WRKA GoSoku Ryu Syllabus

The following is the syllabus applied by the Wellington Region Karate Academy (WRKA). Advanced techniques are learned through kata. Kata may be substituted for others depending on the learning needs of the student.

Attire

  • Your Gi must fit well without loose threads or tears, and have the IKA Kamban attached or embroidered on. The Gi should be clean and white, and be well presented – for example not heavily wrinkled or smelly.
  • Females wear a white singlet or sports bra under their Gi. Males 7 years and under may wear a white singlet, as long as it is not visible. Males 8 years+ do not wear anything under their Gi top. The instructor may approve exceptions such as for religious or health reasons, or competition compression wear – but please ask first.
  • Long hair should be tied back from the face. Nails should be kept short and filed so they are not sharp. Remove earrings, bracelets and other jewellery, for your own safety.
  • All students should be able to dress themselves regardless of their age, including tying their own belt. This is because they may need to correct their attire part way through the class.
  • Put your Obi on and take it off in the changing room beside the dojo. Belts should be tied correctly (there is a poster in the dojo telling you how), and hang evenly left-to-right. Do not wear your Obi in public – this can make you a target for bullies, and we don’t want you hurting them!
  • Do not adjust your Gi or Obi facing Shomen. If you need to adjust your clothing, bow and turn to face away from Shomen to do so.
  • All 8th Kyu (orange belt) and above should own kumite gear consisting of a mouth guard, white elasticized hand and shin/instep protectors. It is recommended that boys also wear a groin guard and girls a chest guard. All this gear can be purchased through the Academy. There are some spare sets available for shared use but it’s first in, first served.
  • The WKF-style (red and blue) protective gear may be used in class at the instructor’s discretion. They are intended for students who are competing in the WKF/UNZKO tournament circuits.

Courtesy

  • When you arrive at class, look for the instructor and offer them a bow when they see that you have arrived. This is your way of saying ‘hello, I am here to train, please accept me into the class today and teach me’. Do not wait for the instructor to bow in return– as long as you caught their eye they know that you have arrived.
  • Also offer a bow to all Yudansha the first time you see them at class.
  • A bow is not rushed. With your hands at your sides, bend at the waist to a 30 degree angle while lowering your eyes, pause, then return to upright as you lift your eyes.
  • Always refer to the head instructor as Sensei, and Yudansha as Sempai in the dojo. There is no need to use formal titles or bow outside of class, though some students choose to always refer to the instructor as Sensei out of respect.
  • Lower grades always give way to higher grades. If there is a queue the lower grade will indicate to the higher grade to go first. However the higher grade may humbly choose to wait and indicate for the lower grade to go ahead. This applies everywhere, inside and outside the dojo!
  • If you approach the instructor or any higher grade student with a question or for a discussion, offer them a bow before you ask your question.
  • We sometimes have visiting martial artists in the dojo. Regardless of their rank or attire, offer them a bow as you would your own instructor and treat them as a higher grade.
  • Do not swear, curse, or be threatening or abusive in the dojo. Be humble and confident at all times.

Entering and leaving the dojo floor

Any reference below to the dojo floor is referring to the matted area.

The first time you step onto the dojo floor:

  1. Stop at the edge of the mats (not yet on the dojo floor)
  2. Face the framed picture of Soke Takayuki Kubota on Shomen and bow once as you say “Soke”
  3. There is no need to bow to Sensei at this point, as you have already bowed to them when you first arrived at the class. But if you have not yet bowed to Sensei or Yudansha and they are on the floor, then face them and bow as you say “Sensei” or “Sempai”.
  4. You can now step onto the dojo floor.

Temporarily leaving the dojo floor (eg for a drink break)

  1. Discretely ask for the have instructor’s permission to leave the dojo floor.
  2. Face inwards onto the dojo floor and bow once, then turn and leave the floor.
  3. If there are a group of students leaving the floor at the same time they should bow together, and lower grades wait for higher grades to leave the floor first.

Stepping back onto the dojo floor (eg returning from a drink break)

  1. Face inwards onto the dojo floor and bow once, then step onto the dojo floor.

The last time you step off the dojo floor for the evening:

