New members are welcome to train without paying for two or three classes. You can contact us by phone, email, or just turn up at the door!
WHAT TO DO WHEN YOU ARRIVE
Take off your shoes and come into the room. Please go up to any of our students, explain you are there for your first class, and they will help you.
WHICH CLASS YOU SHOULD ATTEND
There is a beginner classes on Tuesday evenings, while junior beginner class is on Sunday at 11am. We recommend that children are 6 before they begin karate.
WHAT YOU SHOULD WEAR
Karate students train in bare feet. You should wear loose fitting clothing that will allow you to kick, punch and stretch in. Once you have graded to white belt, you will need to purchase a ‘gi’ (a karate uniform). These can be bought from any martial arts shop, you will also need two badges for your gi, which can be purchased through the club.
WHAT TO EXPECT
Probably the most unusual aspect of a martial art for a complete beginner is the etiquette in the dojo (training hall), and the constant use of the word ‘osu’. The word ‘osu’ has many meanings. It comes from ‘oshi shinobu’ which means ‘have patience’, but we use it to mean ‘hello’ and ‘yes’ – and many other things too. At the beginning of class we kneel down to formally begin the training. A series of bows will follow. There is no religious significance to the bowing. It is simply following the Japanese custom of bowing out of respect for our seniors; in this case, those who have trained longer than us in karate.
Beginners – white belt with red tip
10th kyu – white belt
9th kyu – white belt with black tip
8th kyu – blue belt
7th kyu – blue belt with tip
6th kyu – yellow belt
5th kyu – yellow belt with tip
4th kyu – green belt
3rd kyu – green belt with tip
2nd kyu – brown belt
1st kyu – brown belt with tip
1st dan – black belt…
Gradings take place several times a year. They provide opportunities for students to demonstrate in a more pressurized situation what they have learned. Upon successful completion of gradings, students are awarded their new belts (see above). A ‘kyu’ means a level, or grade.
At levels up to green belt, students need to have learned the required syllabus and trained regularly for three months to be eligible to grade.
From green belt onwards, students need to train regularly for a minimum of six months, including sparring sessions. In practice, this means it is likely to take a minimum of 3 to 4 years before reaching 1st kyu.
After spending at least another year and a half at 1st kyu, a student who has trained sufficiently hard and developed their skills satisfactorily may be invited to prepare for the demanding first degree (shodan) black belt grading.