How We Train
Many people approach karate for different reasons – health & fitness, flexibility, self-defence, competitive success to name a few; we try to accommodate everyone’s interests as far as possible.
We train according to guidelines laid down by the JKA, and as such, we practise basic techniques, sparring and kata with some elements of self-defence, strength building and general fitness training.
Karate is a strenuous martial art and can be extremely dangerous both to the self and others if treated without due respect. As such we follow a code of conduct and etiquette which we expect others to follow for the safety of all. We aim to train at dojos with safe flooring and clean facilities.
While we practice traditional Shotokan karate, we do take a modern, friendly, safety-conscious approach and welcome feedback from students.
We do not discriminate against anyone and will do our best to accommodate all students, however, in the interests of safety, we do impose a minimum age restriction of 6 years. As far as possible, when students are engaged in sparring together, each person should be partnered with someone of equal age, gender, height and ability.
We do not practise or teach the use of any weapons although the odd empty water bottle may occasionally be used to simulate an attacker’s knife when demonstrating self-defence techniques.
The best way to find out what we do is to come along to a lesson, you don’t have to join in unless you want to. We have an open door policy and encourage spectators, especially parents.
Getting Kitted Out
If you want to train regularly you will also need to get one of the most recognisable elements of karate, the karate suit. A gi usually consists of trousers (either draw-string or elasticated waist) and a jacket. Most gis come with a white belt included and are made from a stiff tough white cotton. Costs from £20 upwards, we can order it for you.
Obviously you get what you pay for, cheaper gis will easily suit the beginner and are lightweight but can have a habit of shrinking in the wash. As such it is always best to buy a little larger than smaller and wash your gi at 40° and to let it drip dry (they can shrink badly in a dryer).
More expensive gis are much longer-lasting, much tougher and tend not to shrink as much. Some people like to stitch club badges on their gis or even have their name embroidered on it.
With each grading passed you will need a new belt, which is included in the grading fee.
Apart from a gi and belt there is nothing else required as training is always conducted barefoot but it recommended that women who need them should invest in a sports bra.
The only other items you will be required to buy are later on when you start doing semi-free and freestyle sparring (usually brown belt and above) you will need to buy some white sparring mitts and a gumshield (around £10 for both).
Adult students who want to do freestyle sparring may want to wear chest protection (women) or groin protection (men) but it is not required. Shin guards and similar protectors are discouraged as they can cause injury to sparring partners.