Gradings of Goju Ryu Karate do Queensland
'Practitioners of traditional Goju Ryu Karate'
Taikyoku Kata (created for beginners)
Jodan, Chudan, Gedan, JoChuGedan, Kake Uke, Mawashi Uke
Fukyu Kata (Created for public use)
Gekisai (Dai Ichi & Ni)Kanji - 1st: Attack 2nd: Smash
Kata Gekisai Dai Ichi and Dai Ni were developed by Miyagi Sensei to be used by the public in order for the promotion of Karate. Master Miyagi created these beginner's kata in 1940. The movement in the kata are relatively easy to interpret, and is still used today as a beginner's kata, but in a slightly different light. Today, it's used as a pre-senior grade kata, the "beginners" being those looking toward going up higher in the ranks, and is a transition between the original, complex kata, breaking away from the basic forms of the actual beginner.
Kihon Kata (Fundamental Kata)
Sanchin Three Battles
Sanchin translated means "Three Battles". These three battles have been commonly referred to as a battle with the mind, the spirit, and the body. Sanchin Kata was originally bought back from China with Higashionna Kanryo Sensei, and was later modified by Miyagi Chojun Sensei (generally known as Miyagi Sanchin), thus creating two variations. Kata Sanchin is the essence of Goju.
Miyagi Sensei developed his variation to balance the original. Miyagi Sanchin uses the muscles differently, and is more symmetrical. He designed it to work best with the body, greatly reducing risk in injury.
Kaishuu Kata (Open handed Kata)
Saifa Smash & Break
Kata Saifa is the first of the complex kata. It's translation is Smash & Break, and can also be referred to as the Kata of the Monkey. Many complex kata's have animals associated with them. The influence of the associated animal can be seen in the kata, like so many other things that are in nature. It is because of the extreme depth of these Kata, that they have been referred to as Complex Kata, as opposed to the relative Simple Kata that is the Taikyoku Kata.
Seinchin To control & pull in battle
In English, Seinchin can be translated to system, pulling and battle, or to control and pull in battle and also has been interpreted to "Marching Far Quietly". A strange point about Seinchin is that it has no kicks. The tiger is associated with this kata, and can be clearly seen, if one knows what they're looking for. Kata Seinchin is an ancient Chinese kata, most probably coming from the Hsing-I system.
Kata Seinchin has been adopted by many other styles, including tournaments, which illustrates it dynamic appeal, which, when performed well, contains balance, and deep movements, much more than simple hand techniques, but an awareness of one's surroundings without concentration on them. Rather, concentration is on the kata and it's movements alone.
Sanseru Thirty-Six Hands
Sanseru, or "36 Hands", is a dragon kata. The relevance of the number is two major things. One, there are actually 36 movements, or hands, in the kata. Two, ancient Buddhist principles. In this, it is calculated by the product of 6 x 6. The first six represent the eye, ear, nose, tongue, body, and spirit. The latter six symbolise colour, voice, taste, smell, touch, and justice. The combination of these two aspects proves it's complexity, when considered these may have only touched the surface of what has taken hundreds of years of evolution. The kata also contains fighting in 4 directions.
Seipai Eighteen Hands
Sepai is a snake kata and a continuation of Kata Seisan. Literally translated it means "18 Hands". In one way, the 18 is derived from Buddhist concepts. From 6 x 3, the six represents the second six of Sanseru, colour, voice, taste, smell, touch and justice. The three comes from good, bad and peace.
Sepai is riddled with masked techniques in order to confuse an opponent. The essence of this kata can only come through one performing it oneself.
Shisochin 4 Directional Battle
The "Battle in Four Directions" Kata, or Shisochin, was brought back from China by Higashionna Kanryo Sensei, who was taught it by Ryu Ryuku. It is also said that this was a favourite of Miyagi Chojun Sensei's. It was among other kata's taught to Master Higaonna by Ryu Ryuku.
