently released here in Japan. The new syllabus introduces some significant changes in the kihon, kata and kumite testing, which all point towards “stronger foundational budo karate”.
 
For example, the 10th Kyu is now `a tested rank’ that features stationary kihon and, therefore, provides an extended time to develop core basic skills. Likewise, on the kata front, Taikyoku Shodan (as long expected via its inclusion in various gasshuku/training camps) has been reintroduced. What makes this interesting is that the Heian kata have been pushed forward, now being tested from 7th Kyu (as opposed to 8th Kyu). Naturally, this results in Tekki Shodan becoming the kata for the 2nd Kyu exam. Even more interesting is that the 1st kyu test now limits examinee to select one kata (from either Bassai Dai or Kanku Dai)—I think this is great! The kumite is just as interesting with Gohon kumite remaining at 8th and 7th Kyu; and `standard’ Kihon ippon kumite for 6th, 5th and 4th Kyu; however, for the 3rd and 2nd Kyu `Kihon Ippon Kumite (Kiri kaeshi) is now required. You can read about this in my syllabus outline below and the aforementioned point, about “stronger
foundatinal budo karate”, should resonate. Accordingly, Jiyu Ippon Kumite is now only for the 1st Kyu and Shodan examinations, but again with greater focus on `proper kime’ as opposed to the modern `trends’ that have come about through the sportification of karate. For higher ranks, there is also another change. For those taking the Rokudan or Nanadan, there is now a choice between Jiyu Kumite or Kihon ippon kumite.
 
Of course there are many other little changes, but these are for you to find. I, for one, am really excited about the new syllabus as I can see how it will really contribute towards to the development of `up-and-coming karateka’ and help to better preserve Traditional Budo Karate. Best wishes from Kumamoto-ken, André.

 10TH KYU

Kihon

1. Chudan choku zuki (Hachiji dachi)

2. Jodan age uke (Hachiji dachi)

3. Chudan soto uke (Hachiji dachi)

4. Gedan barai (Hachiji dachi)

5. Gedan kakiwake uke: Mae geri (Heisoku dachi)

(All kihonwaza are performed to a count—five times each).
 
Choku-zuki is now tested for the new JKA 10th Kyu.

9TH KYU

Kihon

1. Chudan jun zuki (Hachiji dachi—Zenkutsu dachi)

2. Jodan age uke (Hachiji dachi—Zenkutsu dachi)

3. Chudan soto uke (Hachiji dachi—Zenkutsu dachi)

4. Gedan barai (Hachiji dachi—Zenkutsu dachi)

5. Gedan kakiwake uke: Mae geri (Heisoku dachi)

(All kihonwaza performed to a count— five times each).

 

8TH KYU

(a) Kihon

1. Chudan jun zuki

2. Jodan age uke

3. Chudan soto uke

4. Shuto uke (Kokutsu dachi)

5. Mae geri

6. Yoko keage (Heisoku dachi)

(All ido kihon are performed five times each and six times for yoko keage—with alternate legs). Please note, for the 8th kyu test, the ido-kihon are only performed`zenshin’( advancing).

(b) Kata: Taikyoku Shodan

(c) Gohon kumite: Jodan jun zuki, chudan jun zuki
 

Chudan jun zuki is now tested in isolation up until Ikkyu.
7TH KYU

(a) Kihon

1. Chudan jun zuki

2. Jodan age uke

3. Chudan soto uke

4. Chudan uchi uke

5. Shuto uke (Kokutsu dachi)

6. Mae geri

7. Yoko keage (Kiba dachi)

(All ido kihon are performed five times and three times, in each direction, with yoko keage).

(b) Kata: Heian Shodan

(c) Gohon kumite: Jodan jun zuki, chudan jun zuki

 6TH KYU

(a) Kihon

1. Chudan jun zuki

2. Jodan age uke

3. Chudan soto uke

4. Chudan uchi uke

5. Shuto uke (Kokutsu dachi)

6. Mae geri

7. Yoko keage (Kiba dachi)

8. Yoko kekomi (Kiba dachi)

(All ido kihon are performed five times and three times, in each direction, for both yoko keage and yoko kekomi). Also note that jodan age uke and chudan uchi uke are executed moving rearward.

