This post provides a summary of the Goju Ryu grading syllabus for the 7th kyu (orange belt) based on the grading syllabus of the International Okinawan Goju-Ryu Karate-Do Federation (IOGKF).
The post covers the following requirements at the 7th kyu (orange belt) level:
Minimum training time
Generally, you will need to train for at least 3-4 months with regular attendance (at least twice a week) since your last grading to be invited to grade to the orange belt (7th kyu). You will have trained for at least 9-10 months in total.
If you have memorized the Japanese karate terms required for 9th and 8th kyu levels, you’ve got the basic and most important vocabulary. From now on, you will need to remember the terms that come with your grade kata and the new techniques that you are taught.
For example, you are expected to know terms like morote tsuki which refers to the double punch that appears in Gekisai Dai Ichi kata or hiki uke (pulling open hand block) that appears in Gekisai Dai Ni kata.
You will need to demonstrate all basic techniques that you have learned so far (including the basic techniques that you’re required to learn for the 9th and 8th kyu grading) usually from the stationary Heiko Dachi stance:
- Jodan tsuki (face level punch, aiming at around the jinchu area)
- Chudan tsuki (middle-level punch, from your chin to suigetsu area)
- Gedan tsuki (lower level punch between suigetsu and groin)
- Sanbon tsuki (triple punches: jodan, chudan and gedan tsuki)
- Ura zuki (middle-level short punch)
- Age uke (rising block)
- Yoko uke (block from inside out)
- Soto uke (block from outside in)
- Gedan barai (downward sweeping block)
- Sanbon uke (triple blocks: age uke, yoko uke, and gedan barai)
- Hiki uke (pulling hand block)
- Kake uke (hook block)
- Tora guchi (tiger mouth block)
- Ura uchi (back fist strike)
- Hiji ate (elbow strike)
- Tetsui uchi (hammer fist)
- Kin geri (groin kick)
- Mae geri (front kick)
- Mawashi geri (roundhouse kick)
- Kansetsu geri (stamping kick).
In addition to basic techniques performed in a stationary stance, from 7th kyu onward, you will be required to perform moving basics (kihon ido) as well.
At the 7th kyu level, you need to perform the following combinations while transitioning through stances:
- Jodan age uke and Jodan gyaku tsuki (moving backward in sanchin dachi stance)
- Chudan yoko uke and Chudan gyaku tsuki (moving backward in zenkutsu dachi stance)
- Gedan barai and Chudan gyaku tsuki (moving backward in zenkutsu dachi stance)
- Gedan barai (moving backward at 45 degree angle into shiko dachi stance)
- Mae geri and chudan kizami tsuki (moving forward into sanchin dachi stance)
- Mawashi geri and gyaku tsuki (moving forward and landing into zenkutsu dachi stance)
- Kensetsu geri (moving forward and landing into shiko dachi stance).
For your orange belt grading, you are required to perform Gekisai Dai Ichi and Gekisai Dai Ni kata.
Gekisai Dai Ichi and Gekisai Dai Ni kata were created by Chojun Miyagi Sensei, the founder of the Goju Ryu style in the 1940s to introduce kata or forms to new students.
Before that, new students of Goju Ryu karate were taught Sanchin for years before being introduced to other katas. Realizing that Sanchin was a difficult kata for beginners, Chojun Miyagi created these katas to introduce a more basic karate form to a wider audience.
Although these are basic katas, they are not easy to perform well.
One can tell how good a black belt is by asking him or her to perform Gekisai Dai Ichi or Gekisai Dai Ni. Without fancy moves, fast turns, jumps and kicks, you are left with basic techniques, and if these black belts haven’t got their basics right, you know that their karate is garbage, it’s simple as that.
Below are some demonstrations of Gekisai Dai Ichi and Gekisai Dai Ni kata.
From the 7th kyu onward, you are required to demonstrate bunkai or kata applications. For this grading, you will need to show the bunkai for Gekisai Dai Ichi (both left and right sides and both defense and attack sides).
Below are some demonstrations of Gekisai Dai Ichi bunkai.
You will need to perform Sandan Gi numbers 1 to 4 with a partner. You should show good basic techniques with good form, power and focus throughout the drill.
At the 7th kyu level, randori (light contact free-style sparring) still aims at exchanging and testing out technique combinations with a partner. You are now expected to naturally assume a good fighting stance with eye contact, focus, martial intensity and clear-cut techniques.
Kakie is practiced in Gjou Ryu and many other traditional Okinawan karate styles. You are only required to show basic kakie form (sticking hand practice) at the 7th kyu level.
Ukemi waza (break-fall technique) is important to help protect yourself from injury during training as well as in actual combat situations.
At the orange belt level, you are only required to show basic break-fall techniques starting from on-ground positions, including:
- side break-fall from an on-the-ground position (both left and right sides)
- back break-fall from an on-the-ground position
- shoulder roll from a kneeling position (both left and right sides).
As mentioned in the previous post of this series, most Goju Ryu dojos include some form of fitness test either at the end or at the beginning of the grading and it will get tougher as you move up the ranks.
As an example, at the orange belt level, you may be required to perform 40 reps of each of the following:
- air squats
- star jumps
Other posts you might be interested in:
An Overview of the Goju Ryu Karate Belt System
Goju Ryu Grading Syllabus: White Belt with a Stripe (9th Kyu)
Goju Ryu Grading Syllabus: Yellow Belt (8th Kyu)
What Is the Purpose of “Chambering” in Karate?
A Complete List of Goju Ryu Stances
San Dan Gi and How to Get the Most Out of These Drills
What to expect when you undergo a EGKA/IOGKF Grading
Gekisai-Dai (Fukyugata-Ni) History and Bunkai (video)
English Goju Ryu Karate-do Association – Student Handbook
The IOGKF/EGKA Grading Syllabus Library
IOGKF KYU GRADING REQUIREMENTS
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