Karate begins and ends with courtesy.  Before you step on or off of the deck, bow to show courtesy.

Workouts begin and end with a bow to each other to show courtesy.

When receiving a correction from your karate instructor, always reply "Arigato Sensei".


  • Onegai-Shimasu - Please teach us
  • Arigato - Thank you
  • Domo Arigato - Thank you very much
  • Dojo - Sacred Hall of Learning (Training Room)
  • Sempai - Senior Student
  • Sensei - Teacher
  • Gi - Karate Uniform
  • Obi - Belt
  • Kata - Form; an organized series of prearranged defensive and offensive movements symbolizing an imaginary fight between several opponents and performed in a geometrical pattern.
Counting in Japanese
  • Ichi - One
  • Ni - Two
  • San - Three
  • Shi - Four 
  • Go - Five
  • Roku - Six
  • Shichi - Seven
  • Hachi - Eight
  • Kyu - Nine
  • Ju - Ten
Additional terminology can be found on pages 57 through 67 of the Shorin-Ryu Okinawan Karate Question and Answer Book.

Ranks and Testing

Twice a year, in February and August, we conduct major belt testing which includes all ranks Yon-Kyu and above.  Aside from these tests, we conduct testing for the Ro-Kyu and Go-Kyu ranks when appropriate.

At the lower ranks, students may be tested frequently.  At the higher ranks, students may be tested every couple of years or longer.  The focus of our traditional karate style is not on promotions and belt colors, but rather on training and diligent practice of kata.

Our ranks and belt colors are as follows:
  • Kyu Ranks
    • Beginner - White Belt
    • Ro-Kyu - White Belt with one Green Tip
    • Go-Kyu - White Belt with two Green Tips
    • Yon-Kyu - Green Belt
    • San-Kyu - Green Belt with two Brown Tips
    • Ni-Kyu - Brown Belt
    • Ik-Kyu - Brown Belt with two Black Tips
  • Dan Ranks
    • Sho-Dan - 1st Degree Black Belt
    • Ni-Dan - 2nd Degree Black Belt
    • San-Dan - 3rd Degree Black Belt
    • Yon-Dan - 4th Degree Black Belt
    • Go-Dan - 5th Degree Black Belt
    • Roku-Dan - 6th Degree Black Belt
    • Shichi-Dan - 7th Degree Black Belt
    • Hachi-Dan - 8th Degree Black Belt
    • Kyu-Dan - 9th Degree Black Belt
    • Ju-Dan - 10th Degree Black Belt

Testing Fees

Testing fees must be paid in advance of the test.  The fee schedule is as follows:
  • Free of charge for Ro-Kyu
  • Free of charge for Go-Kyu
  • $60 for Yon-Kyu
  • Free of charge for San-Kyu
  • $80 for Ni-Kyu
  • Free of charge for Ik-Kyu
Qualifications for each rank are described on pages 78 and 79 of the Shorin-Ryu Okinawan Karate Question and Answer Book.