International Shotokan Karate Federation of Colorado Springs
Procedures and Formal Rituals for All Karateka:


  1. Tradition requires that you remove your shoes and socks before entering the training area. Upon entering the dojo:

Bow upon entry and say "oh-su" (OHS). Bow whenever you leave the training area.

  1. Procedure for starting class:
    1. Line up: All students line up in the back of the dojo, in one line facing front, higher ranking students to the right lower ranking students to the left.
    2. Kneel: instructor kneels first. When the instructor kneels, the lead student will give the following commands:
      1. Seiza - kneeling in order of right to left, in proper position, back straight, knees touching the person next to you, in straight line.
    3. Meditation: the lead student gives the following commands:
      1. Mokuso - meditation, empty the mind, eyes closed, back straight, controlled breathing duration about 45-90 seconds.
      2. Mokuso Yame - to finish, in this case to finish meditation, eyes open, mind alert and focused on karate.
      3. Shomen ni rei - all karateka bow to the front then turn towards instructor
      4. Sensei ni rei - all karateka bow towards the instructor.
    4. Calisthentics - the instructor will stand and instruct the students to stand and spread out. Exercises will be performed to both warm up the body as well as to limber up the body duration about fifteen minutes.
  2. Class: the instructor will say "yoi", and the class will come to attention, assuming a natural stance. The class material will cover one or more of the following:

kihon - basics

kata - forms

Kumite - sparring

  1. Procedure for ending class:
    1. cool down: about five minutes of stretches and slow movements
    2. Line up: students first turn towards the back of the dojo and straighten up their gis (uniforms) if needed, then line up the same as starting class.
    3. Kneel and meditation: the lead student gives the following commands
      1. Seiza - to kneel
      2. Mokuso - meditation, close the eyes
      3. Mokuso Yame - meditation over, open the eyes
      4. Dojo Kun - the lead students recites the dojo kun, and the other karateka repeat it.
        1. "seek perfection of character"
        2. "be faithful"
        3. "endeavor"
        4. "respect others"
        5. "refrain from violent deeds"
      5. Shomen ni rei - bow to front then all students turn to instructor
      6. Sensei ni rei -bow to instructor then students turn towards their sempai if present
      7. Sempei ni rei - only if present bow to the black belts then return to face front.
    4. Rise: The instructor will signal the end of class and rise. After he has moved passed the line, or dismissed class the class will bow and then rise, beginning with the higher ranking students
  2. Entering class late:

If the class has already started when you arrive, warm up before entering class area, then enter class and kneel just inside the door. Wait for the instructor to tell you to come into class.

  1. Counting in Japanese:

Ich (1)

Ni (2)

San (3)

Shi (4)

Go (5)

Ruk (6)

Shitch (7)

Hatch (8)

Kyu (9)

Ju (10)

  1. Designation of body areas: Targets

Jodan - head face and neck area

Chudan - chest and stomach area

Gedan - waste to knees

Hiza shita - lower leg area

  1. Kata names associated with rank and belt color:

Kata Names


Belt Color

Heian Shodan

9th KYU

White belt

Heian Nidan

8th KYU

Yellow belt

Heian Sandan

7th KYU

Orange belt

Heian Yodan

6th KYU

Green belt

Heian Godan

5th KYU

Purple belt

Tekki Shodan

4th KYU

Purple belt

Advanced kata

3rd KYU

Brown belt

Advanced kata

2nd KYU

Brown belt

Advanced kata

1st KYU

Brown belt

Advanced kata and Tekki Shodan

1st Dan Shodan

Black belt

Advanced kata and Tekki Nidan

2nd Dan Nidan

Black belt

  • Advanced kata: Begin learning advanced kata at brown belt level and continue.
  • Bassai-dai
  • Kanku-dai
  • Empi
  • Jion
  • Hangetsu
  • Jitte
  • Tekki Sandan
  • Gankaku
  • Sochin
  • Meikyo
  • Chintei
  • Wankan
  • Nijushiho
  • Gojushiho
  • Unsu
  • Ten no kata omote
  • And others