Now that your child has reached the Black Stripe level, it is time to move ahead to the Shotokan program.
Your child has come a long way already and has learned all of the most important punches, blocks and kicks, that he/she will encounter in the basic Shotokan ranks. Your child has also been exposed to the concept of Kata (forms) and this will help significantly as he/she begins to learn some of the basic Shotokan kata.
One of the new things that will be taught in the Shotokan class is partner work. This is not covered very much in the Tiny Tigers program as I don’t want them hitting each other or thinking that it’s OK to hit each other. Partner work in the Shotokan program does not involve hitting each other either but the possibility for accidental contact does exist. At the basic levels the partner work will be introduced in pre-arranged sets or drills until the student has the ability to match his/her blocking techniques and counters with specific types of attacks.
One of the biggest changes in the transition from the Tiny Tigers program to the Shotokan program is the length of the class. Tiny Tigers classes are 30 minutes long, whereas Shotokan classes are one hour long. Therefore it will be important that your child maintains his/her focus for a longer period of time.
The delivery of the Shotokan class is also more formal with a higher standard of expected discipline. There is a wide variety of content and drills but there will still be fun in terms of some games and other types of activities.
Reaching the Black Stripe is a great achievement and now it is time to step up a level. Your child will wear a Yellow belt with a white stripe in the Shotokan program to acknowledge that he/she has gone past the beginner level of karate. Your child’s rank is now 9th kyu.