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Karate-dō is an ancient art of self-defense, mental discipline, and character development that began on the tiny Pacific island of Okinawa over 600 years ago.  For over 1,500 years, Okinawa was a major trading center in the Pacific.  Its location, almost in the epicenter of shipping routes between China, Taiwan, Japan, Indonesia, Annan (Vietnam), and the Phillippines, made the Okinawan port city of Naha the crossroads of the Pacific.  For hundreds of years, vanquished samurai from the endless feudal wars on mainland Japan found refuge and new lives on Okinawa and other Ryūkyū islands.  Thus, fighting methods from a dozen or more cultures found their way to Okinawa's docks, taverns, villages, and ultimately to Shuri Castle, where the bodyguards of the Ryūkyūan kings eventually distilled them into a system of weaponless self-defense we now call karate-dō.

What sets karate-dō apart from most martial arts is that it is a counter-martial art.  It was designed specifically and exclusively as a system of defense against skilled martial arts attackers.  This fact is embodied in the ancient karate-dō adage:  karate ni sente nashi:  "In karate there are no attacks."  All of the techniques of karate-dō are counter-attacks which are only practicable if the opponent attacks first.  In a battle between two people of equal skill, whoever attacks will lose.

The IWU Budōkai provides its members with the opportunity to train in traditional Japanese Shitō-Ryū karate-dō.  Shitō-Ryū is one of the four main styles of Japanese karate-dō, and is the most complex and comprehensive of all karate-dō styles.  In essence, Shitō-Ryū is the synthesis of all major major types of Okinawan karate-dōShuri-te, Tomari-te, and Naha-te.  As a result, Shitō-Ryū combines the rock-solid stances, power, and breath-control techniques found in Naha-te styles like Gojū-Ryū with the nimble footwork and speed for which Shuri-te styles like Shōrin-Ryū and Tomari-te styles like Matsubayashi-Ryū are known.

Requirements for Rank Promotion --

Requirements for promotion testing for all rankings up to sandan (3rd degree black belt) are now available, along with videos of most of the required kata, for use by IWU Budōkai members by simply clicking the links below.  CAUTION:  these videos are not a substitute for class instruction, and in some cases the kata are performed with slight differences from the way they are demonstrated in the videos.  Each video is approximately 4 megabytes in size, so it may take a few moments to download, especially on dial-up connections.  They are in WMV format, so they are viewable using Windows Media Player, which is a FREE download, if you don't have it.  Please be patient.  And please do not share these videos with non-members. 

 

Click on the Orange Belt at left to see the IWU Budōkai requirements for promotion to Jukkyū (10th kyū). Click on the Blue Belt at left to see the IWU Budōkai requirements for promotion to Kyūkyū (9th kyū).
Click on the Purple Belt at left to see the IWU Budōkai requirements for promotion to Hachikyū (8th kyū). Click on the Purple Belt at left to see the IWU Budōkai requirements for promotion to Nanakyū (7th kyū).
Click on the Green Belt at left to see the IWU Budōkai requirements for promotion to Rokkyū (6th kyū). Click on the Green Belt at left to see the IWU Budōkai requirements for promotion to Gokyū (5th kyū).
Click on the Green Belt at left to see the IWU Budōkai requirements for promotion to Yonkyū (4th kyū). Click on the Brown Belt at left to see the IWU Budōkai requirements for promotion to Sankyū (3rd kyū).
Click on the Brown Belt at left to see the IWU Budōkai requirements for promotion to Nikyū (2nd kyū). Click on the Brown Belt at left to see the IWU Budōkai requirements for promotion to Ikkyū (1st kyū).
Click on the Black Belt at left to see the IWU Budōkai requirements for promotion to Shodan-Ho (provisional Black Belt). Click on the Black Belt at left to see the IWU Budōkai requirements for promotion to Shodan (1st Degree Black Belt).
Click on the Black Belt at left to see the IWU Budōkai requirements for promotion to Nidan (2nd Degree Black Belt). Click on the Black Belt at left to see the IWU Budōkai requirements for promotion to Sandan (3rd Degree Black Belt).