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Wado Heretic
Green Belt
Green Belt

Joined: 23 May 2014
Posts: 484
Location: United Kingdom, England, Shropshire
Styles: Wado-Ryu , Kobayashi Shorin-Ryu (Kodokan), RyuKyu Kobojutsu

PostPosted: Tue Jun 02, 2015 5:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

First, good work, and hope you keep it.

This approach of having centralised grading does appear to be in vogue in Shotokan-Ryu. The times I have encountered it, usually what is occurring is that the head instructor or technical director of the organisation will run a course for senior grades in the area, primarily the club instructors, and while he is present will then run a grading for the members of those clubs. This either occurs for two reasons, in the UK anyway;

1. An instructor, or instructors, is/are visiting from Japan, and as an administrative exercise are conducting this style of grading to ensure that the local instructors know the standard expected by the central authority in Japan with regards to grading. It also serves as an effective way to introduce any technical changes being made. The former approach could be declared an “error”, and the new approach a correction.

2. The organisation is a relatively small local organisation; and the clubs are condensed to a relatively small area. Therefore, to maintain standards, it is best to have a centralised grading; especially if it is unarguably not a great inconvenience for any one.

Now I should add that it is not unusual for Dan grading processes to be centralised in the UK, just because travelling should not be a great inconvenience regarding the size of the UK, so it is not just a Shotokan thing. However, for junior grades it is far less common in the broader community, but as I mentioned, I have seen it coming into vogue in Shotokan circles.

The Kari grade system is essentially for juniors; with the intent to ensure two things:

1. That they can grade regularly, but at a pace and standard suitable for children. Furthermore; for very young beginners, it means that they can proceed through the grading system at an age where they do not have to wait too long before they are old enough to attempt the Shodan grade.

2. For those learners who might find it difficult to grade at the usual pace. Those with learning difficulties, or some form of infirmity they have indeed taken karate up to overcome.

As far as I know, I do not believe Kari grades are official in so much as there is no place in the syllabus for them. They are intended as a flexible tool, to be used at the discretion of the grading officer, or instructor, when it is felt needed.

On Oss/Osu: it is a nonsense word that developed a flavour of it’s own as a sort of affirmative declaration. I prefer Hai, and do get annoyed at being Ossed at, but it is just the culture of that particular club. Something one just has to roll with. For a more in-depth explanation; the article link posted should suffice.

Hopefully this is of use to you. However, really it is something only your instructor can expand upon, and explain. Again, good work, and good luck in your continuing journey.
R. Keith Williams

A Rarely Used Blog:
An Uncertain Path
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White Belt
White Belt

Joined: 24 Dec 2014
Posts: 17
Location: UK
Styles: Shotokan Karate, Judo.

PostPosted: Mon Jun 08, 2015 6:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you for your insight Wado! It was very interesting to read
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