Congratulations on achieving your 1st kyu and welcome to the section of our website dedicated solely to you and your ongoing development and education.
We trust you will find plenty of both inspiration and education in this section to keep you on track with your journey and moving towards your next grading.
Having achieved 1st kyu, you are now only one grade away from the coveted Black belt. That said, for the first time in your karate life you will be introduced to two new kata. These are Sanseru and Sepai.
Keep in mind this is not to create a larger hurdle for you, it exists because of the fact that, by 1st kyu, a student will have developed a high level of mastery over their body, thus developing two kata is something well within the capability.
There are a couple of things to keep in mind as you begin your preparation for your Black belt grading:
Your primary grading kata is Sanseru. While Sepai (the more difficult kata of the two) must be performed – and performed well, you will perform Sepai again for your Shodan (1st dan black belt) grading. It is at this grading that a much higher expectation is placed upon your technical ability to perform this kata.
Attempting your Black belt by no means implies you are a master. Nor does it imply that you can defeat four or five opponents at once in kumite. Black belt represents many things. In terms of grading to your Black belt however, it implies you have developed:
- High level of self-mastery in both body and mind.
- A high level of self-discipline and etiquette.
- Your kihon, kata and kumite techniques are becoming instinctive.
Obviously Black belt represents many other things (loyalty, commitment etc) but the above three put you in a position to begin your karate journey once again with fresh new eyes.
Remember that when we grade, we do not get a ‘new’ kata. We are now introduced to ‘another’ kata. In simple terms, we are not introduced to a new kata to let the previous fall by the way side. We are introduced to another because our instructor believes we are now good enough to learn another kata without allowing any previous kata to slip. In fact, to keep improving them.
Ultimately, what your instructor really wants to see in you to give you the go ahead to grade is that your overall karate is very sound and instinctive. And this is backed up with self-discipline, etiquette and quality of character. These are the qualities that will lay the platform for the Black belt to begin a new journey and really start advancing their karate.