What is karate ?
Karate means "empty hand". It uses linear punching and kicking techniques, executed from strong, stable stances. Karate incorporates 3 main elements: kihon - basics, kata - forms, and kumite - sparring.
Am I too old to start a martial art?
The only age limit we have is that children must be at least 6 years old, there is no upper age limit. One of our black belts did not start training until he was 47, and he still enjoys karate in his retirement!
What do I need to wear?
To start with all you need wear is tracksuit bottoms and a t-shirt. We do ask that nails be kept short, long hair tied back, all jewellery removed (wedding rings may be kepy on but please place tape over it) and personal hygiene is of paramount importance as you will train closely with others. After about a month, we would encourage you to purchase a karate suite (gi), we sell these with prices starting from £20.
Do I need to understand Japanese?
We use the Japanese name for all the various moves, however explanations are always in English. We do not expect beginners to understand the Japanese, but you will find that over time you pick up the names of the different moves. Basic terminology can be found here.
Would I have to fight black belts?
All black belts are highly trained and will show the upmost respect for their fellow karate-ka (students) at all times. We do partner beginners with higher grades, including black belts, as they will be able to help you with your karate training.
PLEASE NOTE THAT AT NO TIME WILL WE TOLERATE ANY FORM OF BULLYING WITHIN THE CLUB.
What will happen at my first session?
You are more than welcome to come and watch before you decide whether karate is for you! We encourage parents to stay and watch for their child’s first few sessions.
Each lesson starts with a formal bow (this will be explained at the beginning of the session). There is then a warm-up, followed by:
Basics (blocks and attacks)
Kata (basic moves in a set pattern against an imaginary opponent)
Kumite (sparring / fighting)
Beginners will train at their own pace and will not be asked to do anything they are not confident with. They will receive full support from senior instructors and the black belts at all times.