Technical Rules - GCSE and A/AS level Syllabus

Karate as a Criteria in GCSE and A/AS Level Physical Education


Karate is a Martial Art using controlled striking techniques and was developed in its modern form in Japan.

It was introduced to Europe around the 1950's and is now hugely popular in the UK, with an estimated 200,000 regular participants. It is used as a means of keeping fit, self defence and character development and is also a challenging and exciting sport.

In 1999, the Karate Union of Great Britain (KUGB), a member Association of Karate England, developed a syllabus and criteria for GCSE and A Level qualifications in co-operation with the Edexcel, OCR and AQA Examining Boards. The KUGB teaches Shotokan Karate and the documents were based on this style, but provision was made for them to be adaptable for Goju Ryu, Shito Ryu, Wado Ryu, Shukokai or Kyokushinkai etc. Most of the terms used are generic and will be understood by qualified Karate instructors and assessors.

This means that:

* the option is available for those wishing to take a GCSE or A/AS Level in Physical Education to chose Karate as one of the activities.

* existing Karateka (students) might decide to chose Physical Education as a GCSE A/AS Level subject.

In practice, those doing GCSE in PE will choose four physical activities/sports approved by the Examining Board to study and practice, and will in addition have to study some associated areas such as physiology and teaching skills. This usually takes two years, so in essence, a student will spend about one term of study time on each activity. This would equate to a Karate student training for their first grading.

An A level student will chose three physical activities, and usually be expected to have already achieved GCSE level. They will therefore spend more time on each activity and be expected to reach a higher level.

The minimum levels of technical competence required are:

GCSE            -      9th - 8th Kyu

A/AS Level      -      7th - 5th Kyu

This option has proved very popular, with many requests from students and PE teachers for copies of the syllabus and criteria.

The terms  used in the syllabi are Japanese with English translation.

Those interested will need to ask their PE teacher who if necessary can consult with their Examining Board if they have any queries.

The GCSE & A/AS Level Syllabus can be downloaded as a PDF document by click this link to access the Adobe® Reader® PDF document clicking here.