Fequently asked questions
Here are the answers to some of the questions that you may be thinking about.
What should I wear?
For the first session just wear comfy clothes you can move in easily. It’s important not to wear any jewellery, rings earrings watches etc as they can cause injury. Our starter courses include the cost of a gi (uniform) and that will be given as soon as it is available (we hold some in stock, but generally have to order them in. Delivery can take a few days)
What age can I start?
We take students from about 6 years old and up. At the very young age, its more important that they have the ability, and wish to be able to concentrate through the lesson. We don’t want to put a child off karate by introducing it to them before they are ready!
There is no upper age limit, though if you have not done any exercise for a long time, as with any exercise it would be worth checking with your doctor before starting.
What association do you belong to?
Our club is affiliated to the JKAE. (Japanese Karate Association England). This is the official governing body for JKA karate in England. Each year the JKAE holds special instructors courses to teach the teachers. This ensures a standard quality of instruction in any of the JKAE clubs in the country.
In turn, JKA-England is affiliated to JKA (Japanese Karate Association) in Tokyo one of the most prestigious karate organisations in the world.
As well as the regional courses that the association hosts, twice a year it runs international courses where some of the best karate instructors in the world come and teach here in the UK. There are a number of opportunities through the year to train with some of the best, and most inspirational karate practitioners .
For further information on the JKAE, please visit their site
How do I join JKA-England?
Before taking a grading , or enjoying the other benefits of membership like entering competitions, you need to join our association. We have a page here on how to fill in the form and links to the online registration.
Can I pass black belt?
This style of karate is not the easiest in which to pass a Dan grading (black belt) and we make no apology for that! If it was easy, it wouldn’t be worth having. Getting a black belt takes a lot of hard work and effort and a lot of dedicated training. If you can achieve black belt is up to you. The instructors at the club have the know-how and experience and have helped many students get to black belt and beyond.... but its really is up to you.
Do I need to learn Japanese?
Don’t worry, this is not a language school! A number of the instructions are given in Japanese, but the terms are introduced gradually and repeated often. It is more important that the student understands what we want them to do than they learn Japanese.
What will training involve?:
A typical karate practice session usually begins with a comprehensive warm-up, followed by the various training exercises. The exercises are divided into three main categories, kihon (basic techniques), in which you learn the basic blocks, punches, kicks, stances, etc. of karate; kata (forms), in which you practice and physically remember the various basics learned, and kumite (sparring), where your techniques are matched against a real opponent. As your skill level increases, so will the difficulty and degree of the exercises. Of course, there will also be times when you are taught theory, dojo etiquette and the more philosophical aspects of karate. (see about karate)
How long does it take to learn karate?
It’s really up to you. The more you practice, the more you will improve—for your entire life. There is no limit to mastering karate, no “final destination” at which you can arrive. There are benchmarks along the way however. In the JKA, you progress through a series of belt levels (9th to 1st Kyu). (see Gradings) After that, you receive a black belt, and progress through another 9 degrees of black belt (1st to 10th Dan). A student with no prior training joins as 10th Kyu (White belt), and is eligible to take ranking examinations or gradings every 3-4 months of training. Because of the number of grading examinations you must pass to attain a black belt, the 1st Dan requires a minimum three years of diligent training. It takes several years to attain each subsequent Dan grade. At these higher levels, you will see that karate is not just something to be learned, but something to be lived. And that takes a lifetime!