Kyu Test

Over the years a number of students have asked me what they should expect to be graded on at the kyu test. I assembled this document to help address their concerns. These should in no way be considered official requirements, or in any way reflect SKA policy. Grading is more a matter of the seniors examining the junior's skill, quality of motion, mentality, etc. - things which are difficult, or impossible, to describe explicitly.

Junior members should use the following guide to help them recognize the sorts of things that are expected of them and to help them realize if there are 'holes' in their practice that they need to fill in. Students planning to advance in their practice should look at the next 1 to 2 higher levels and be familiar with the techniques and concepts listed.


-John Gosink
November 1, 2006

Kyu Kihon Kata1 Kumite Other Curricula
&
Considerations
8th
(hachikyu)
All basics Taikyoku or Heian Kata as favorite
No requested kata
Sanbon kumite
Ippon kumite
Rules of conduct and etiquette from Student Manual
Regular attendance at practice
7th
(shichikyu)
All basics Taikyoku or Heian Kata as favorite
Heian 1-3 on request
Sanbon kumite
Ippon kumite
Understand Japanese practice commands
Help clean dojo
Regular attendance at practice
6th
(rokyu)
All basics Taikyoku or Heian Kata as favorite
Heian 1-4 on request
Sanbon kumite
Ippon kumite
Tenno kata
Tekki 1 introduction
Regular attendance at practice
5th
(gokyu)
All basics Taikyoku or Heian Kata as favorite
Any Heian on request
Sanbon kumite
Ippon kumite
Self defense
Falling practice
Regular attendance at practice
4th
(yonkyu)
All basics Recommend Heians as favorite
Any Heian on request
Sanbon kumite
Ippon kumite
Jiyu ippon kumite introduction
Bassai and Tekki 2 introduction
Regular attendance at practice
3rd
(sankyu)
All basics Recommend Heians as favorite
Any Heian on request
Sanbon kumite
Ippon kumite
Jiyu kumite introduction
Tekki 3 introduction
Attend black/brown belt practice
Duties of dojo senior
Regular attendance at practice
2nd
(nikkyu)
All basics Recommend Heians or Tekki Kata as favorite
Any Heian or Tekki Shodan on request
Sanbon kumite
Ippon kumite
Introduced to all 19 kata
Gates of Heaven
Contributing to dojo activities
Leadership introduction
Black belt duties - introduction
Regular attendance at practice
1st
(ikkyu)
All basics + maegeri-fumikomi Recommend Heians or Tekki Kata as favorite
Any Heian, Tekki, or Bassai on request
Sanbon kumite
Ippon kumite
Jiyu ippon kumite
Contributing to dojo and regional activities
Practice with other dojos
Lead kihon, kata, kumite at kyu test
Regular attendance at practice
1The student is free to choose his or her favorite kata. The recommended kata provide guidance. If a requested kata is done as a favorite, a second kata will be chosen by the examiners from the recommended list.

Other important information regarding kyu testing:

  • All UW karateka who have practiced for more than 10 months should know all five of the Heian kata.
  • Students ranked as 4th kyu (sankyu) and higher should understand the basics of, and be able to demonstrate, at least two or three basic techniques of suwari-waza, torite, ukemi, and irimi. They should also have some experience with nagewaza.
  • All UW karateka must attend at least one Special Training before reaching brown belt. All brown belts should attend at least 5 Special Trainings before taking the dan (black belt) test.
    (Occasional exceptions are made under very unusual circumstances)
  • Kyu and dan tests are only taken by invitation of the dojo leader.

Ikkyu Responsibilities

Outlined below are the expectations of the Ikkyu(s) who will be calling the structure of the kyu test.

General: Maintain a strong attitude of focus and control. Many of your juniors are nervous and uncertain of what to do; when you give a command use clear, crisp speech. Don't rush: it isn't aerobics. When instructing senior white belts (5th - 2nd kyu over 12 years old) give the techniques in Japanese only.
Be aware of how and where you are standing: don't slouch or fold your arms. During kumite stand so that the juniors are between you and the head table, or off to one side.
Practice your lines.

