My Review of the Best Place to Earn Accredited Karate Belts with Online Lessons + Classes

In This Post

  1. 1 unique program
  2. 9 different variables

Reviews Contain:

  1. Video
  2. Pros
  3. Cons
  4. Curriculum
  5. Testimonials
  6. Review
  7. Accreditations
  8. Requirements

Some of the links below are affiliate links, which means I may earn a commission, at no extra cost to you.

*Note: Having experience with in-person training for Kickboxing and Kung Fu years ago I can confidently say that online martial arts training isn’t an equal experience. I 100% advocate for in-person martial arts training over online if possible.

However, if you’re like me and find yourself at a point where your schedule isn’t suitable for training at a local Dojo and/or the price is a little steep at the moment, training online is an excellent alternative—but this comes with a big IF…

That’s IF the online training is well structured, detailed and offers instructor feedback so you can avoid developing bad habits before it’s too late.

I have a goal to achieve a black belt in at least 2 different martial arts over the next 5 years (by the time I’m 40) and I needed to make sure the belt rank I achieve is legitimate and accredited. This way, if I make it possible to train at a local Dojo my rank can be transferred.

I combed through YouTube, Google and even purchased a couple courses from Udemy in order to find a program that met my standards. I was losing hope and thought I may have to put my goal on hold.

Luckily, I stumbled upon the Global Martial Arts University’s Shotokan Karate program. They tick off all the boxes for what one needs to learn Karate online while offering accredited rank. In fact, the certificate of rank that you receive is exactly the same as if you were to train with them in person at their Dojo.

Quick tip before we get into it

If you don’t utilize this already, find a way to mirror your phone or computer onto your TV. I use Chromecast to do this. This makes following the lessons and classes so much easier. I can’t even imagine trying to follow them from a Tablet or Laptop.

Let’s get into it shall we!

Overview of the Shotokan Karate Program from Global Martial Arts

Visit Website
ProgramShotokan Karate
Accredited Rank
Belts OfferedWhite - Black
Total Technique Lessons100+
Total Follow Along Classes110+
Video Hours per Belt8+ hrs
Technique Specific Lessons
Follow Along Classes
Shows Techniques from all Angles
Instructor Support, Feedback, & Guidance
Student Forum
Investment (3 options)1) $39.95/mnth
2) $179.70 biannually
3) $195 x 3 (3 year access)
Review
Visit Website

Global Martial Arts University Review

learn karate online

Program: Shotokan Karate

Pricing Options:
1) $39.95/month
2) $179.70 Biannually
3) $195 x 3 (3-year access)

  • All online
  • Fraction of the cost of a local Dojo
  • Earn accredited belt ranking
  • Same certificate as in-person students
  • Real feedback from your Sensei
  • Technique lessons + Full classes
  • Created for ages 6 – Adult
  • You may develop bad habits while practicing without the eyes of a Sensei that will only be pointed out to you once you submit your Belt exam. Given that these bad habits had some time to sink in, it will take more time to re-correct them. This is one of the main sacrifices you will make by training online.
  • No sparring. Although GMAU has a student locator that allows you to search for fellow students to practice and/or spar with. You can also find your own partner by your own means.
  • For an online learning platform, I can’t imagine something better. The only thing better is to train in person to get real-time feedback.

A Complete Guided Course from White to Black Belt

20+ hours of HD video lessons teaching all material in the white to black-belt syllabus.

More than 50 follow-along classes (each 30-40 minutes long), which are just like attending a real “live” Shotokan Karate class.


9th Kyu White Belt Rank Requirements

Tachikata (Stances)
● zenkutsu-dachi (left and right stance) (3 different angles)
Tsuki (Punches)
● oi-zuki (from left and right zenkutsu-dachi) (3 different angles)
● gyaku-zuki (from left and right zenkutsu-dachi) (3 different angles)
Static Kihon Drill – Perform the following kihon 5x on each side for a total of 10x in shizentai.
● choku-zuki
● gedan barai
● age-uke


Eligibility Requirements
● Complete all Assignments in the White Belt level.
● Minimum Training Hours Required Before Testing: 8 Hours

Test Instructions
Demonstrate all white belt testing requirements. Watch the sample exam in “Journey to Black Belt with Charles – 9th Kyu White Belt Test and Feedback.”


● The test is to be one continuous video from start to finish, without taking breaks. If
you have to upload more than one video due to space restrictions this is okay, but it
is one full exam. Have a friend or family member hold your phone/camera, or set it
propped up high, or get a nice tripod and smartphone tripod mount, that is the easiest way to do this.
● Demonstrate all rank requirements listed above.
● Upload your video(s) to youtube, make sure they are “unlisted” rather than public or
private. After paying for your exam, you will then be able to add these youtube
videos and submit them to your instructor for grading.

