Beginning Karate

What is karate?

Karate is a Japanese martial art developed for self defence. The word 'Karate' is a concatonation of the Japanese words Kara (empty) and Te (hand). Karate training is taught in an environment based on traditional Japanese culture.

Can I train?

Ma-Ku Sho teach a wide variety of people of different ages, backgrounds and martial arts experience. We run three different training sessions based on age group. Due to insurance restrictions the youngest age we can teach is 5 years old. In terms of physical fitness, we again teach people with a variety of abilities, if you have any special needs please contact us if you have any concerns.

When can I start?

If you would like to start learning karate and would like some more information, e-mail us using the link on the Home page. You are also welcome to come down to the dojo on a training evening and have a chat to Sensei Mark.

Can I watch my child train?

Unfortunately we are a bit short on space at the dojo. However you are welcome to stay and watch for the first couple of lessons until your child 'settles in'. After that it would be best to drop them off and collect them after the training session.

What do I need for my first lesson?

You will need to wear appropriate clothing such as a T-shirt and loose fitting trousers such as jog pants etc. Bring some water to drink and perhaps a small towel.

What can I gain from karate?

Through karate you will gain better physical fitness, well being and concentration. Your skill in karate is something that we hope you will only ever need at the dojo. However should the need arise remember that karate is for self defence and a good martial artist learns to fight so that they don't have too.

Is learning karate dangerous?

Lessons always begin with a warm up to avoid muscular injuries and a carefully controlled environment is created by experienced instructors. However karate by defintition involves punching, striking and kicking and as with any sport injuries can happen. However you will be glad to know that injuries are very rare and are usually minor in nature. Statics also show that you are more likely to get injured playing football than attending a karate class.

How much does karate cost?

Compared to many other sports karate is relatively inexpensive. Your first introductory lesson is free, if you decide to join the club you will need a gi (karate suit) and a licence for insurance purposes. For further information, please use the email link on the Home page.

Do I have to enter competitions?

No you don't. The club is mainly interested in teaching karate, if you want to enter competitions then it will be up to the individual.

The Japanese language

When you are learning karate you will be taught the names of specific techniques in both English and Japanese. As you progress to higher grades you will be expected to know the Japanese names for your current syllabus.

What is a kata?

A kata is a series of predefined moves which involves attack and defensive movements in various directions. Various katas are required to be performed during a grade, they also teach how to select and combine techniques for a particular situation.

What is a grade?

When you start karate you will wear a red belt. A grade is a predetermined event where a student demonstrates that they have mastered the syllabus required for the next level. If a student successfully passes a grade they will be awarded with the next colour belt.

How long will it take to get a black belt?

If you train regularly and pass every grade we would expect you to obtain a black belt after three years and certainly before four years have elapsed.

Do you teach martial arts weapons?

Yes we do. We teach escrima sticks, nunchaku and a variety of other weapons. Some wooden weapons have a training equivalent which are foam padded to minimise risk for beginners.