REI (Ray) – Bow
A bow is simply a way of expressing respect and/or appreciation to another. It is also a way of showing respect to the Dojo. It is meant in no way as a form of worship to anything or anyone in the Dojo.
To bow, you simply bend at the waist. When bowing in or out of the Dojo, or to an Instructor or Judge, your eyes are on the floor. When bowing to an Opponent, your eyes are on him/her.
OBI – Belt
Originally there were only two belts, white and black. Around 1960, two additional belts were added, green and brown.
Since then, other belts were added to suit each Dojo or Association. ACKA belt ranking is as follows: White, Orange, 2nd Orange, Purple, Green, Blue, Brown, and Black.
Belts, other than White, will be purchased by the Dojo, upon the student earning them.
Belts will never be worn outside the Dojo with the exception of a training session, tournament or demonstration authorized or sponsored by the Dojo.
Tradition says your belt should never be washed. As it gets old, worn and dirty in appearance, it represents all the work you have put into training.
KATAS – Form
Kata is translated as “form”. Kata is really more than that. Kata is the essence and foundation of Karate. A Kata is a battle, or fight, against any number of opponents.
It is a way for students to learn several self-defense techniques at once and to remember them. All Katas can be broken down into individual techniques, known as the Bun-kai.
Kata should be performed from the heart and not the head. It should be performed with power, speed and balance, yet still be graceful and smooth.
An advantage to Kata is the development of techniques without having to have a partner.
Kata should be practiced daily. Doing Kata with effort is also an excellent aerobic exercise.
KUMITE – Fighting/Sparring
Kumite is practice against an opponent. There are two methods of Kumite: prearranged and spontaneous.
Prearranged is when one opponent knows what the other is going to do. Such as Ippon Kumite (one-step or one-point sparring.)
Spontaneous is when neither opponent knows what the other is going to do. This is the best way of testing your skill against an opponent.
In the Dojo, anyone losing control of himself/herself, during a Kumite match, will be immediately stopped.
In Kumite, control is of utmost importance. Any loss of control can end in injury.