8th Kyu Yellow Belt Rank Requirements

Tachikata (Stances)
● zenkutsu-dachi (left and right stance) (3 different angles)
● kokutsu-dachi (left and right stance) (3 different angles)
Tsuki (Punches)
● oi-zuki (from left and right zenkutsu-dachi) (3 different angles)
● gyaku-zuki (from left and right zenkutsu-dachi) (3 different angles)
● tettsui-uchi (from left and right renoji-dachi) (3 different angles)
Uke (Blocks)
● gedan barai (from left and right zenkutsu-dachi) (3 different angles)
● age-uke (from left and right zenkutsu-dachi) (3 different angles)
● shuto-uke (from kokutsu-dachi) (3 different angles)
Geri (Kicks)
● mae geri keage (from shizentai) (3 different angles)
● mae geri kekomi (from shizentai) (3 different angles)

Static Kihon Drill – Perform the following kihon 5x on each side for a total of 10X in of
shizentai and use Renoji-Dachi “L-stance” for Shuto-Uke and Tettsui-Uchi. Perform Geri “kicks” feet together, hands at the sides, 5x each side alternating to a total of 10 times.
● choku-zuki
● gedan barai
● age-uke
● shuto-uke
● tettsui-uchi
● mea geri keage
● mae geri kekomi
Kihon Drills – Demonstrate at full speed 4x forward and 4x back.
● zenkutsu-dachi
● kokutsu-dachi
● oi-zuki in zenkutsu-dachi
● gyaku-zuki in zenkutsu-dachi
● age-uke in zenkutsu-dachi
● gedan barai in zenkutsu-dachi
● shoto-uke in kokutsu-dachi

Kihon Kata – Demonstrate the Kihon Kata at normal speed once from front view and side view.
Traditional Kata – Demonstrate Heian Shodan at normal speed once from front view and side view.
Ippon Kumite – Demonstrate ippon kumite ichi and ni at full speed (with a live partner if at all possible) from the front and side view.
Sanbon Kumite – Demonstrate sanbon kumite a full speed (with a live partner if at all
possible) for the front and side view.

Eligibility Requirements
● Complete all Assignments in the Yellow Belt level.
● Minimum Training Hours: 36 Hours

Test Instructions

Demonstrate all yellow belt testing requirements.
● The test is to be one continuous video from start to finish, without taking breaks. If
you have to upload more than one video due to space restrictions this is okay, but it
is one full exam. Have a friend or family member hold your phone/camera, or set it
propped up high, or get a nice tripod and smartphone tripod mount, that is the
easiest way to do this.
● Please verbally (loudly and clearly) state the name of the item before you
demonstrate it.
● Demonstrate all rank requirements listed above.
● Upload your video(s) to youtube, make sure they are “unlisted” rather than public or
private. After paying for your exam, you will then be able to add these youtube
videos and submit them to your instructor for grading.

7th Kyu Orange Belt Rank Requirements

Tachikata (Stances)
● neko-ashi-dachi (cat stance) (3 different angles)
● tsuru-ashi-dachi (crane stance) (3 different angles)
● zenkutsu-dachi (left and right stance) (3 different angles)
● kokutsu-dachi (left and right stance) (3 different angles)

Uchi (Strikes)
● ni tettsui-uchi (double hammer fist strike) (3 different angles)
● uraken-uchi (back fist strike) (3 different angles)
● nukite (spear hand) (3 different angles)

Uke (Blocks)
● jodan ni-uke (double high block “Bo-block”)
● ude-uke (outside block)
● uchi-uke (inside block)
● uchi-uke mawashi (inside circular block)
● morote-uke (supported block)
● gedan barai (from left and right zenkutsu-dachi) (3 different angles)
● age-uke (from left and right zenkutsu-dachi) (3 different angles)
● shuto-uke (from kokutsu-dachi) (3 different angles)

Geri (Kicks)
● yoko-geri keage (side snap kick)(3 different angles)
● yoko-geri kekomi (3 different angles)

Static Kihon Drill – Perform the following kihon 10x on each side out of shizentai.
● choku-zuki (straight punch)
● age-uke (rising block)
● gedan barai (down block)
● shuto-uke (knife hand block in renoji-dachi “L stance”)
● uraken-uchi (back fist strike)
● ude-uke (outside block)
● uchi-uke (inside block)
● uchi mawashi-uke (inside circular block)
● morote-uke (supported block)
● Hands down by your sides, kicking mai-geri keage (front snap kick)
● Hands down by your sides, kicking mai-geri kekomi (front thrust kick)
● yoko-geri keage (side snap kick)
● yoko-geri kekomi (side thrust kick)

Kihon Drills – Demonstrate at full speed 4x forward and 4x back.
● chudan oi-zuki (front lunge punching) (stomach level) in zenkutsu-dachi (front
stance)
● gyaku-zuki (reverse punch) in zenkutsu-dachi (front stance)
● age-uke (rising block) in zenkutsu-dachi (front stance)
● gedan barai (down block) in zenkutsu-dachi (front stance)
● ude-uke (outside forearm block) in zenkutsu-dachi (front stance)
● uchi-uke (inside block) in zenkutsu-dachi (front stance)
● uchi mawashi-uke (inside circular block) in zenkutsu-dachi (front stance)
● morote-uke (supported block) in zenkutsu-dachi
● shuto-uke (knife hand block) in kokutsu-dachi (back stance) then nukite (spear
hand) in zenkutsu-dachi
● jodan ni-uke ” double high block”, ni tettsui-uchi (double hammer fist strike) in
kokutsu-dachi (back stance)
● gedan barai (down block) in zenkutsu-dachi (front stance) then tettsui-uchi
(hammer fist strike) in renoji-dachi (L stance)
● Hands down by your sides, kicking rear leg mai-geri keage (front snap kick)
● Hands down by your sides, kicking rear leg mai-geri kekomi (front thrust kick)

