A very basic introduction
The core curriculum for I.K.G.A. Goju-Ryu is standardized, but teaching methods and training schedules vary.
A student may join classes at any level of skill or physical proficiency. New students will be taught basics and will be encouraged to observe and follow the senior students. To prevent injuries and to build on a strong foundation of skills, more advanced training progresses as the student gains confidence, strength, flexibility, and stamina.
All classes begin with a brief Reishiki, (Bowing Ceremony) warm-up, physical conditioning, and stretching.
Classes usually include: 1) Kihon (basics) such as basic stances, punches, kicks, and blocks; 2) Yakusoku kumite (set sparring combinations); 3) Kata or pre-defined sequences of movements; 4) Jiyu kumite, or free-sparring; 5) Shiai kumite, or point sparring.
For free sparring practice (Jiyu kumite), participants wear padded fist protectors, mouth guards, groin cups for men, and chest protectors for women. All sparring is non-contact or "touch" or controlled contact. Beginners may not participate in kumite until they learn basic stances, blocks, and strikes.