Shotokan Karate Orange Belt Syllabus

Our Shotokan Karate Orange Belt Syllabus consists of 5 basic shotokan techniques stepping, mae geri (front kick) stepping and Kihon kata or Taikyoku Shodan.

Here we are going to focus on the 5 stepping techniques and they are ~

  1. Oi Tsuki (stepping punch)
  2. Age Uke (upper block)
  3. Uchi Uke (inside block)
  4. Soto Uke (outside block)
  5. Gedan Barai (downward block)

In the video below, before we cover these 5 basic shotokan techniques, we work on stepping in the shotokan front stance (zenkutsu Dachi).

Many Dojo come in feet together at the half way point of the step and there is nothing wrong with that.

My Sensei always had us stepping in a straight line, imagining your feet are moving on a railway track.

As you step, you are consciously trying to move the body in a straight line and at the half way point, your knees are pulled in slightly.

Video at the bottom of this article.

Shotokan Karate Orange Belt Syllabus

5 Basic Stepping Techniques

oi tsuki stepping punchOi Tsuki (stepping punch)

Stepping forward oi tsuki from zenkutsu dachi, gedan barai (left leg in front).

1. An initial, small but important forward movement with the front knee, whilst keeping the front foot still.
2. Drive the left shoulder, right hip and rib cage forward, at the same time keeping the right shoulder back.
3. Try pulling with the front leg as you step half way.
4. The left leg then pushes from the floor to propel the body forward.
5. At the same time the right foot lands, execute the punch.
6. At the exact time the right foot lands and the punch reaches the target, drive the left heel back into the floor tighten the muscles for a split second, especially muscles under the punching arm, abdomen and the back and inside of the thigh muscles and buttocks, them immediately relax.

age uke upper blockAge Uke (upper block)

1. Start from a left gedan barai position
2. The initial movement forward starts with the front knee pushing forward, as the knee pushes everything else starts to move forward.
3. Keep the same height as you step up to the half way position, opening the left hand and placing the arm in the age uke position.
4. At the half way point the knees should be bent and back straight, feet slightly apart. (unless you practice feet together at this point)
5. As uyou start to step forward with the right leg, the left hand stays and the left elbow drops slightly as you bring the right arm up and form an X shape in front of your chin approximately.
6. At this point the left hand is palm down and the right back of the fist is facing away from you.
7. You should now be at the three quaters through the step and your body is square (shomen).
8. As you complete the block, rotate the right blocking arm strongly so the palm is facing forward.
At the same time, the left Hikite arm rotates strongly and stops the same time as the blocking arm.
The blocking arm moves upward at a 45 degree angle, so the right arm feels like you are punching 45 degrees up to the left side of your body.
9. As the arms complete, the body and hips go from the Shomen (square facing) position to the Hanmi (side facing) position.

uchi uke inside blockUchi Uke (inside block)

1. Start from a left gedan barai position
2. The initial movement forward starts with the front knee pushing forward, as the knee pushes everything else starts to move forward.
3. Keep the same height as you step up to the half way position, as you start the step extend the left arm forward, so the back of the fist is pointing up, arm straight and fist directly in front of the right shoulder. This can also be done with the hand open and fingers stretching forward.
4. At the same time the left arm stretches forward, the right fist slides across the stomache, towards the top of the left hip, with the palm of the right fist facing down.
5. At the half way point the knees, should be bent and back straight, feet slightly apart. (unless you practice feet together at this point)
6. Now start to step with the right leg whilst bringing the blocking right arm forward and across the centre of the body. The blocking part of the arm, is the outside of the forearm, so as the blocking arm travels forward, keep the back of the left fist facing upwards, then rotate the forearm strongly.
7. As you complete the block, rotate the right blocking arm strongly so the palm is facing towards you on completion.
At the same time, the left Hikite arm rotates strongly and stops the same time as the uchi uke blocking arm.
8. As the arms complete, the body and hips go from the Shomen (square facing) position to the Hanmi (side facing) position.
9. The right blocking arms elbow is approximately a fist, to a fist and a half distance from the body.
There should be a 90 degree bend at the blocking arms elbow.
The fist of the blocking arm is approximately shoulder height, shoulders down and relaxed, with the palm of the right fist, facing towards you.

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soto uke outside blockSoto Uke (outside block)

1. Start from a left gedan barai position
2. The initial movement forward starts with the front knee pushing forward, as the knee pushes everything else starts to move forward.
3. Keep the same height as you step up to the half way position, as you start the step extend the left arm forward directly in front of the shoulder, so the back of the fist is pointing up and arm straight.
4. At the same time the left arm stretches forward, the right arm lifts high behind the right shoulder, with the palm of the right fist facing the out to the right.
5. At the half way point the knees, should be bent and back straight, feet slightly apart. (unless you practice feet together at this point)
6. Now continue stepping with the right leg whilst bringing the blocking right arm forward and around, across the centre of the body.
The blocking part of the arm, is the inside of the forearm, so as the blocking arm travels forward, keep the back of the left fist facing towards you.
Then rotate the forearm strongly so the back of the hand faces forward.
7. As you complete the block, rotate the right blocking arm strongly so the palm is facing towards you on completion.
At the same time, the left Hikite arm rotates strongly and stops the same time as the soto uke blocking arm.
8. As the arms complete, the body and hips go from the Shomen (square facing) position to the Hanmi (side facing) position.
9. The right blocking arms elbow is approximately a fist, to a fist and a half distance from the ribs, with the fist approximately shoulder height.
The shoulders should stay down and relaxed.

gedan barai down blockGedan Barai (downward block)

1. Start from a left gedan barai position
2. The initial movement forward starts with the front knee pushing forward, as the knee pushes everything else starts to move forward.
3. Keep the same height as you step up to the half way position, as you start the step extend the left arm forward and down, so the back of the fist is pointing up, arm straight and fist low.
4. At the same time the left arm stretches forward and down, the right fist slides across the chest, towards the top of the left shoulder, with the palm of the right fist facing the neck.
5. At the half way point the knees, should be bent and back straight, feet slightly apart. (unless you practice feet together at this point)
6. Now continue stepping with the right leg whilst bringing the blocking right arm forward and down, across the centre of the body.
The blocking part of the arm, is the outside of the forearm, so as the blocking arm travels forward.
Keep the back of the left fist facing forwards, then rotate the forearm strongly.
7. As you complete the block, rotate the right blocking arm strongly so the palm is facing down on completion.
At the same time, the left Hikite arm rotates strongly and stops the same time as the uchi uke blocking arm.
8. As the arms complete, the body and hips go from the Shomen (square facing) position to the Hanmi (side facing) position.
9. The right blocking arms fist is approximately a fist, to a fist and a half distance above the knee. The shoulders should stay down and relaxed.

These five stepping moves are part of our shotokan karate orange belt syllabus.

Shotokan Karate Orange Belt Syllabus

Five Shotokan Basic Techniques Stepping Video Tutorial