Kihon Kata – Demonstrate the Kihon Kata Taikyoku Nidan at normal speed once from the front view and side view.
Traditional Kata – Demonstrate all the previous Heian Kata plus Heian Nidan at normal speed once from the front view and side view.
Ippon Kumite – Demonstrate ippon kumite ichi and ni at full speed (with a live partner if at all possible) from the front and side view.
Sanbon Kumite – Demonstrate sanbon kumite at full speed (with a live partner if at all
possible) for the front and side view.

Eligibility Requirements
● Complete all Assignments in the Orange Belt level.
● Minimum Training Hours: 36 Hours

Test Instructions

Demonstrate all orange belt testing requirements.
● The test is to be one continuous video from start to finish.
● Please verbally (loudly and clearly) state the name of the item before you
demonstrate it.
● Demonstrate all rank requirements listed above.
● Upload your video(s). After paying for your exam, you will then be able to add these
videos and submit them to your instructor for grading.

6th Kyu Green Belt Rank Requirements

Uchi (Strikes)
● uchi-ni-uke, (double inside block gedan(low) and chudan(middle))
● empi-uchi (elbow strike)
Geri (Kicks)
● mawashi-geri (round-house kick) (3 different angles)
● ushiro-geri (back kick) (3 different angles)

Static Kihon Drill – Perform the following kihon 10x on each side out of shizentai.
● choku-zuki
● gedan barai+gyaku-zuki
● age-uke+gyaku-zuki
● uchi-uke+gyaku-zuki
● soto-ude-uke+gyaku-zuki
● shuto-uke+nukite

Kihon Drills – Demonstrate at full speed 4x forward and 4x back.
● punching ni-zuki (two punch combination chudan) in zenkutsu-dachi (front stance)
● age-uke (rising block), gyaku-zuki (reverse punch chudan level) in zenkutsu-dachi
(front stance)
● gedan barai (down block), gyaku-zuki (reverse punch chudan level) in
zenkutsu-dachi (front stance)
● ude-uke (outside forearm block), gyaku-zuki (reverse punch jodan level) in
zenkutsu-dachi (front stance)
● uchi-uke (inside block), gyaku-zuki (reverse punch chudan level) in zenkutsu-dachi
(front stance)
● chudan oi-zuki (middle front lunge punch), empi-uchi (elbow strike)
● shuto-uke (knife hand block) in kokutsu-dachi (back stance), nukite (spear hand
thrust) in zenkutsu-dachi (back stance)

Kihon Drills – Demonstrate at full speed 4x forward mawate (turn) and 4x back
● Hands down by your sides, kicking rear leg mai-geri keage (front snap kick)
● Hands down by your sides, kicking rear leg mai-geri kekomi (front thrust kick)
● Making kiba-dachi (side stance), stepping across and kicking yoko-geri keage (side
snap kick)
● Making kiba-dachi (side stance), stepping across and kicking yoko-geri kekomi (side
thrust kick)

Kihon Drills – 10x alternating sides in place
● mawashi-geri (round-house kick)
● ushiro-geri (back kick)

Kihon Kata – Demonstrate the Kihon Kata Taikyoku Sandan at normal speed once from the front view and side view.
Traditional Kata – Demonstrate all the previous Heian kata plus Heian Sandan at normal speed once from a front view and side view.
Ippon Kumite – Demonstrate ippon kumite ichi and ni at full speed (with a live partner if at all possible) from the front and side view.
Sanbon Kumite – Demonstrate sanbon kumite a full speed (with a live partner if at all
possible) for the front and side view.

Eligibility Requirements
● Complete all Assignments in the Green Belt level.
● Minimum Training Hours: 36 Hours

Test Instructions

Demonstrate all green belt testing requirements.
● The test is to be one continuous video from start to finish.
● Please verbally (loudly and clearly) state the name of the item before you
demonstrate it.
● Demonstrate all rank requirements listed above.
● Upload your video(s). After paying for your exam, you will then be able to add these
videos and submit them to your instructor for grading.