(b) Kata: Heian Nidan

(c) Kihon ippon kumite: Jodan jun zuki, chudan jun zuki

(Please note the attacking order: Migi jodan jun zuki, migi chudan jun zuki, hidari jodan jun zuki then hidari chudan jun zuki).
 
5TH KYU

(a) Kihon

1. Chudan jun zuki

2. Jodan age uke, gyaku zuki

3. Chudan soto uke, gyaku zuki

4. Chudan uchi uke, gyaku zuki

5. Shuto uke (Kokutsu dachi)

6. Mae geri

7. Yoko keage (Kiba dachi)

8. Yoko kekomi (Kiba dachi)

(All ido kihon are performed five times and three times, in each direction, for both yoko keage and yoko kekomi). Also note that jodan age uke kara gyaku zuki  and chudan uchi uke kara gyaku zuki are executed moving rearward.

(b) Kata: Heian Sandan

(c) Kihon ippon kumite: Jodan jun zuki, chudan jun zuki, chudan mae geri

(Please note the attacking order: Migi jodan jun zuki, migi chudan jun zuki, migi chudan mae geri, hidari jodan jun zuki, hidari chudan jun zuki and hidari chudan mae geri). 
Stationary mae-geri is now tested, as is stationary yoko-keage.
4TH KYU


(a) Kihon

1. Chudan jun zuki

2. Jodan age uke, gyaku zuki

3. Chudan soto uke, gyaku zuki

4. Chudan uchi uke, gyaku zuki

5. Shuto uke (Kokutsu dachi), nukite (Zenkutsu dachi)

6. Mae geri

7. Yoko keage (Kiba dachi)

8. Yoko kekomi (Kiba dachi)

(All ido kihon are performed five times and three times, in each direction, for both yoko keage and yoko kekomi). Also note that jodan age uke kara gyaku zuki and chudan uchi uke kara gyaku zuki are executed moving rearward.

(b) Kata: Heian Yondan

(c) Kihon ippon kumite: Jodan jun zuki, chudan jun zuki, chudan mae geri, chudan yoko kekomi

(Please note the attacking order: Migi jodan jun zuki, migi chudan jun zuki, migi mae geri, migi yoko kekomi, hidari jodan jun zuki, hidari chudan jun zuki, hidari mae geri then hidari yoko kekomi).

 

3RD KYU

(a) Kihon

1. Chudan jun zuki

2. Jodan age uke, gyaku zuki

3. Chudan soto uke (Zenkutsu dachi), yoko enpi (Kiba dachi)

4. Chudan uchi uke, gyaku zuki

5. Shuto uke (Kokutsu dachi), nukite (Zenkutsu dachi)

6. Mae geri

7. Ren geri: chudan mae geri, jodan mae geri

8. Yoko keage (Kiba dachi)

9. Yoko kekomi (Kiba dachi)

(All ido kihon are performed three times in each direction). Also note that jodan age uke kara gyaku zuki and chudan uchi uke kara gyaku zuki are executed moving rearward.

(b) Kata: Heian Godan

(c) Kihon ippon kumite (Kiri kaeshi): Jodan jun zuki, chudan jun zuki *

(Please note the attacking order: Migi jodan jun zuki, migi chudan jun zuki, hidari jodan jun zuki then hidari chudan jun zuki). No tai sabaki is permitted.

* Jodan: The attacker initiates with jodan jun zuki and the defender steps back and blocks with jodan age uke. From there, the defender counter attacks with Jodan jun zuki. The attacker then steps back with jodan age uke and finally counters with gyaku zuki.

* Chudan: This follows the same pattern as jodan but with mid-attacks and the use of chudan soto uke.
 