Seisan Thirteen Hands
Seisan translates to "13 Hands". This can be seen by the 5 offensive, and 8 defensive techinques. It clearly marks out short punching and low kicking techniques at close range, breaking on opponents defense. It involves grabbing and controlling the opponent, then hitting a tender body area. Many aspects and much knowledge can come from Kata Seisan.
Kururunfa translated means "Forever, Stops, Suddenly, Tearing". Featuring quick movements with Tai Sabaki, it is an advanced kata brought back from China from one of the masters.
Suparinpe One-Hundred and Eight Hands
Extracts from a summary of an Interview with Fuchow Master Chen:
[Reason for the name Suparinpe]
"In the 1600's there was a group of warrior-heroes that travelled teh country-side righting wrongs, taking from rich feudal lords and giving to the poor. There were said to be 108 of these men, called the 108 hands.
They were ultimately defeated and scattered. It may have been that one of these men made it to Ryu Ryuku and taught the form. Another explanation might be that some Chinese named the form in honour of these men. Or both might be true. One or more of these men may have taught the form to the Ryukyu people."
Moreover, the number 108 evident in Buddhism once again. It is believed that man has 108 evil passions, hence the ringing of temple bells on New Year's Eve 108 times. This leads to the thought that perhaps it was the Chinese people that wanted to believe that 108 men would unite and escape these evil passions. It is only those before us that will know the truth.
Heishuu Kata (Closed handed Kata)
Tensho Turning Palm
Created by Master Miyagi, Tensho means "Revolving Hands". A complex yet balanced combination of soft, flowing hand movements with hard dynamic tension and deep breathing. It resembles a major aspect of Goju.
Tensho can be considered as the soft aspect of Goju, with emphasis on soft hand movements but concentrating on moving focus points. An amazing amount of power is generated in doing so.
Adult Grades (18+ yrs old)
9th Kyu Yellow Belt:
8th Kyu Green tip
7th Kyu 2 Green tips
6th Kyu Green Belt:
5th Kyu Brown tip
4th Kyu 2 Brown tips
3rd Kyu Brown Belt:
2nd Kyu Black tip
1st Kyu 2 Black tips
Black Belt (1st Dan)
Nidan Black Belt (2nd Dan)
Sandan Black Belt (3rd Dan)
Yondan - 4th Dan Black Belt
4th Dan (Shihan)
White & Red Belt
5th Dan (Shihan)
Red & White Belt
6th Dan (Shihan)
Black & Red Belt
7th Dan (Shihan)
Black & Red Belt
8th Dan (Shihan)
Hanshi - yudan
9th Dan (Shihan)
10th Dan (Hanshi)
If there is a 10th Dan in the system then they are the only one to wear the red belt.
Senior Ranks and Official Titles
Shihan or Master is the formal title of 5th Dan and above, sometimes this title is awarded to a 4th Dan.
Shidoin is an instructors rank in the capacity of an assistant to the chief instructor. Jokyo is delegated to the 4th Dan instructors who are not of the Shihan Rank.
Sempai is an official title for all senior students, directed mainly at Black Belts below the rank of Sensei.
Goju Ryu Seiwakai Grading requirements
From the Beginning grades the student will learn to perform the following techniques
|Uki Wazza||Block Applications|
|Tsuki Wazza||Punch Applications|
|Geri Wazza||Kick Applications|
|Jodan - Age Uki||Head Block|
|Jodan Tsuki||Head Punch|
|Gedan Geri||Groin Kick|
|Masuba Dachi||Starting Stance|
|Chudan - Yoko Uki||Body Block|
|Chudan Tsuki||Body Punch|
|Mai Geri||Front Kick|
|Heiko Dachi||Equal Stance|
|Gedan - Harai Uki||Groin Block|
|Gedan Tsuki||Groin Punch|
|Kansetsu Geri||Knee Joint Kick|
|Sanchin Dachi||Hour Glass Stance|