5th Kyu Blue Belt Rank Requirements

Uchi (Strikes)
● shuto-uchi (knife hand strike) (3 different angles)
● hiza-geri (knee strike) (3 different angles)
Uke (Blocks)
● juji-uke (cross block) (3 different angles)

Static Kihon Drill – Perform the following kihon 10x on each side out of shizentai.
● choku-zuki
● gedan barai+gyaku-zuki
● age-uke+gyaku-zuki
● uchi-uke+gyaku-zuki
● soto-ude-uke+gyaku-zuki
● shuto-uke+nukite

Kihon Drills – Gedan Barai then 4x forward and mawatte (turn) Gedan barai 4x back,
mawatte (turn) gedan barai.
● punching ni-zuki (two punch combination chudan) in zenkutsu-dachi (front stance)
● age-uke (rising block), gyaku-zuki (reverse punch chudan level) in zenkutsu-dachi
(front stance)
● gedan barai (down block), gyaku-zuki (reverse punch chudan level) in
zenkutsu-dachi (front stance)
● ude-uke (outside forearm block), gyaku-zuki (reverse punch jodan level) in
zenkutsu-dachi (front stance)
● uchi-uke (inside block), gyaku-zuki (reverse punch chudan level) in zenkutsu-dachi
(front stance)
● chudan oi-zuki (middle front lunge punch), empi-uchi (elbow strike)
● shuto-uke (knife hand block) in kokutsu-dachi (back stance), nukite (spear hand
thrust) in zenkutsu-dachi (back stance)

Kihon Drills – Demonstrate at full speed 4x forward mawate(turn) and 4x back
● Hands down by your sides, kicking rear leg mai-geri keage (front snap kick)
● Hands down by your sides, kicking rear leg mai-geri kekomi (front thrust kick)
● Making kiba-dachi (side stance), stepping across and kicking yoko-geri keage (side
snap kick)
● Making kiba-dachi (side stance), stepping across and kicking yoko-geri kekomi (side
thrust kick)

Kihon Drills – 10x alternating sides in place
● mawashi-geri (round-house kick)
● ushiro-geri (back kick)

Kihon Kata – Demonstrate the Kihon Kata Geri Kata Shodan at normal speed once from front view and side view.

Traditional Kata – Demonstrate all the previous Heian kata plus Heian Yondan at normal speed once from front view and side view.
Ippon Kumite – Demonstrate ippon kumite ichi and ni at full speed (with a live partner if at all possible) from the front and side view.
Gohan Kumite – Demonstrate Gohan kumite a full speed (with a live partner if at all
possible) for the front and side view.

Eligibility Requirements
● Complete all Assignments in the Blue Belt level.
● Minimum Training Hours: 36 Hours

Test Instructions

Demonstrate all blue belt testing requirements.
● The test is to be one continuous video from start to finish.
● Please verbally (loudly and clearly) state the name of the item before you
demonstrate it.
● Demonstrate all rank requirements listed above.
● Upload your video(s). After paying for your exam, you will then be able to add these
videos and submit them to your instructor for grading.

4th Kyu Purple Belt Rank Requirements

Tsuki (Punches)
● tagai-zuki (across body punch) (3 different angles)
● age-zuki (rising punch) (3 different angles)

Uchi (Strikes)
● kin-uchi (groin strike) (3 different angles)
● juji-uchi (cross strike, X strike) (3 different angles)
● gedan tettsui-uchi (lower hammer fist strike) (3 different angles)

Uke (Blocks)
● Kosa-uke (cross hand block) (3 different angles)
● manji-uke (vortex block) (3 different angles)
● haishu-uke/uchi (back hand block/strike) (3 different angles)

Geri (Kicks)
● uchi mikazuki-geri (inside crescent kick) (3 different angles)
● ude mikazuki-geri (outside crescent kick) (3 different angles)

Kihon Drills – Gedan Barai then 4x forward and mawatte (turn) Gedan barai 4x back,
mawatte (turn) gedan barai.
● punching sanbon-zuki (three punch combination – first punch jodan, second two
punches chudan)
● age-uke (rising block), ni-zuki (double punch chudan level)
● gedan barai (down block), ni-zuki (double punch chudan level)
● ude-uke (outside forearm block), ni-zuki (double punch chudan level)
● uchi-uke (inside block), ni-zuki (double punch chudan level)
● ude-uke (outside block) in front stance, then empi uchi (elbow strike) in fudo-dachi
(rooted stance)
● shuto-uke (knife hand block) in kokutsu-dachi (back stance), step up, mae-geri (front
snap kick), set down in zenkutsu-dachi (front stance), nukite (spear hand thrust)
● uchi mikazuki-geri (inside crescent kick)
● ude mikazuki-geri (outside crescent kick)

Kihon Drills – Demonstrate Alternating legs 2x forward and then turn 2x back.
● mae-geri keage (front snap kick) and mae-geri kekomi (front thrust kick)
● mae-geri keage (front snap kick) and mawashi geri (round house kick)
● mae-geri keage (front snap kick) and yoko geri kekomi (side thrust kick)
● mawashi geri (round house kick) and ushiro geri (back kick)
● yoko geri kekomi (side thrust kick) and ushiro geri (back kick)

Kihon Drills – 2x forward then two times back.
● using kiba-dachi (side stance) yoko geri keage (side snap kick) then yoko geri
kekomi (side thrust kick)

Kihon Drills – 1x forward then 1x time back.
● mae-geri keage (front snap kick), mawashi geri (roundhouse kick), yoko geri kekomi
(side thrust kick), ushiro geri (back kick)

Kihon Drills – Gedan Barai then 4x forward and mawatte (turn) Gedan barai 4x back,
mawatte (turn) gedan barai.
● oi-zuki (front lunge punch), mae-geri keage (front snap kick)
● gyaku-zuki (reverse punch), mae-geri keage (front snap kick)

Kihon Kata – Demonstrate the Kihon Kata Geri Kata Nidan at normal speed once from a front view and side view.
Traditional Kata – Demonstrate all the previous Heian kata plus Heian Godan at normal speed once from front view and side view.
Ippon Kumite – Demonstrate ippon kumite ichi (1) through san (3) at full speed (with a live partner if at all possible) from the front and side view.