The new arrangement of kihon-gata is a significant change.
2ND KYU

(a) Kihon

1. Chudan jun zuki

2. Jodan age uke, gyaku zuki

3. Chudan soto uke (Zenkutsu dachi), yoko enpi, yoko uraken uchi (Kiba dachi)

4. Chudan uchi uke, gyaku zuki

5. Shuto uke (Kokutsu dachi), nukite (Zenkutsu dachi)

6. Mae geri

7. Ren geri: chudan mae geri, jodan mae geri

8. Yoko keage (Kiba dachi)

9. Yoko kekomi (Kiba dachi)

10. Mawashi geri

(All ido kihon are performed three times in each direction). Also note that jodan age uke kara gyaku zuki and chudan uchi uke kara gyaku zuki are executed moving rearward.

(b) Kata: Tekki Shodan

(c) Kihon ippon kumite (Kiri kaeshi): Jodan jun zuki, chudan jun zuki, chudan mae geri *

(Please note the attacking order: Migi jodan jun zuki, migi chudan jun zuki, migi mae geri, hidari jodan jun zuki, hidari chudan jun zuki then hidari mae geri). No tai sabaki is permitted.

* Jodan: The attacker initiates with jodan jun zuki and the defender steps back and blocks with jodan age uke. From there, the defender counter attacks with chudan jun zuki. The attacker then steps back and blocks with jodan age uke and finally counters with gyaku zuki.

* Chudan: This follows the same pattern as jodan but with mid-attacks and the use of chudan soto uke.

* Mae geri: Again this follows the same format but naturally utilising gedan barai to defend against the mae geri and to block the defenders mae geri counterattack. 
 

1ST KYU

(a) Kihon

1. Chudan jun zuki

2. Sanbon ren zuki

3. Jodan age uke, gyaku zuki

4. Chudan soto uke (Zenkutsu dachi), yoko enpi, yoko uraken uchi (Kiba dachi)

5. Chudan uchi uke, kizami zuki, gyaku zuki

6. Gedan barai, gyaku zuki

7. Shuto uke (Kokutsu dachi), nukite (Zenkutsu dachi)

8. Mae geri

9. Ren geri: chudan mae geri, jodan mae geri

10. Yoko keage (Kiba dachi)

11. Yoko kekomi (Kiba dachi)

12. Mawashi geri

(All ido kihon are performed three times in each direction). Also note that jodan age uke kara gyaku zuki, chudan uchi uke kara kizami zuki soshite gyaku zuki and chudan shuto uke kara nukite are executed moving rearward.

(b) Kata: Bassai Dai or Kanku Dai (examinees free choice).

(c) Jiyu ippon kumite
 

Enpi and Jion are no longer optional for brown belt exams.
SHODAN

(a) Kihon

1. Sanbon ren zuki

2. Jodan age uke, chudan mae geri, gyaku zuki

3. Chudan soto uke (Zenkutsu dachi), yoko enpi, yoko uraken uchi (Kiba dachi)

4. Chudan uchi uke, kizami zuki, gyaku zuki

5. Shuto uke (Kokutsu dachi), nukite (Zenkutsu dachi)

6. Mae geri

7. Ren geri: chudan mae geri, jodan mae geri

8. Yoko keage (Kiba dachi)

9. Yoko kekomi (Kiba dachi)

10. Mawashi geri

(All ido kihon are performed three times in each direction). Also note that jodan age uke kara mae geri soshite gyaku zuk and chudan uchi uke kara kizami zuki soshite gyaku zuki are executed moving rearward.

(b) Kata: Bassai Dai, Kanku Dai, Enpi or Jion (examinees free choice).

(c) Jiyu ippon kumite

(Please note the attacking order and that only right side attacks are in the exam: Migi jodan jun zuki, migi chudan jun zuki, migi chudan mae geri, migi chudan yoko kekomi and migi chudan mawashi geri).
 

