Black Belt Curriculum - 1st Degree (Shodan)

 Weapons Component:

Traditional Bo Kata - Sakagawa No Kai

History: This is one of many katas created by Master Shungo Sakagawa (1733 – 1815).  Sakagawa is widely considered the first practitioner of Shuri-te karate.  One of his better known students was Shoken Matasura who was so revered for his skill that he was the personal bodyguard for the 17th, 18th, and 19th kings of Ryukyu Islands and the islands chief Martial Arts instructor.

 Self Defense Component: The self-defenses for this section were chosen to give students an opportunity to experience the style of Kenpo.  Students will learn defenses against combination punches, straight punches, knife and stick attacks.  Kenpo self defenses are considerably longer than previously learned Karate self defenses. 

 The five self-defenses are called:

                                                 1.             Fatal Deviation

                                                2.             Leap of Death

                                                3.             Raining Lance

                                                4.             Capturing the Storm

                                                5.             Back Breaker

                                        6.             Crossing Talons

                                                 7.             5 Swords


 As we know, in a real self defense situation, not all goes as planned and these defenses accommodate multiple scenarios. Students will be given the opportunity to tailor their program to their interests by choosing their last self-defense. Crossing Talon – a defense against a cross grab, or Five Swords – a defense against a single hook punch.

 Activation points: are similar to pressure points, and work on the same principles.  Pressure points are nerve endings that require extensive training and precise manipulation to be effective, while activation points are nerve clusters that are considerably larger but just as effective and can be incorporated with ease into our existing self-defenses.

 Five keys areas we will focus on during this section of training are:

                                         1.             Radial                                   6.             Median - forearm                    11.           Hand

                                        2.             Triceps                                  7.             Cheek                                          12.           Elbow

                                        3.             Ear Canal                             8.             Thumb web

                                        4.             Bicep                                     9.             Jaw

                                        5.             Clavicle                                 10.          Nose

Students will be taught how to map these areas on the body and activate them in a sensory deprivation test by using compression and insertion techniques.

 See appendix “A” for details about activation points

 Kata Component:

Patsai Sho – Entering the Fortress (Lesser)

Jion – Temple of Jion

Kitsune - contemporary jujitsu kata

Bassai’ – To Penetrate a Fortress

Saifa’ – Destruction, Smashing or Tearing.  

 Things to look forward to at second degree:

The Tonfa is introduced at Nidan as well as learning Aikido self defenses and the katas; ‘Unsu’ – Hands of a Cloud or Parting of Clouds, ‘Ji’in’ – Temple Ground and ‘Miekyo’ – Polished Mirror.

 Appendix A to Activation Points:

 Radial: The nerve is located on the inner, thumb side of the forearm and extends from the back of the wrist to a few inches below the elbow.  Application of pressure can result in weakness of grip, release of grip and possible temporary numbness.

 Triceps: The tendons in the triceps lie on the back part of your upper arm. You can use an arm bar submission to apply pressure to the back of the triceps for control purposes.

 Ear Canal: This nerve runs from just behind the ear lobe, down the side of the neck, where it joins the shoulder.  Distress at this point can cause numbness and/or temporary discomfort, possible loss of alertness.

 Bicep: Irritations to the inside of the upper arm will result in a numbing effect.  You may even cause the arm to drop down if a strike to the nerve bundle is hard enough or induce a spasm which straightens their arm, rendering them unable to contract the muscle and bend it.

 Collar Bone: Around the middle of the center of the bone, between the neck and shoulder joint, hook your fingers in and under the bone to press on the nerve bundle.  Finger insertion behind the collar bone can bring your opponent to their knees if you hit the nerve bundle.

 Median (Forearm): This pressure point is frequently used is defense against grabs.  Exertion will cause the grip to weaken, helping you escape a hold and incapacitating the hand

 Cheek (Upper Gum Line): Press with thumb and middle finger, right under cheekbone, to apply pressure to the center of the head on the gum line.

 Thumb Web: If you thrust your thumb into the web between your opponents thumb and index finger and apply pressure towards the center of the hand and up, you will find a nerve bundle there.  There is also a sensitive spot which corresponds on the top of the hand.