Eligibility Requirements
● Complete all Assignments in the Purple Belt level.
● Minimum Training Hours: 36 Hours

Test Instructions

Demonstrate all purple belt testing requirements.
● The test is to be one continuous video from start to finish.
● Please verbally (loudly and clearly) state the name of the item before you
demonstrate it.
● Demonstrate all rank requirements listed above.
● Upload your video(s). After paying for your exam, you will then be able to add these
videos and submit them to your instructor for grading.

3rd Kyu Brown Belt Rank Requirements

Tsuki (Punches)
● sokumen-zuki (double arm sideways punch)

Kihon Drills – 4x forward and then 4x back.
● gedan barai (down block), punching sanbon-zuki (three punch combination – first
punch jodan, second punch chudan and third punch gedan) in zenkutsu-dachi
(front stance)
● age-uke (rising block), sanbon-zuki (three punch combination – first punch jodan,
second punches chudan, third punch gedan) in zenkutsu-dachi (front stance)
● gedan barai (down block), uchi-uke (inside block), ni-zuki (double punch chudan
level) in zenkutsu-dachi (front stance)
● uchi-uke (inside block), ude-uke (outside forearm block), ni-zuki (double punch
chudan level) in zenkutsu-dachi (front stance)
● ude-uke (step into – zenkutsu-dachi (front stance), outside forearm block), empi-uchi
(elbow strike in fudo-dachi rooted stance), gedan tettsui-uchi (hammer fist to groin),
jodan uraken-uchi atama (high backfist to the head)

Kihon Drills – Kokutsu-dachi/zenkutsu-dachi (back stance/front stance) 1x forward and then turn 1x back.
● shuto-uke (knife hand block) in back stance, gyaku-zuki (across the body reverse
punch), mae-geri keage (rear leg snap kick, set down in zenkutsu-dachi front stance)
uchi-uke then ni-zuki

Geri (Kicks) – Alternating legs 2x forward and then turn 2x back.
● mae-geri keage (front snap kick) and mae-geri kekomi (front thrust kick)
● mae-geri keage (front snap kick) and mawashi geri (roundhouse kick)
● mae-geri keage (front snap kick) and yoko geri kekomi (side thrust kick)
● mawashi geri (roundhouse kick) and ushiro geri (back kick)
● yoko geri kekomi (side thrust kick) and ushiro geri (back kick)

Geri (Kicks) – Kiba-dachi (side stance) 2x forward and then turn 2x back.
● yoko geri keage (side snap kick) then yoko geri kekomi (side thrust kick)

Geri (Kicks) – 1x forward and then turn 1x back.
● mae-geri keage (front snap kick), mawashi geri (roundhouse kick), yoko geri kekomi
(side thrust kick), ushiro geri (back kick)

Kihon Drills – Zenkutsu-dachi (front stance) – Gedan Barai then 4x forward and mawatte (turn) Gedan barai 4x back, mawatte (turn) gedan barai.
● mae-geri keage (rear leg front snap kick), ni-zuki (double punch)
● gyaku-zuki (reverse punch), mae-geri keage (rear leg front snap kick)

Kihon Kata – Geri Kata Sandan
Traditional Kata – All the Heian Kata and Tekki Shodan

Ippon Kumite (One Step Basic Sparring)
● Ippon Kumite #1
● Ippon Kumite #2
● Ippon Kumite #3

Eligibility Requirements
● Complete all Assignments in the 3rd Kyu Brown Belt Belt level.
● Minimum Training Hours: 48 Hours

Test Instructions

Demonstrate all 3rd kyu brown belt testing requirements.
● The test is to be one continuous video from start to finish.
● Please verbally (loudly and clearly) state the name of the item before you
demonstrate it.
● Demonstrate all rank requirements listed above.
● Upload your video(s). After paying for your exam, you will then be able to add these
videos and submit them to your instructor for grading.