Set up: There is usually a lot of ambling around by the participants and last minute details for the seniors to take care of. You need to organize people and get things going.

  • Assist with the set up of tables and chairs
  • Sweep the dojo floor
  • Make sure participants fill out the forms and get changed
  • When the seniors are ready have the students grading line up by seniority
  • Instruct participants to face and bow to the seniors

Kihon: The senior black belt should only have to announce the names of the participants: you should do everything else. Using as few words as possible...

  • Direct participants to line up in a diagonal line
  • Instruct participants to face and bow to the seniors (you will bow with them)
  • Call each technique using the following format:
    "Stepping forward with your left foot into zenkutsudachi, hajime. First technique: Gedan Barai. Ichi, ni, san, shi, go. Kaette. Ichi, ni, san, shi, go. Kaette."
  • Order of techniques:
    gedan-barai: downward block
    age-uke: rising block
    ude-uke: forearm block
    tettsui-uke: hammer block
    shuto-uke: knife-hand block
    oizuki: lunge punch
    gyakazuki (usually executed in place): reverse punch
    mae-geri: front kick
    mawashi-geri: roundhouse kick
    yoko-geri keage: side-up kick
    yoko-geri kekomi: side-thrust kick
    mikazuki-geri: crescent kick
    fumikomi: stomping kick

    Memorize this order.
  • For yoko-geri keage have the participants step into kibidachi with the right leg forward (facing the senior black belts)
  • For fumikomi reorient the participants into a straight line (in the same order) facing the senior blackbelts
  • Instruct participants to face and bow to the seniors (you will bow with them)
  • Instruct participants to return to their seats

General notes on Kihon section:

  • Do not demonstrate the technique beforehand: participants should already know what is expected
    (Exceptions may include fumikomi and participants under age 13)
  • Correct a participant if he, or she, is doing an incorrect technique (i.e. doing side up kick when they should be doing side thrust kick)
  • Adjust (re-stagger) the line after each set, as needed
  • Avoid using "yoi": participants should already be alert
  • Avoid using "yame": the test is not over until participants sit down
    (Exceptions may include the period of transition between stances)

Kata: The senior black belt will call the participants who will perform kata; it is your job to arrange them appropriately. Required kata may be done individually or in groups. The senior black belt will call the required kata. You, in turn, will call the kata to the participants. After they have completed the kata you will call yame and yasume and await further instructios from the senior.

Usually, participants' favorite kata are performed individually. If the favorite kata is done in a group then you will direct the start and end of the kata in the same manner as the required kata. When done individually, the participant announces his or her favorite kata directly to the seniors. Again, after the kata is completed await further instructions from the senior.

Kumite: The senior black belt will call up the participants, you must direct them to the appropriate locations. After the participants are arranged...

  • Instruct participants to bow to the seniors
  • Instruct participants to bow to their oponent
  • Clearly instruct the participants in kumite using the following format:
    "Ippon kumite, chudan: one time attack, stomach level. Each side will initiate the attack twice. Side facing the seniors will begin first. Hajime."
  • After the participants complete all required kumite...

  • Instruct participants to bow to their oponent
  • Instruct participants to bow to the seniors
  • Instruct participants to return to their seats

General notes on Kumite section:

  • The usual order of kumite is as follows:
    Sabbon Kumite, chudan: three time attack, stomach level
    Sabbon Kumite, jodan: three time attack, face level
    Ippon Kumite, chudan: one time attack, stomach level
    Ippon Kumite, jodan: one time attack, face level
  • The exact order is subject to change: follow the direction of the senior black belt
  • The number of attacks initiated by each side is subject to change: follow the direction of the senior black belt
    (i.e. each side may initiate twice, three times, or "until I say yame")

Finally: The testing portion is now over

  • Instruct the participants to line up and bow to the seniors
  • Direct the participants to another room (if available) or to another portion of the room during the black belt discussion
  • When signalled by the senior black belt, instruct the participants to line up and bow to the seniors
  • The senior black belt will read off the rank of each participant and provide general comments
  • Instruct the participants to bow to the seniors
  • Assist with cleanup