St. Michael's Karate Club
Reference & Training Information
On this page items of interest are included to assist you in improving your knowledge of karate and are intended for use as training aids for all students.If you feel there is something that needs to be included on this page that would be of benefit to yourself and others please let us know by contacting us here.
All information can be downloaded from the downloads page
- Japanese karate terminology
- Japanese counting
- Shitoryu/shukokai karate basic combinations
- Shitoryu/shukokai karate basic stances
- Standard stance & cat stance
- Punching in standard stance
- Which kata do I need for my grading?
- Competition rules
Karate Terminology (Japanese to English)
age-uke jodan - rising block with forearm above head
ashi-barai - sweeping ankle throw, foot sweep
choku-zuki - straight punch
ch’uan fa - ‘fist way’
chudan - target area above waist but not head
chudan uke - middle area block, usually with forearm
dojo - training hall
fumikomi - stamping kick
fumi-waza - stamping techniques
gedan - target area below waist
gedan barai - downward block
geta - clogs
gyaku-zuki - reverse or counter punch
hachiji-dachi - open-leg stance
hangetsu-dachi - wide hour-glass stance, toes turned in
haishu - back hand
haishu-uchi - back hand strike
haishu-uke - back hand block
haisoku - instep
haito - ridge hand, index finger edge of hand
haito-uchi - ridge hand strike
hajime - begin
heisoku-dachi - informal stance, feet parallel
hen-o - responding
hijiate - elbow strike
hiraken - four-knuckle fist using second joint of fingers
hiraken-zuki - four-knuckle fist straight punch
hittsui or hisa - knee
hittsui-geri or hisa-geri - knee kick
ippon-ken - one-knuckle fist
ippon-ken-zuki - one-knuckle fist, second knuckle protruding
ippon-nukite - one-finger spear hand
jiyu-ippon-kumite - semi-free one-blow sparring
jiyu-kumite - free-style sparring
jodan - target area above chest, to the head and face
juji-uke - cross block
kage-zuki - hook punch
kakato - heel
kake-dachi - one-legged stance, rear knee pressed into calf of front leg
kake-dameshi/shi-wari - tests of strength, breaking wood, tiles etc.
kake-te - hook hand
kake-uke - hooking block
kake-waza - hooking techniques
kakuto - bent wrist
kakuto-uke - bent wrist block
karate-gi - training suit
kamae-te - ‘on guard’
kansetsu-geri - stamping or joint kick, as fumikomi
kata - forms, pre-arranged excercises
keito - chicken-head wrist, formed with thumb and forefinger
keito-uke - chicken-head wrist block
kempo - ‘fist way’, Chinese boxing
kendo - ‘way of the sword’ sword fighting
kentsui - hammer fist with base of clenched fist
keri-waza - kicking techniques
kiba-dachi - straggle-leg stance, feet parallel
kihon kimite - basic sparring, pre-arranged
kime - focus or Ki, concentration of power
kin-geri - groin kick
koko - tiger-mouth, palm of hand
kokutsu-dachi - back stance
koshi - ball of the foot
kumade - bear hand, fingers clawed
kumite - sparring or combat
ma-ai - distancing
mae-geri - front kick
mae-geri-keage - front snap kick
mae-geri-kekomi - front thrust kick
mae-ken (tsuki) - punch with hand nearest opponent
mae-tobi-geri - flying front kick
makiwara - punching board
mawate - ‘turning hand, order to turn around
mawashi-geri - roundhouse kick
mawashi-zuki - roundhouse punch
mawashi-uke - circular block
mikazuki-geri - crescent kick, with sole of foot
mikazuki-geri-uke - crescent kick block
mine-uke - back hand block, wrist bent
mizu-no-kokoro - ‘a mind like water’
morote-uke - two handed forearm block
morote-zuki - double-fist punch
musubi-dachi - stance with heels together toes apart
nagashi-uke - sweeping block
nage-waza - throwing techniques
nakadate-ippon-ken - middle finger one-knuckle fist
nami-ashi - inside snapping block with foot