  1. Same as when you first arrived – bowing to Soke (but not to Sensei), then turn and leave the floor.

Bowing into class

  1. Students line up in Hachiji Dachi, in grade order with highest grades are to the right, lower grades to the left.
  2. The Instructor drops into Seiza, facing Shomen.
  3. The senior student calls “Seiza”, and all students kneel. They turn slightly to the right, left Gedan Barai Uke, left knee down first then right, chamber both hands then rest then on their thighs.
  4. Senior calls “Mokuso” and all students close their eyes. After at least 20 seconds they call “Mokuso Yame”. Students can either open their eyes, or leave them closed until the come out of Seiza.
  5. Senior calls “Shomen Ni Rei” (bow to the front of the dojo). Students say “Osu!” and bow to the front (hands to the floor in front, head touches the hands, then straight back up).
  6. The instructor turns to face the class. Senior calls (with the class repeating each sentence):
    1. Dojo Kun” (Karate school rules)
    2. “Each Seek Perfection of Character”
    3. “Each Be Faithful”
    4. “Each Endeavour”
    5. “Each Respect Others”
    6. “Each Refrain from Violent Behaviour"
  7. Instructor calls “Ichi Kiai” (one spirit shout). All students rise, left leg up, right knee on the ground (Hiza Dachi) and perform Hidari Uchi Uke (left inside block) then Migi Chudan Gyaku Tzuki (right reverse punch)) and Kiai. Students do not move from this position until the Instructor moves (normally 2-3 seconds).
  8. The Instructor stands, then the students stand. The instructor calls “Musubi Dachi, Rei” and then students move into Hachiji Dachi. Class begins!

If you’re joining a class already in progress (e.g. you’re late!)
Discretely bow onto the floor (bowing to Soke) and move to the back of the dojo. Take yourself through the bow in procedure, then move on the floor to a position where the instructor can see you, but you are not disrupting the class. Stand in Hachiji Dachi, and when they are ready the instructor will signal you to join in the class (respond with a bow).

If you’re rejoining the class while it is in progress
Move on the floor to a position where the instructor can see you, but you are not disrupting the class. Stand in Hachiji Dachi, and when they are ready the instructor will signal you to join in the class (respond with a bow).

Bowing out of class

  1. Instructor calls for “O-Shoji” (clean the dojo), then for students to line up.
  2. The Instructor drops into Seiza, facing Shomen.
  3. The senior student calls Seiza, and all students kneel. They turn slightly to the right, left Gedan Barai Uke, left knee down first then right, chamber both hands then rest then on their thighs.
  4. Senior calls “Mokuso” and all students close their eyes. After at least 20 seconds they call “Mokuso Yame”. Students can either open their eyes, or leave them closed until the come out of Seiza.
  5. Senior calls “Shomen Ni Rei”. Students say “Osu!” and bow to the front (hands to the floor in front, head touches the hands, then straight back up).
  6. Senior calls “Face the Instructor” (or Face Sensei, Sempai etc). All students turn so they are facing the instructor.
  7. Senior calls (with the class repeating each sentence):
    1. Sensei!”
    2. Domo Arigato Gozaimashita” (thank you very much)
    3. The senior then calls “Sensei Ni Rei” (class – Osu!) then the whole class bows to the instructor.
    4. Senior calls “Face Each Other”. Students turn to the student next to them in line, left over students face the Instructor.
    5. Senior calls “Otagai Ni Rei” (bow to each other). The students the turn to the front (normal Seiza position).
    6. Senior calls (with the class repeating each sentence):
      1. Dojo Kun” (Karate school rules)
      2. "Kokusai Karate-Do Kyokai” (International Karate Association)
      3. Soke Kunji“ (Soke’s teachings)
      4. Hitosu” (Be number one) – pronounced ‘Hitoss’
      5. Tsuyoku” (Be strong) – pronounced ‘Tsuyook’
      6. Tanoshiku” (Be happy and enjoy)
      7. Sekai no Karate-Do” (The world unity of the way of Karate)
    7. Instructor calls “Ichi Kiai” (one spirit shout). All students rise, left leg up Hiza Dachi and perform Hidari Uchi Uke then Migi Chudan Gyaku Tzuki and Kiai. Students do not move from this position until the Instructor moves (normally 2-3 seconds).
    8. The Instructor stands, then the students stand. The instructor calls “Musubi Dachi, Rei”, and then students move into Hachiji Dachi.
    9. The instructor leaves the floor while the students stand at attention. There is no need to turn to the instructor and bow as they leave the floor as you have just bowed to them during the bow out procedure.
    10. Once the instructor has left the senior turns to face the class and calls “Kaisan” (class is over). Students say “Osu!” and do not need to bow, though they may choose to do so, and may leave the floor. Belts can be removed in the changing rooms.

Other bits and pieces

  • Sometimes you will hear the instructor call “Kiotsuke, Rei” (join spirits and bow). This is a more respectful way of calling for students to bow such as to another student after partner work, or for an informal bow out of class. When you hear it, go into Musubi Dachi and bow.
  • Do you get confused when asked to step into stance? Here’s an easier way for the instructor to call for you to move:

Assessment Requirements

Assessment Requirements by Grade

Strikes:

Oi Tzuki
Gyaku Tzuki
Uraken Uchi

Blocks:

Gedan Barai Uke
Uchi Uke
Soto Uke
Age Uke

Kicks:

Mae Geri
Mawashi Geri
Yoko Geri
Ushiro Geri

Stances:

Hachiji Dachi
Musubi Dachi
Zenkutsu Dachi
Kiba Dachi
Heisoku Dachi

Kata:

Taikyoku Shodan
Taikyoku Nidan

Other:

Know what GoSoku Ryu is, know the WRKA protocols and how to count in Japanese, show courtesy for all, use your voice, don't fidget

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