2nd Kyu Brown Belt Rank Requirements

Kihon (Basics): Free Style Kumite in Fighting Stance – 10X one side then switch sides 10X.
● kizama-zuki (jab)
● uraken uchi (back fist strike)
● gyaku-zuki (reverse punch)

Free Style Kumite in Fighting Stance – 4x forward and then turn 4x back.
● oi-zuki (lunge punch)
● oi-gyaku-zuki (lunging reverse punch)
● kizama-zuki/ oi-zuki (jab / lunge punch)
● kizama-zuki / gyaku-zuki (jab / reverse punch)
● kizama-zuki / unsoku waza-ari / gyaku-zuki (jab / half step / reverse punch)
● kizama-zuki / oi-zuki / unsoku waza-ari / gyaku-zuki (jab / lunge punch / half step /
reverse punch)
● create two (2) any zuki (punch) combinations
● mae geri keage / kizama-zuki (front snap kick / jab)
● mae geri keage / kizama – zuki / gyaku-zuki (front snap kick / jab / reverse punch)
● mawashi-geri / uraken uchi (roundhouse kick / back fist strike)
● ushiro geri / gyaku-zuki (back kick / reverse punch
● create two (2) any geri and zuki combination

Combinations in Various Stances – 4x forward and then turn 4x back.
● gedan barai (down block), uchi-uke (inside block), ni-zuki (double punch chudan
level)
● uchi-uke (inside block), ude-uke (outside forearm block), ni-zuki (double punch
chudan level)
● gedan barai (down block), ude-uke (outside block), uchi-uke (inside block)
● shuto-uke (knife hand block) in kokutsu-dachi (back stance), front foot moves into
zenkutsu-dachi (front stance), gyaku-zuki (reverse punch), uchi-uke (inside block),
oi-zuki (front punch)
● shuto-uke (knife hand block) in back stance, gyaku-zuki (across the body reverse
punch), mae-geri keage (rear leg snap kick), set down in zenkutsu-dachi (front
stance) uchi-uke then ni-zuki

Kata – All Heian Kata, Tekki Shodan and Bassai Dai plus two Bunkai Demos from Bassai Dai.

Kumite:
● Kaeshi Ippon Kumite (One Step Sparring with Counter-Attack): #1-2
● Jiyu Ippon Kumite (Free Style One Step Basic Sparring)
● Jiyu Ippon Kumite #1-6

Eligibility Requirements
● Complete all Assignments in the 2nd Kyu Brown Belt Belt level.
● Minimum Training Hours: 48 Hours

Test Instructions

Demonstrate all 2nd kyu brown belt testing requirements.
● The test is to be one continuous video from start to finish.
● Please verbally (loudly and clearly) state the name of the item before you
demonstrate it.
● Demonstrate all rank requirements listed above.
● Upload your video(s). After paying for your exam, you will then be able to add these
videos and submit them to your instructor for grading.

1st Kyu Brown Belt Rank Requirements

Kihon (Basics): Free Style Kumite in Fighting Stance – 10X one side then switch sides 10X.
● kizama-zuki (jab)
● uraken uchi (back fist strike)
● gyaku-zuki (reverse punch)

Free Style Kumite in Fighting Stance – 4x forward and then turn 4x back.
● oi-zuki (lunge punch)
● oi-gyaku-zuki (lunging reverse punch)
● kizama-zuki/ oi-zuki (jab / lunge punch)
● kizama-zuki / gyaku-zuki (jab / reverse punch)
● kizama-zuki / unsoku waza-ari / gyaku-zuki (jab / half step / reverse punch)
● kizama-zuki / oi-zuki / unsoku waza-ari / gyaku-zuki (jab / lunge punch / half step /
reverse punch)
● create two Any zuki (punch) combination
● mae geri keage / kizama-zuki (front snap kick / jab)
● mae geri keage / kizama – zuki / gyaku-zuki (front snap kick / jab / reverse punch)
● mawashi-geri / uraken uchi (roundhouse kick / back fist strike)
● ushiro geri / gyaku-zuki (back kick / reverse punch
● create any two geri and zuki combination

Combinations in Various Stances – 4x forward and then mawatte (turn) 4x back.
● Step forward into kiba-dachi and soto-ude-uke, then yoko-geri kekomi with spinning
back kick
● Step into back stance, uchi-uke the yoko-geri keage with uraken-uchi, grab head
then empi-uchi
● Step into back stance, ni jodan uke (double high block as in Heian Nidan) ni
tettsui-uchi (two hammer fist each fist), shift into front stance and gyaku-zuki, rear
leg front snap kick then gedan barai
● Step Forward gedan barai (down block) with supported uchi (strike), step forward
supported morote-uchi-uke (supported inside block), step forward supported
morote-uchi-uke (supported inside block)

Kata – All Heian Kata, Tekki Shodan, Bassai Dai and Kanku Dai plus student creates two Bunkai Demos from Kanku Dai

Kumite:
Kaeshi Ippon Kumite (One Step Sparring with Counter-Attack): #1-2
● Jiyu Ippon Kumite (FreeStyle One Step Basic Sparring)
● Ippon Kumite #1-6

Eligibility Requirements
● Complete all Assignments in the 1st Kyu Brown Belt Belt level.
● Minimum Training Hours: 48 Hours

Test Instructions

Demonstrate all 1st kyu brown belt testing requirements.
● The test is to be one continuous video from start to finish.
● Please verbally (loudly and clearly) state the name of the item before you
demonstrate it.
● Demonstrate all rank requirements listed above.
● Upload your video(s). After paying for your exam, you will then be able to add these
videos and submit them to your instructor for grading.

