Aiming for a Black Belt in Traditional Okinawan Karate by High School Graduation
Students at Okinawa Shogaku are required to participate in Okinawan Karate in order to gain “cultural power” and cultivate the disposition of a globally-minded person of culture.
Their aim is to get a dan rank (black belt) by the time they graduate senior high school.
In the 2020 school year, 639 students got a black belt.
Senior high school
(black belt + brown belt)
- 971 students
Why is Okinawan Karate a required class?
Cultural skill means the ability to display aptitude on a global scale. The ability to focus on a class with concentration for 70 minutes is one kind of cultural skill that people have in Japan. Judo, Kendo, abacus, Ryukyu dance, and Karate are other kinds of cultural skill, and are admired by people from abroad. Okinawan Karate is a form of culture native to Okinawa the value of which is recognized on a global scale, and there is a global standard for achievements in Okinawan Karate. At Okinawa Shogaku, Okinawan Karate is a required course for all students, male and female, in junior and senior high school, as part of efforts to cultivate in the students the disposition of globally-minded people of culture.
How do our Karate classes work?
- Junior and senior high school students have an Okinawan Karate class for 70 minutes once a week.
- Okinawa Shogaku has entered into an education agreement with the Okinawa Prefecture Karatedo Federation, and instructors from the federation teach the students together with our physical education instructors.
- Our classes focus solely on form. We do not have the students practice sparring.
Students who wish to practice sparring can participate in the Karate club as an extracurricular activity.
- Students choose one style from among Uechi-ryu, Goju-ryu, Shorin-ryu, and Matsubayashi-ryu.
- In principle, Karate classes are required from the first year of junior high school through the second year of senior high school.
Students in their third year of senior high school can select whether to continue taking Karate classes.
Goals and achievements by grade
Students aim to get a black belt (first dan or higher) by the time they graduate from senior high school.
|Junior high first-year target
|Senior high first-year target
|Junior high second-year target
|Senior high second-year target
|Junior high third-year target
|Senior high third-year target
How we test advancement to higher ranks
Twice a year, we hold an Okinawa Prefecture Karatedo Federation kyu and dan advancement test at the school (for junior high first-year students, the test is held once a year). Students aim to achieve the target kyu or dan for their grade or higher, and work hard to have their stills tested biannually. To the students, this test of skills also serves as a chance to cultivate self-actualization and the will to succeed. The kyu and dan recognized by the federation are the same as those recognized in every Karate competition worldwide--in other words, they constitute a global standard. According to the federation’s rules, only senior high school students and above can acquire a black belt.