neko-ashi-dachi - cat stance
nihon nukite - two-finger spear hand
nukite - spearhand straight thrust
oi-zuki - lunge punch
Okinawa-te - ‘Okinawa hands’, old form of Okinawan karate
osae-uke - pressing block
sasae-uke - two fisted block (see also morote-uke)
sanchin-dachi - hour glass stance front foot turned in at 45 degrees
seiken - fore-fist, part of fist used in normal punching
seiken-choku-zuki - fore-fist straight punch
sensei - instructor of school or dojo
seiryuto - ox-jaw hand, actual part of hand used in Shukokai blocking (shuto)
seiza - sitting back on heels
shihan - chief instructor
shiko-dachi - sumo stance, straggle leg toes slightly out
shizen-dachi - open leg stance before ‘yoi’
shizen-dachi-heiko - ‘yoi dachi’, ready stance
shiai - refereed competition
shotei - palm heel
shuto - knife-hand, edge of hand
shuto-uchi - knife-hand strike, classic karate ‘chop’
shuto-uke - knife-hand block
sochin-dachi - diagonal straddle leg stance
sokuto - foot edge
sokuto-geri - side kick
sukui-geri - scooping block
tasuna-uke - block with little finger side of hand and forearm, palm turned to front
tateken-zuki - vertical fist punch as in Shukokai face punch
teisho - palm-heel
teisho-uchi - palm-heel strike
teisho-uke - palm-heel block
teisho-zuki - palm-heel straight punch
teisoku - sole
tettsui - bottom fist or hammer fist (see kentsui)
tettsui-uke - bottom-fist block
tettsui-uchi - bottom-fist strike
tsukame-uke - grasping block
tsuki-age - rising punch / uppercut, similar as in boxing
tsuki-no-kokoro - ‘a mind like the moon’
tsuki-uke - punching block
tsuki-wasa - punching techniques
uchi-otoshi - dropping block, first move in Pinan Nidan
uchi-wasa - striking techniques
ude - forearm
ude-uke - forearm block, as in chudan-ude-uke
uraken - back fist strike
ura-zuki - close punch, palm uppermost
ushiro-geri - back kick
ushiro-geri-keage - back snap kick
ushiro-geri-kekomi - back thrust kick
ushiro-uchi - hooking back heel kick
yama-zuki - two handed U-punch as in ‘Bassai Dai’
yame - stop
yasume - ‘stand easy’, relax
yoko-geri - side kick
yoko-geri-keage - side snap kick
yoko-geri-kekomi - side thrust kick
yoko-tobi-geri - flying side kick
yoi - ‘ready'
yonhon-nukite - spear hand four straight fingers
zanchin - state of awareness
zenkutsu-dachi - forward stance, extended standard stance
zuki/tsuki - general term for a punch
Shitoryu/Shukokai Basic Combinations
These combinations are part of the Shitoryu/Shukokai style of karate grading syllabus and as such you will need to know them for each grade that you attempt. There are nine combinations to learn, two of which have two elements to them. This means that you actually have to learn eleven separate combination techniques.
For your first grade, yellow/8th kyu, you will need to know combinations 1 to 4a. For all other grades, orange/7th kyu and above, you will need to know combinations 1 to 9. All combinations start from and end in left foot forward ‘standard stance’ position.
1a. Ichiban A
Step in with right foot and perform a right hand punch (oi-tsuki) to the face, withdraw the hand and without moving the feet perform a left open-handed thrust to the opponent’s collar bone. Step back.
1b. Ichiban B
Right hand punch to the face, step forward (one legged punch) with the right foot and perform a left thrust. Step back.
Right hand punch to the body (gyaku-tsuki), then left thrust to the body. (Note: the feet do not move in this combination).
Front hand punch (left mae-ken tsuki) to the face, right thrust to the body, left open hand block in front of the body (shuto-uke).
4a. Yonban A
Kick to the front (mae-geri) with the right foot, keeping the hands in position step forward with the kicking foot and punch to the face with the right hand (oi-tsuki), then left thrust to the body. Step back.