 Jaw: Support the head with one hand.  With the other, follow the jawline to the highest point, just under the ear, where it meets the skull.  Apply pressure inward and upward towards your ear. This is very painful and makes speaking difficult.

 Nose: This area can be irritated by utilizing a ridge hand strike, if you are in a head lock.  Bring your hand up to their face and one of your arms around their legs to upset them.  A knuckle strike or upper cut punch would also work as this spot is sensitive when pressed upwards.


Black Belt Curriculum - 2nd Degree (Nidan)



Weapons Component


Tonfa Kata – Masugi No Tonfa


History of Tonfa – Originally used as a rice grinder, adapted from traditional Okinawan farm tools as a means of getting around the ‘no weapons’ regulation.  It has been widely adopted for use by law enforcement due to its versatility.


Self Defense Component


Aikido was developed to use an opponent’s energy against then, as opposed to traditional Karate that was developed to stop an opponent’s energy. 


There are seven self defenses:


                                                1.             Yokumen Uchi Sankajo Osae Ichi (Third control from side strike to head)

                                                2.             Katate Mochi Kokyu Nage (Breath throw from single hand grab)

                                                3.             Katate Mochi SHihonage Ichi (Four directions throw from cross grab)

                                                4.             Kosa Dori Iriminage (Entering throw from cross grab)

                                                5.             Mune Mochi Hijishime Ni (arm lock from chest grab and push)

                                                6.             Yokumen Uchi Ikkajo Osae Ni (First control from chest grab)

                                                7.             Mune Mochi Nikajo Osae Ichi (Second control from chest grab)


Aikido 001.jpg
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Students will be required to implement their knowledge of these activation points by incorporating them into our bonkai.


                                                1.             Radial                    6.             Median-forearm

                                                2.             Triceps                   7.             Cheek-upper gum line

                                               3.              Ear Canal               8.             Thumb Web

                                               4.              Bicep                       9.             Jaw

                                               5.             Clavicle                  10.             Nose



Kata Component


Students will be required to research each kata and write an essay about its history and meaning.


Ji’in – Mercy and Friendliness

Unsu – Cloud Hands

Meikyo – Polished Mirror

Gankaku – Crane on a Rock

Kanku Sho – Looking at the Sky (Lesser)


Things to look forward to at third degree:


Sai will be introduced as a new weapon, activation points will focus on defense from the ground, and a form of Kung –Fu self defense called sticky hands. We also will have three new kata for the students to learn including ‘Airkaki Unsu’ – Named after Sensei Arikaki Ankichi and is the version of Unsu that he created, ‘Jitte’ – Ten Hands, and ‘Sochin’ – Preserve Peace with the option of a Tae Kwon Do kata ‘Usin’ – Named after General Kim Usin’.


Black Belt Curriculum - 3rd Degree (Sandan)


Weapons Component


Sai Kata – Yakka No Sai

History of Sai– Traditional Martial Arts weapon that has a 16” long metal spike with a dagger like handle.  The hand is protected by an inverted guard made of 2 short, curved spikes.

Burma Knife Set: Striking set taught in World War II to Marines for hand to hand combat.



Kata Component


Students will be required to research each kata and write an essay about its history and meaning.


Jitte – Ten Hands

Airkaki Unsu – This is the version of Unsu created by Sensei Arikaki Ankichi

Sochin – Preserve Peace

Usin – Tai Kwon Do Kata that was named after General Kim Usin from the Silla Dynasty.  The 68 movements were modeled after the year 668 A.D., the year that Korea united.  At Ready Stance, the sword drawn to the right shows Kim’s mistake of following the Kings orders for fighting with Fergin forces against his own nation

Seiunchin – Goju Ryu Kata - To Pull off Balance and Fight



Things to look forward to at fourth degree.


Sword will be introduced as a new weapon, activation points will be used for escort and escape situations. A knife self defense will be introduced as well as practical knife sparring drills. We also will have three new kata for the students to learn including ‘Gojushehodai’ – Greater of 54 Movements, ‘Chinto’ – Fighting to the East, and ‘Chinte’ –Unusual Hands.