BEGINNER QUESTIONS

What style of Karate do you teach?

(Japanese) Shotokan Karate. For more information on this style of Karate, please click here.

Where is this style of Karate from? And what does it mean?

This style was founded by Sensei Gichin Funakoshi  from Okinawa. The term literally means ‘Empty Hand’.

Will I learn how to defend myself?

Yes, we teach a lot of ‘kumite’ (sparring) and teach self-defence too.

How long would it take me to reach a black belt?

That all depends on how hard you train, and if you are ready to grade for your next belt each time we have a grading day. But it takes roughly 4 years.

What would Karate teach me as a person?

Respect, self-control, co-ordination, confidence, determination, motivation, meditation and leadership.

What do the belts mean and how do you get them?

The belts shows what stage you are at whilst training. The coloured belts are called ‘kyu grades’. There are 10 kyu grades before you get to black belt (Dan grade).

What is a Gi?

A ‘gi’ is the Karate uniform that all students are requested to wear whilst training.

What age can you start and what is the oldest you take?

Our youngest student is 4 years old. You can start training from 4 but we will only accept a few 4 and 5 year olds in each class. Please contact us to see if there are spaces available. You can continue to train no matter what age you are. There is no maximum age limit.

Do you need to be fit to practice Karate?

You do not need to be extremely fit to start karate. You will become increasingly fit whilst you train.

Do you need to be flexible?

No, again, you will become more and more flexible the more you train. We encourage our students to warm up every day whether training or not. You do not need to be at all flexible to join.

GRADING QUESTIONS

Do you have to grade?

No. Grading is completely your choice. No-one is forced to grade. You can stay the same belt for 10 years if you chose to. But 99% of people decide to grade when they feel they are ready.

How often is grading day and can you / do you grade every time?

Grading takes place 3 times a year, roughly every 4 months. Yes, you can grade every time right up to Brown Belt as long as you are ready. Once you achieve a Brown Belt you are required to skip at least 1 grading. The same applies for a Brown Belt and White Stripe (2nd kyu) going for a 1st kyu. Once you are a 1st kyu, you are required to wait at least 3 gradings.

I have been advised not to grade, what can I do to make sure I am ready for next time?

All club students will have access to their syllabus sheet on this website. Make sure that you read this and understand everything that will be required of you on grading day. Also, get in as much practice as possible. There are 2 open lessons a week at Brookside Boys Club and we always have time to run through anything that you need extra help with. All information that you need to know for your next kyu grade can be found when you log in; from the Japanese, the dojo kun on audio to links to your kata and kumite/ippon.

I temporary passed at grading, what does this mean?

If you temporary pass you are required to miss the next grading. You will be awarded with the grade that you were going for (as if you passed), however, when you do next grade, you must perform both the previous kata and the kata for your kyu grade on the day. This should show the Sensei that you have improved since your last grading and you are back up to the required standard.

I passed with distinction, but I wasn't invited to double grade - why?

A pass with distinction was originally brought in to recognise that when someone passes with flying colours, they are recognised in a different way to someone that may have passed by 1%. However, in some cases, if the Sensei can see that they have shown a standard above and beyond the grade that they are, they will be called up and asked if they know their next kata. If they do and they do it well, then the Sensei may award them with a double grade. This does not happen often. Most people that pass with a distinction will still be awarded with their next kyu grade.

What happens if I cannot make it to grading?

Unfortunately, there is only 1 set grading day every 4 months. It is advised that you grade on this day as you gain a lot of experience on the day. However, if you are unable to make that day but you still wish to grade, an 'Alternative Grading Option' has now been put in place. This means that with the Sensei's permission, and dependent on her diary, she will agree to either grade you in a lesson (generally at Brookside) or grade you privately. These options will be discussed between both you and your Sensei to ensure you are happy. If you wish to take this option up, please email Sensei Walsh so you can be forwarded the 'Alternative Grading Options and Fees' information.

OTHER

What costs are involved when starting Karate at Kosmo SKC?

The lesson fee which is £5.00 per lesson. This is pay as you go. You do not need to pay for any lessons up front. If you are a member of Tribe, the costs will differ as it works slightly differently. If you are unsure what category you fall in, please contact me.

The Licence and Membership. This costs £20.00 per annum. This allows you to attend any open lesson (and Tribe if you are a member), pre-grading and grading days and any events or seminars that are held. The Licence and membership also includes your insurance. This is a mandatory cost when joining our club and will need to be paid within the first 3 lessons of joining.

Gi/Uniform - This can be purchased through our website or by contacting me directly. Or you can order one yourself from a sports shop or wherever you can find one. It does not matter if you do not purchase a Gi through ourselves, but please make sure the uniform is suitable if you are to order it from an outside company. Our uniforms are sold for £20.00. This includes the Gi bottoms, Gi top and a white belt.

Grading day and any events or seminars that are held have their own costs. If/when these occur, an email is sent round with full details including costs.

How can I get extra lessons?

If you wish to have private lessons, please contact your Sensei or go to the contact page to either call, email or submit the form. You will then be contacted to discuss how often you want them, for how long etc and we would try our best to accommodate the times and days that suit you. Please keep in mind that private lessons are quite popular and our timetable is quite full.

My school/club want to start up karate classes, how do I do this?

Please go to 'Contact Us' where you can either call, email or submit the form to discuss the option of holding Karate classes at your venue.

If I leave, will I be allowed to start up again in the future, and would I continue at the same belt or start from White belt again?

If you leave, you are always welcome back. You may need to renew your Licence and Membership depending on the date that it expires. If you did previously progress in Karate, you would need to turn up to lesson in your Gi and a white belt. The Sensei would assess your standard and move you up belts when you reached that standard again. You would not be expected to regrade. We do it this way out of respect for other students that have continued to train. This is a process based on both you are your Sensei ensuring you are both confortable with the belt you are wearing.

I have learned karate elsewhere, am I welcome to your classes?

Yes. You will need to bring your Licence from your previous club to show your current grade. You will also need to get a Licence and Membership with our club. But thats it! No matter where you are from or what grade you got to, we have an open door policy and anyone and everyone is welcome to our club.

I am deaf, Can I still learn Karate?

Yes. Our chief instructor knows a little Sign Language and will be able to communicate with you to help you understand everything you need to know. Please do come along.

Do you hold competitions?

Yes, our club is now getting more and more involved in competitions. Whether that be in-house or with other clubs in surrounding areas. We are eager to give our students all the experience they need for Kata & Kumite. You do not have to enter our competitions, it is purely your choice.