4b. Yonban B
Kick to the front (mae-geri) with the right foot, withdraw the leg and punch to the face with the right hand (still balancing on the left foot), step forward with the right foot and perform a left thrust. Step back.
Right hand punch to the body (gyaku-tsuki), step forward with the right foot, left thrust to the body, keeping hands in position kick with the left foot (mae-geri) to the body and place the foot down to your front, punch to the face with the right hand, left thrust, step back with the left foot and perform right open hand block (shuto-uke) in front of the body, step back with the right foot and perform left open hand block (shuto-uke) in front of the body.
Step back with the left foot, block at face level with the edge of the right hand (shuto-uke), punch to the body with the left hand (gyaku-tsuki), right thrust, step forward with the left foot and perform left hand open block (shuto-uke) in front of the body.
Perform open hand downward block with the left hand (gedan-barai) making sure you block with the edge of the hand, hips must twist as you block. Punch to the body with the right hand (gyaku-tsuki), perform left thrust to the body. (Note: the feet do not move).
Thrust to the face with the edge of the right hand then step forward with the right foot, punch to the body with the left hand (gyaku-tsuki), thrust to the body with the right hand, step back with the right foot and perform left open hand block (shuto-uke) in front of the body
Sweep the right foot forward, scooping the opponent’s ankle with the sole (ashi-barai), place the foot down to your front and punch to the face (oi-tsuki) with the right hand, left thrust to the body. Step back.
Note: Along with all the basic techniques done in ‘yoi dachi’ these combinations form the foundations of your entire karate learning process. They teach movement, balance, focus and form in the basic karate ‘standard stance’, they should be practised correctly and on a regular basis in the dojo and elsewhere if possible. When learned, these combinations will assist you greatly as you progress through your training syllabus because you will have already learned how your body can move and balance. This is the basis of good and correct karate and is of the utmost importance whether you are practising basics, combinations, kata, kumite or self defence.
Shitoryu/Shukokai Basic Stances
These are the seven basic stances in Shitoryu/Shukokai karate. Each stance follows the previous one with a single movement of the feet.
Standard Stance & Cat Stance
Standard Stance (zenkutsu-dachi)
Correct standard stance requires the front leg to be bent, so that the knee is over the toes and the foot pointing straight ahead.
To find the length of the stance, simply kneel on the rear knee so that it is alongside the back of the front heel.
The correct width is to place the rear foot (pointing forward at 45 degrees) between one and two fist widths to the side. In other words, if you drew two parallel lines four inches to eight inches (100mm-200mm) apart, the inside edge of the front foot would be on one and the edge of the rear heel on the other.
Cat Stance (neko-ashi-dachi)
Correct cat stance requires both knees to be bent and should look as the diagram (left).
The rear foot is placed at 45 degrees with the front foot pointing straight in the direction of travel or opponent.
The front heel is raised from the floor so the contact area is on the ball of the foot and approximately 70-80% of the weight is on the rear foot.
The heels must always be in-line and the front knee forced out to point straight in the direction of travel or opponent.
Punching In Standard Stance
1. The hips should maintain the same level
2. Outward tension in the knees should be maintained
3. The front knee should be forward and out
4. The front knee should not 'turn in' when punching
1. The hips and body should not drop
2. The hips and body must twist
3. The punch must be focused
Do you want to perfect an effective reverse & front hand punch? YES then the above 'rules' will help you to achieve this.
Which Kata Do I need For My Grading?
It should be noted that as the student progresses through the grades they will be examined on all kata required for previous grades as well as the kata for the grade they are attempting, eg. to attain purple/4th kyu all five Pinan katas must be known and performed without mistakes.
*The displaying of 'rank bars' on the black belt is optional and is a matter of personal preference.
**This is the 'master' grade and can take a lifetime to achieve. Very few people reach this grade.
Karate competition rules are many and complex, for this reason we have not written them on the website but you can download and save a copy for your records if you wish by clicking on the downloads page.