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Rich Reisinger, Joe Fleisher, Bryan Skarlatos, Edwin McCarren, Terry Vincent, Joe Mallon, Jack Plant, Scott Morrison, Louie Rodriguez, Ed Stouffer, Tom Palmer, Ralph Iacono, Dale Metz, Warren Holsinger, Anna Herrmann, Jeff Kauffman, William Kline, William Mitchell, Dave Yount, Barbara Eppley, Steve Wilson, Alan Back, Dave Morgan, Phyllis Seiders, Suzy Morgan, Paul Young, Tevin Fake, Michael Stamey, Matt Rottmund, Kris Biniek, Jakie McGinty, Thomas Williams, Doug King, Mark Meier, Philip Shatto, Melissa Waggoner, Jeremy Toner, Scott Meier, Chuck Douros, Matt Gray, Vernon Graham, Chris Feldman, Robert Deibler, Matthew Douros, Alexis Douros, Christopher Cecil, Charles Douros, Christopher Russell, Julie Silver, Kevin Klinger, Kevin St. Clair, Matthew Taylor, Megan Taylor, Neal Roddy, William Swinehart, Lance DeMuth, Katie Staudt, Park A. Toner III, Matthew Taylor, Christine E. Line,Joe King, K. Michael Spencer, Edward Allen Wilson II, Michelle Vignapiano, Jonathan M Zell, AJ Grieneisen, George Brooks, Roger Brown, Aaron Mills, Hunter Gibson, Paul Schaufert, Peter Sprague, Jenna Arnold, Sandra McCuslin , Adam Brown, Brennan Trussell, Joshua Geruntho



All new students wear the lowest level belt which is white in color. While the student holds this belt they are taught the basic moves and the proper way of applying them. One of the more difficult tasks for us is teaching the student how to kick properly. Most students, when they kick, don't retract the leg and develop an improper bAlance. Another bad habit is the tendency to remain stiff when executing a block, punch or kick. This stiffness cuts down on the speed and power of the techniques.


The next level of advancement is denoted by the green belt. However, before the student can wear the green belt he must satisfactorily demonstrate that he has an adequate knowledge of four kata. The first kata that the white belt has to learn is called sanchin. Sanchin kata is an exercise kata used to develop focus and proper breathing techniques and as such is done with no opponents. The next kata is called seisan. In the seisan kata the student is fighting four (4) imaginary opponents attacking at 90 degree angles. With the next kata, seiunchin, the student is pitted against six (6) opponents attacking at 90 degree and 45 degree angles. In the naihanchi kata, the students back is against a wall and he defends against attacks from the front and sides (there are 3 opponents). These kata are part of the  requirement for promotion to the green belt level and can be learned in 10 to 12 months. At the end of this time a "check" is done to determine the students overall ability to this point. They must perform in front of the class doing kata, self defense, basics, falls, kumite, ippon kumite (one point sparring) and know the history of the Isshin Ryu style. At this time a certificate and green belt are presented to the student. The children do not learn the self defense as taught to the adults, this is not a requirement for their green belt.


Before the green belt can advance to the next level, the brown belt, he must learn five more kata (the children learn the three empty hand kata - we teach no weapons kata until after the brown belt for children). Bo-bo kumite is taught first so the student gets used to handling the bo (six foot wooden pole). This is a two person kata and the student must learn both sides, attacker and defender. Next is wansu with four (4) opponents. This is a close infighting kata because all of the techniques are short and abrupt. Next is the chinto kata which has two (2) opponents, but is difficult to learn because all techniques are done on a 45 degree angle to the left of where the student starts from. There is also a lot of forward and backward pivoting involved in this kata to further complicate it. Once learned this kata usually becomes a favorite. Tokumine no kun is next and is also a weapons kata using the bo. This is a one person kata and a good basic form for tournament. Last is ku san ku kata which has eight (8) opponents because of the many different angles of defense and attack.


Now we check the student for brown belt. A thorough knowledge of everything a green belt has to know plus the five extra kata and knife defense. Again a certificate and brown belt are presented to the student.


Most students get a strong emotional drive going for their belt promotions and most enter a slight depression after they receive it. This is partly due to the fact that a student goes from the top of one belt level to the bottom of the next level. We try to make a student aware of this so they don't become discouraged and drop out of the club at this time.


The last belt to be earned in Isshin Ryu karate is the black belt. For this level the brown belt must learn three (3) more kata (the children must learn five (5) kata - start with bo-bo then tokumine no kun). These kata are urashi kun (which uses the bo), ku san ku sai and chatan yara no sai (the sai is about 19 inches long and looks like a small hand sword shaped like a trident). After the student has learned these kata they are ready to be tested for sho dan (first level black belt). Besides knowing everything up to this point, the added requirements are the three (3) new kata, all the history of the Isshin Ryu style, and at least one (1) public appearance. The public appearance can be a tournament or a demonstration. This helps the students ability to learn to concentrate when there are distractions.



               SHO        DAN...FIRST LEVEL                           ROKU   DAN...SIXTH LEVEL

               NI             DAN...SECOND LEVEL                      SHICHI DAN...SEVENTH LEVEL

               SAN        DAN...THIRD LEVEL                          HACHI  DAN...EIGHTH LEVEL

               YON        DAN...FOURTH LEVEL                      KUU      DAN...NINTH LEVEL

               GO           DAN...FIFTH LEVEL                           JUU       DAN...TENTH LEVEL




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Carlisle Isshinryu Karate Club