Shodan Black Belt (1st Dan) Rank Requirements

Kihon (Basics):
● Explain About Tsuki and Uchi Waza
● Demonstrate each of the basic tachikata (stances) for all Kyu Levels
● For zenkutsu-dachi and kokutsu-dachi demonstrate each 4x forward then mawate
and 4x back

Demonstrate the Following Kihon in an Appropriate Stance – 4x forward then mawate and 4x back.
● oi-zuki
● gyaku-zuki
● age-uke
● gedan barai
● uchi uke
● ude uke
● shuto uke
● mae geri keage
● mae geri kekomi
● mawashi geri
● ushiro geri
● yoko geri keage
● yoko geri kekomi
● create four dynamic Kihon Drills using any traditional shotokan combinations you
know.
● create four dynamic freestyle combinations with any techniques you know.

All the Kihon Kata – Taikyoku Shodan, Nidan and Sandan
Geri Kata – Shodan, Nidan and Sandan
Traditional Kata:
● All Heian Kata
● Tekki Shodan
● Bassai Dai
● Kanku Dai
● Jion plus student creates two Bunkai Demos from Jion

Kumite:
● Sanbon Kumite (Three Step Sparring): Sanbon Kumite created by the student.
● Kaeshi Ippon Kumite (One Step Sparring with Counter-Attack): Kaeshi Kumite
created by the student.
● Jiyu Ippon Kumite (Free Style One Step Basic Sparring)
● Ten Ippon Kumite created by the student (Instructor will support as needed)

Black Belt Character Essay: Write a 3-page essay (12 pt. Times new roman, double spaced)
explaining: what earning a black belt means to you, and why you would or would not urge others to do so in their life.

Eligibility Requirements
● Complete all Assignments in the Shodan Black Belt Belt level.
● Minimum Training Hours: 60 Hours

Test Instructions

Demonstrate all shodan black belt testing requirements.
● The test is to be one continuous video from start to finish.
● Please verbally (loudly and clearly) state the name of the item before you
demonstrate it.
● Demonstrate all rank requirements listed above.
● Upload your video(s). After paying for your exam, you will then be able to add these
videos and submit them to your instructor for grading.

Nidan Black Belt (2nd Dan) Rank Requirements

Weapons Training: Bojutsu – Demonstrate Bo Kata 1.

Kihon (Basics):
● Teach how to perform Tsuki and Uke Waza with proper posture and hip rotation.
Demonstrate the Following Kihon in an Appropriate Stance – 4x forward then mawate
and 4x back.
● oi-zuki
● gyaku-zuki
● age-uke
● gedan barai
● uchi uke
● ude uke
● shuto uke
● mae geri keage
● mae geri kekomi
● mawashi geri
● ushiro geri
● yoko geri keage
● yoko geri kekomi

Created Drills and Combos:
● Create four dynamic Kihon Drills using any traditional shotokan combinations you
know.
● Create four Dynamic Freestyle combinations with any techniques you know.
Kata:
● Your Favorite Kihon Training Kata
● Your favorite Heian Kata
● Bassai Dai
● Kanku Dai
● Jion
● Enpi plus two Bunkai
● Hangetsu plus two Bunkai
● Teach how to perform Heian Shodan

Kumite:
● Sanbon Kumite (Three Step Sparring): Two Sanbon Kumite created by the student.
● Kaeshi Ippon Kumite (One Step Sparring with Counter-Attack): Two Kaeshi Kumite
created by the student.
● Jiyu Ippon Kumite (Free Style One Step Basic Sparring)
● Ten Ippon Kumite created by the student.

Goshin Jutsu Techniques:
● Goshin Jutsu 1-12.

Jiyu Kumite (Free Sparring):
● Two (2 min.) matches with partner.

Eligibility Requirements
● Complete all Assignments in the Nidan Black Belt Belt level.
● Minimum Training Hours/Time: 144 Hours and at least 24 Months since earning 1st
dan black belt.

Test Instructions

Demonstrate all shodan black belt testing requirements.
● The test is to be one continuous video from start to finish.
● Please verbally (loudly and clearly) state the name of the item before you
demonstrate it.
● Demonstrate all rank requirements listed above.
● Upload your video(s). After paying for your exam, you will then be able to add these
videos and submit them to your instructor for grading.

  • All rank awarded is recognized and accredited through the Global Martial Arts Association, Ultimate Training Martial Arts Association, the Association of Martial Artists World Wide, as well as various local and national training centers.

Here’s what the certificate of rank looks like:

GMAU Shotokan Karate Program Review

Who is this program for?

If your schedule or budget doesn’t permit training at a local Dojo, this is for you.

Online vs In-Person

In my opinion, training for Karate online is not an equal experience to in-person training. But this program is as good as it gets when it comes to training in Karate online. I can’t imagine any way to improve upon what Global Martial Arts University has created with their Shotokan Karate program.

How I Discovered GMAU

I’m on YouTube and I’m typing numerous different searches on Karate without really getting anywhere. I’m surfing through different videos, not entirely sure what I’m looking for. Letting my intuition guide me as to what that is once I find it.

