From 1991 to 1995, during my initial training at the Honbu Dōjō in Okinawa, I learned a curriculum taught equally to children and adults. And I realized that the purpose of a Sho Dan curriculum is to prepare students for the life-long study of Ti.
Therefore, obtaining a black belt is the beginning of the road and not the end. As martial artists, physical conditioning is not our ultimate goal, but just the vehicle for martial arts training. Indeed, body conditioning is very important at every age, but beyond working out, Karate should aim for developing good technique, understanding the applications, practicing forms and ultimately learning to use Ti.
For example, hitting the makiwara is all about technique and not about muscular strength. Anyone who can bench press 100 kg doesn't necessarily have the strength or technique to hit the makiwara 500 times with the right combination of speed, power and accuracy.
And probably, martial artists who is able to hit the makiwara 500 times with excellent technique, is probably not able to bench press 100 kg. Upon my return, to the South Africa in 1995, my Sensei’s asked me to write down the program all the curriculum listed below.
That was my shukyudai or life-long homework, rather than a list of rules. The teaching methodology should always be flexible and adaptable to each student.
It is normal and acceptable to find variations in the curriculum among Abdulla Sensei's deshi. Below, I list several ways to classify the Goju/Shito Ryū curriculum:
Sho Dan Basic Program
The Sho Dan Basic Program listed below is designed to teach from beginner level to Sho Dan (first-degree black belt).
And it is divided into different Units or learning blocks.
It was always adapted on a case-by-case basis and used as a guideline to emphasize the strong points of the Kenpou Kai/Kenbu Kai System.
Unit 1 — Reigi Sahō.
Basic Etiquette, Respect & Costumes.
Unit 2 — Keiko Gi No Kikata,
Tatami Kata. How to Wear the Uniform, Tatami Manners.
Unit 3 — Yobiundō.
Unit 4 — Tsuki Kata,
Nigiri Kata. Hand Strike Process, How to Grip.
Unit 5 — Keri,
Mae Geri, Zenkutsudachi Tachikata. Foot strike, Frontal foot strike, Front Stance Form.Yoko Geri, Mawashi Geri. Lateral foot strike, Round kick.
Unit 6 — Tachikata.
Unit 7 — Uke Kata.
Unit 8 — Kihon Gata .
First Basic Form —Fukyu - Propogation, Gekisai Dai Ichi. Destroy No. One, Gekisai Dai Ni. Destroy No. Two, Gekisai Dai San Destroy No. Three, Naifuanchi Sho Dan. First Naifuanchi Form. Pinan Ni Dan. Second Pinan Form. Pinan San Dan. Third Pinan Form. Pinan Sho Dan. First Pinan Form. Sanchin Dai Ichi. Three Battle No. 1. Saifa. To Break into pieces. Pinan Yon Dan. Fourth Pinan Form. Pinan Go Dan. Fifth Pinan Form. Seyunchin. To Pull into Battle with a system
Unit 9 Tenshin.
Movement or Body Displacement.
Unit 10 — Makiwara.
Unit 11 — Bassai Dai. Breaking the fortess, the major. Rohai. Crane on a Rock.
Unit 12 – Tamashiwara – Breaking technique
Unit 13 Kihon Gata means Basic Form.
The word Gata is a phonetic variation of Kata, because it is not correct to say Kihon Kata in Japanese.
On the other hand,
Unit 14 Tenshin, which means movement,
are drills used to train movement on specific stances.
According to Abdulla Sensei, these movement drills are very ancient and have been passed down for generations, before the time of modern Karate styles.
Both Kihon Gatas & Tenshin drills are basic forms learned from day one in order to develop a good technique.
1. Dai Ichi Kihon Gata
2. Dai Ni Kihon Gata
3. Neko Ashi Tenshin (Cat Stance Movement)
4. Shiko Dachi Tenshin (Horse Stance Movement)
5. Sankaku Tenshin (Triangular Movement)
6. Sanchin Tenshin Katas By Rank
These are all the official Kenpou Kai/Kenbu Kai Katas listed by rank or belt, taught at the Honbu Dōjō.
However, there are some other Katas not listed here, that are taught in other Karate styles.