Beginners Guide

Karate is a system of self defence and physical culture originally developed and refined in Okinawa and Japan. The word is formed from the Japanese words Kara (empty) and Te (hand), symbolising that its practitioners - Karateka - are unarmed, but use their hands and feet for blocking and striking. Training is conducted within an environment based on certain Japanese cultural practices.

Can anybody train?

Karate can be practiced by men, women and children. Our students range from the very young (minimum 8years) to senior citizens. Anyone who is in reasonable health can train at karate. Karate students will improve their health, self-awareness, self-confidence and self-esteem. Parents and teachers continually report on the improvement in the behaviour of children who train regularly. This is because of our disciplined training structure and the emphasis placed on good etiquette.

What does training cost ?

Karate is a reasonably inexpensive pursuit. The club fees are low compared to many other Karate clubs. We are a non commercial club. Compared to other sports and hobbies, Karate is cheaper. The main equipment needed is a Karate suit and belt. You also need to purchase an annual licence to enable to grade and for public liability insurance.

We do not charge a membership fee, there are no direct debits. Simply pay £4 every time you train.

What are the benefits of Karate training ?

The physical training required to reach a high level of skill in Karate promotes overall good health, fitness and well-being. The concentration, commitment and dedication required, help build a strong, confident and determined character. There is a 'Dojo Kun', or training code, which not only ensures a disciplined training environment, but serves as a tool for improving behaviour, so that a true Karateka will only use their fighting skills as a last resort.

What is involved in training ?

Training is structured into three main sections - Kihon (fundamental techniques), Kata (formal exercises) and Kumite (sparring). Each section has a range of complexity to suit the different levels or grades of students. Kumite will be introduced as basic blocking and counter-attacking, but will progress to free-sparring which develops the timing, reflexes and co-ordination necessary for self defence and competition.

Grading

Students are entitled to take grading examinations after set periods of training. The gradings are conducted by Senior Examiners, and there is a grading syllabus for all levels. Coloured belts are used to denote grades. There are 10 grades below Black Belt. These are known as Kyu grades with 10th Kyu, red/white belt, being the lowest and 1st Kyu, brown and white, the highest.

Achieving a Black Belt

There are 10 levels of Black belt or Dan grades, starting at 1st Dan. Students can achieve 1st Dan standard in 4 to 5 years, with regular training and instruction. It then takes a minimum of 2 more years to achieve 2nd Dan, 3 years to 3rd Dan etc

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