Finally, I type in the search bar ‘Karate belt online’. As you can imagine, an ungodly amount of results came up once again. But that didn’t matter because this is what came up first in the results:

I press play and start following along with ZERO prior Karate experience. All the info is presented clearly and concisely, making it super easy for me to learn and follow along. I can definitely see myself doing this, I’m instantly hooked.

The next day I finish Class 2 and immediately look in the video description for their website. Given my level of passion and excitement, I’m a little hesitant to see the price.

I scroll down to see $39.95/month! I’m SOLD!

Initial Impression with ZERO Karate Experience

*I’m currently near the end of completing all White Belt requirements and preparing for the test through numerous practice hours.

Here’s what the dashboard looks like once you sign up:

I could tell this program is professional and well structured after seeing how clean and organized it was. It’s easy to navigate for whatever information you’re looking for.

Here’s the lessons section (not all lessons are shown in pic)

karate lessons online

Classes section:

learning karate online

Journal section:

karate class online

Community section:

how to learn karate

Other notable sections include:

Assignments: For example, the assignment to achieve White Belt is to introduce yourself in the discussion forum.

Testing: Outlines the syllabus for belt testing that you must follow for your video submission.

Discussion Board: A forum where fellow students can interact.

Student Locator: Now this is pretty cool. Their system will automatically locate other GMAU students close to you, giving you the option to reach out to them as a potential training partner. It even says how many miles away they are and when they were last active. Pretty neat!

There are no reviews yet. Be the first one to write one.

Frequently Asked Questions

Shotokan Karate-Do has its origins in Okinawa and reaches back to China, where many of the early masters studied, a wonderful and mysterious martial art from the past that has been passed down through the generations.

For the past thousand years, the study and practice of the masters and experts who promoted and perfected Shotokan Karate-Do took place in Okinawa. In the past century, Shotokan Karate-Do has found its way to western countries where many different martial arts derivatives have been made from the original martial art seen in Okinawa, Korea, and China.

The style taught by Master Hodge, your Sensei, has defensive capabilities and goes beyond mere physical defenses of mind, body, and spirit. Practicing Shotokan Karate-Do with intensity and concentration over time creates a powerful warrior spirit. In and through peace and cooperation, balance and harmony are created within the student.

Every practitioner today must understand that any representation of this martial art was modified and adapted for public consumption. Master Hodge’s are geared towards Shotokan Karate-Do and GichinFunakoshi’s original Okinawan Karate-Do. The basic study of GMAU Shotokan Karate-Do up to the first-degree black belt is geared towards Master Funakoshi.

The Shotokan Karate lineage taught by Master Hodge is also linked through various Korean masters, however, the basic style up to the first degree practiced by all of these masters is centered on Master Funakoshi.

It is often said that someone who has mastered the techniques can easily defend himself without weapons and achieve remarkable feats of strength and dexterity.

Train through the lessons and classes provided to you. Once you’ve logged the minimum hours of training required, you’re ready to submit your test.

Then just follow the directions on the test page to film and submit your video exam. Your teacher will conduct a detailed review of your exam, and they’ll also shoot a personalized feedback video with corrections and instructions.

Once you pass, you will receive your official certificate of rank. If you disagree the first time, you will receive corrections and you can resubmit them without paying another fee.

There are no “enforced waiting times” in the program but they do require students to document their training/practice sessions in the Student Journal.

They require that you train a minimum number of hours and that you document each practice unit in your student diary before taking an exam. They do this for several reasons: It allows us to track your progress, your training plan, and your training time. As your trainers, they are more aware of this, just as if you were to take physical education classes with them.

The minimum training hours are designed so that you get enough repetitions; generate real muscle memory and knee-jerk reactions. It is not enough just to “master a technique”, but to be able to execute it immediately with an attack without having to think. Sufficient and documented practice will get you there.

You want to maintain high standards of excellence and expectations so that your training, progress, and placements match those of a Shotokan Karate student from a physical institution.

No, the certificates issued are the same as those issued to students who train with GMAU in person. This is because they have the same curriculum, exam requirements, and standards for the students in their online course work and have a much higher level of self-discipline to move forward.

Cool! You are an even better candidate for home study because you have a history of martial arts training. If you have a Shotokan Karate rank, you can follow their rank transfer procedure. Otherwise, you’ll have to start over.

GMAU currently allows rank transfers in their Shotokan Karate course. If you have a rank in Shotokan Karate (not any other style of Karate) you are eligible.\

How to Transfer Rank:

You must first register for the course as a full student. Then scan a copy of your highest ranked certificate and email it using their support tab GMAU account.

Pay the USD 85 transfer fee (use this payment link). This fee will cover reviewing your video for rank transfer and for their admin time to get you transferred.

Film yourself demonstrating all of the katas in our curriculum from finish to your current rank. Upload it as an unlisted Youtube video and send a message to Sensei Jon with a link to your Youtube URL.

Your instructor will do a detailed review of your transfer rank video. If you meet their standards for parity, they will respect your current rank and you can keep training to your black belt and beyond.

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