G.I.F.T. Martial Arts UK Goju Ryu Karatedo

Training Method

There are 4 main categories which apply to all students:-

Junbi Undo
The basic stretching and warming up exercises that were developed by the originator of Goju Ryu karate, Chojun Miyagi, in the early Twenties.  


"Basics"- the practice of blocks, punches, kicks and stances

Literally translates to "shape, form or model". Kata is the formalized sequence of move,ents which represent various attack and defence postures, based on odealized combat applications.

"Sparring"- combat situations practiced with an opponent. 

This is an important part of the students' training as it is a way to test all of your skills and individual and combined techniques with a partner. We spend so much time training with an imaginary opponent that we must also compliment that practice with a live opponent! kumite can be undertaken in many different ways. for instance:

Ippon kumite: (with one single attack, defence and counter-attack movement). After the greeting and the kamae, the activity begins with the specified technique and at the specified level. The defence and counter-attack can be set beforehand (or not). The objective of this form of training is to practise precision, speed, power and correct form. This is extended to two, three attack/defence simulations and more. (Nihon & Sanbon Kumite)

yakusoku kumite: (Yakasoku literally translates to "I Promise") This means pre-established combat and can be used to demonstrate a wide range of techniques. In this form of kumite, the attack and defence movements are pre-established. The person defending uses defence and counter-attack techniques, applying techniques for throwing the opponent to the floor (Nage Waza), attacks against joints (Kansetzu waza) or simultaneous attacks, depending on the techniques that are being practised. Students should practice defence and attack on both the left and right flanks. Advanced yakusoku kumite is carried out at maximum speed, strength and with controlled technique. It normally comprises a great number of technical combinations. In Goju-Ryu karate-do, it is quite common for the attacker to end up on the floor after he/she has been thrown by the defender. There are many ways of practising yakusoku kumite, one of which is as follows: the student starting the attack defends and then applies the counter-attack.

Irikumi-ju / go or jiyu kumite: free sparring. this is always supervised and controlled. depending on the level of skill of the students this can be performed at a slow pace (ju) or stronger and harder(go). 

renzoku kumite: The idea of doing renzoku kumite is to form a bridge between yakusoku kumite & jyu kumite(free sparring). renzoku kumite is a continuous drill of blocks and attacks using an actual opponent and the idea is to develop confidence, timing and distancing with a partner.  

This is for reaching greater progress in training and technical control. The techniques should be as varied as possible, which improves psychomotor coordination. Owing to its very dynamism, the technical precision of the kihon is lost to a certain extent, but there is an increase in freedom and spontaneity and the formation of one whole unit join together under the aim of putting the opponent at a disadvantage or enabling the more powerful and effective use of the technique itself.


For older teen & adult students only:

bunkai: Literally meaning "analysis" or "disassembly". This refers to the process of analysing kata and extracting fighting techniques from the movements. 

bunkai must be learned as part of the adult syllabus. junior students at 3rd kyu (1st brown belt) and above will be expected to know and understand bunkai relevant to their grade level.

Hojo Undo
 Translated as "supplementary exercises", that refers to the conditioning exercises specifically used in Karatedo. Hojo undō training was designed to develop ambidextrous physical strength, stamina, muscle coordination, speed, and posture. This exercise uses simple, traditional devices, made from wood, stone, metal & bamboo.

"Supplementary training"- the use of weights and implements to increase strength and agility

In each category the individual is given instruction at the most basic level until the techniques become spontaneous. As the student advances technically, they progress physically and develop greater stamina. At the same time they learn increasingly intricate kata and more dynamic forms of kumite. As the student approaches black belt level, technique, stamina, speed and co-ordination become natural as a result of intensive practice. 

It is at this stage that the serious students discover the wonderful world that karate has opened to them.