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How to remember the Renraku in the IKF UK Kyokushinkai Syllabus

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How to remember the Renraku in the IKF UK Kyokushinkai Syllabus 2020

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Renraku is a common Japanese word that means “contact”, “communication”, “correspondence”, or “connection”. Just thought you might like to know that.

A few months ago, I published an article on how to remember the IKF UK Kyokushinkai Syllabus, (click here view it), however, at the time I did not deal with how to remember the Renraku sections.

If you find it hard to remember which Renraku goes with which belt, then hopefully this might help you.

10th Kyu

10th Kyu doesn’t have a Renraku. Use the zero to remind you of that.

9th Kyu

I would often get confused between the 9th and 8th Kyu’s Renraku. “Is it the strike or the kick first?” I would ask myself? If you remember in my last article, the number 9 should remind you of a head. Once again you can use this trigger, along with the fact that this grade’s kata focuses on the head for its strikes, to remind you that the first strike in this Renraku can be either for the head or the solar plexus. Whilst though generally people use the Chudan punch for this, Jodan is also an option. So, think a head, think head… Strike to the head with a Seiken-Gyaku-Tsuki (Jodan or Chudan), then Mae-Geri-Chudan-Chusoku.

8th Kyu

As I said, I’d often get confused between 8th Kyu and 9th Kyu. So, first of all, remembering that 9th Kyu starts with a strike to the head will help you to remember that 8th Kyu does not. Secondly the numeral 8 is made of two circles. That should help you to remember that the 8th Kyu Renraku is in two parts. The second part of the 8th Kyu Renraku combines two blocks, Chudan-Soto-Uke followed by Seiken-Mai-Gedan-Bari. If you do these together you might feel that your fist is almost drawing out the first half of a number 8. After the two blocks, there’s a Seiken-Gyaku-Tsuki-Chudan. Also, really focus on the return and cover for all these Renraku.

When I was learning my Renraku I found that actually saying (at least in my mind) the Kyu number as I started the first technique really helped me to learn which was which. For example, as I would draw weight across to do the kick in the first section of this one I would think “8th Kyu”

7th Kyu

In my last article, I used the numeral 7 to represent a leg bent at the knee to trigger Neko-Ash-Dachi. This can also be used for this Renraku. Think of it as being in two parts, just like a leg.

The first section is Seiken-Gyaku-Tsuki-Chudan, then Mae-Geri-Chudan-Chusoku. The second section is Mae-Geri-Chudan-Chusoku, then Seiken-Gyaku-Tsuki-Chudan, return and cover. In the syllabus, it starts with a step forward with the right leg, but check with your instructor to find out if it is to be performed with the left leg too.

6th Kyu

6 should trigger Uraken if you read the first article. What kick is associated particularly with Uraken? Yep, it’s Yoko-Geri. So, that should be your cue. If you’ve learned your techniques for each grade, then you’ll also remember that 6th Kyu includes Gedan-Mawashi-Geri. So, using those triggers it should be easy to remember the 6th Kyu Renraku.

Part 1 uses a Gedan-Mawashi-Geri (Chusoku or Haisoku), followed by Seiken-Gyaku-Tsuki-Chudan, return and cover and Part 2 is a Chudan-Mae-Yoko-Geri, followed by a Seiken-Gyaku-Tsuki-Chudan, return and cover.

5th Kyu

From the original article the number 5 should remind you of a back kick. Chudan-Ushiro-Geri appears in both parts of this Renraku.

The first part starts with Chudan-Ushiro-Geri and is followed by Seiken-Gyaku-Tsuki-Chudan, return and cover.

The second part has Ushiro-Geri as the last kick.

So, Mae-Geri-Chudan-Chusoku, Chudan-Mae-Yoko-Geri, Ushiro-Geri-Chudan, Seiken-Gyaku-Tsuki-Chudan, return and cover.


4th Kyu and 3rd Kyu

4th and 3rd Kyu don’t have Renraku, so to remember that just say to yourself “For Free”


2nd Kyu

Although this Renraku is one of the most complicated ones it is both very flowing and is in two distinct parts, so the number 2 should be your trigger to remember this. Now I’m not going to write out this one in full as I don’t want to get in to trouble in case doing so puts any of you off buying the syllabus, (plus I can’t be bothered to type it all out). But, if you’ve got the syllabus or know the Renraku anyway, then you’ll be able to identify that it is indeed in two parts. The first half is all arm techniques, then you step forward and it’s mainly leg techniques until the end, when you block, punch and cover.

1st Kyu

To me this one is an easy one. It’s in two sections, but like the number 1 itself, a line direct from one point to another they are both very direct and unrelenting attacks.

Part 1

Seiken-Oi-Tsuki, Seiken-Gyaku-Tsuki, Seiken-Oi-Tsuki, Shita-Tsuki (with facial cover) and return and cover.

Part 2

Front leg Mawashi-Geri-Jodan, same hand Seiken-Oi-Tsuki-Chudan, Seiken-Gyaku-Tsuki-Chudan, back leg Mawashi-Geri-Jodan, return and cover.

1st Dan

1st Dan is the last of the grades that include Renraku.

This is a famous, if not infamous, one known as Gohon-Geri (5 kicks). Again, I won’t list it out for all the same reasons, but remembering it as a straight line may help you associate it with 1st Dan.

Ok, I hope that’s helped. Please feel free to add your ideas in the comments below. (All comments have to be approved so please wait a few days for them to appear)

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