NIDAN

(a) Kihon

1. Kizami zuki, Sanbon ren zuki (free kamae)

2. Mae geri, chudan jun zuki (free kamae)

3. Jodan age uke, chudan soto uke, gyaku zuki (both receptions with the same arm)

4. Ippo sagatte gedan barai, chudan jun zuki, chudan jun zuki (step back with gedan barai then advance with two consecutive jun zuki)

5. Shuto uke (Kokutsu dachi), kizami mae geri, nukite (Zenkutsu dachi)

6. Yoko keage ashi o kaete  yoko kekomi (Kiba dachi)

7. Yoko kekomi, gyaku zuki (free kamae)

8. Mawashi geri, gyaku zuki (free kamae)

(b) Kata: Tokui-gata

(c) Jiyu kumite
While most of the JKA dan examination ido-kihon remains the same there are two minor changes in the shodan-shinsa.



SANDAN

(a) Kihon

1. Kizami zuki, Sanbon ren zuki (free kamae)

2. Jodan age uke, chudan soto uke, gyaku zuki (both receptions with the same arm)

3. Chudan uchi uke (Kokutsu dachi), kizami zuki, gyaku zuki (Zenkutsu dachi)

4. Shuto uke (Kokutsu dachi), kizami mae geri, nukite (Zenkutsu dachi)

5. Ippo sagatte jodan age uke, chudan mawashi geri, yoko uraken uchi, chudan jun zuki (step back with jodan age uke, then advance with the three counterattacks)

6. Mae geri, yoko kekomi, mawashi geri, gyaku zuki (free kamae)

7. Migi chudan mae geri—chudan yoko kekomi—chudan ushiro geri: all three kicks balanced on one leg.

8. Hidari chudan mae geri—chudan yoko kekomi—chudan ushiro geri (same as previous technique but on the opposite `left’ side).

(b) Kata: Tokui-gata

(c) Jiyu kumite

The new JKA syllabus is nothing less than a masterpiece. 
 YONDAN

(a) Kihon

1. Kizami zuki, Sanbon ren zuki (free kamae)

2. Chudan uchi uke (Kokutsu dachi), kizami zuki, gyaku zuki (Zenkutsu dachi)

4. Shuto uke (Kokutsu dachi), kizami mae geri, nukite (Zenkutsu dachi)

5. Mae geri , yoko kekomi (both kicks with the same leg), gyaku zuki (free kamae)


6. Migi chudan mae geri—chudan yoko kekomi—chudan ushiro geri: all three kicks balanced on one leg.


7. Hidari chudan mae geri—chudan yoko kekomi—chudan ushiro geri (same as previous technique but on the opposite `left’ side).
 8. Gyaku zuki (Idomokuhyo: punching at different points by examiner’s direction)
(b) Kata: Tokui-gata and one of the Shitei-gata (a randomly selected Heian or Tekki Shodan)

(c) Jiyu kumite



GODAN

(a) Kihon

Gyaku zuki (Idomokuhyo: punching at different points by examiner’s direction)

(b) Kata: Tokui-gata and one of the Shitei-gata (a randomly selected Heian or Tekki Shodan)

(c) Question and Answer Session

(d) Jiyu kumite
The requirements for JKA Nidan, Sandan and Yondan (and  Godan, which I tested for in Japan last year) have not changed.
 
ROKUDAN

(a) Kata: Tokui-gata and one of the Sentei-gata (a randomly selected kata from Bassai Dai, Kanku Dai, Enpi or Jion)

(b) Question and Answer Session: Research dissertation about technique(s).

(c) Kumite: either Jiyu kumite or Kihon ippon kumite 

 
NANADAN

(a) Kata: Tokui-gata

(b) Question and Answer Session: Research dissertation about technique(s).

(c) Kumite: either Jiyu kumite or Kihon ippon kumite 

 
 HACHIDAN, KUDAN, JUDAN
 
Recommendation of the Japan Karate Association Instructors Committee

(a) Kata: Tokui-gata

(b) Question and Answer Session: Research dissertation about technique(s).

(c) Kumite: Jiyu kumite
Overall, the new syllabus really shows the huge void between the JKA, which emphasises Budo Karate, and sports karate.

 © André Bertel. Aso-shi, Kumamoto. Japan (2014).

No comments: