Below are the frequently asked questions when someone is looking for a karate club to join or a martial arts club in their area. If you cannot find an anwer to your question or you need further details, please do not hesitate ask. To contact us, click here.



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 ‘Palm Waves’.

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 at least 5 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 white karate uniform that all students wear whilst training. You can order one through our Book/Buy & Pay tab on the menu or by clicking here.

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 or flexible to practice Karate?

No. You can come just as you are. You will progress and improve the more you train and you will be amazed what you can achieve. Do not worry about your age, weight, height, fitness level or coordination skills. That is what we are here for.


Do you have to grade?

No. 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 and receive an invitation from the head instructor.

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?

Make sure that you read and understand your syllabus and what will be required of you on grading day. Also, get in as much practice as possible. There are 2 open lessons a week at Aberford Community Centre and we always have time to run through anything that you need extra help with.  Also do not forget we have our Facebook group for existing members that has access to plenty of videos to support you. FB Group: Kosmo Karate Lessons.

I temporary failed at grading, what does this mean?

A temporary fail is where a student does not pass their exams for the next belt but it was not an instant fail either. The student is given 5 weeks to improve on the sections they need to on the syllabus and will need to book and pay for a re-sit with their instructor at a time they have agreed. If 5 weeks have passed, the student will need to re grade for their belt at the following grading. The cost of a re-sit is £15.

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 instructor’s permission, they will agree to grade you in a lesson, generally at Aberford. 


What costs are involved when starting Karate at Kosmo SKC?

The lesson fees at Aberford Hall (open sessions) differ depending on which class you want and how often you wish to train. Tuesdays only cost £35pcm. Thursdays cost £45pcm. Both sessions cost £65pcm. This does not include our special needs class which is unique and has a fully trained instructor to deal with specific needs. This class is payable by term.

The Licence and Membership. A New Member licence is £35.00. After this, a renewal is £30.00 per annum. This allows you to attend any open lesson, 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. The membership includes an account for OCM and you can also join our facebook group: Kosmo Karate Lessons.  You will find lots of helpful videos here as well as zoom classes and competitions for loyalty points.

Gi/Uniform – This can be purchased through our website or by contacting an instructor directly. Our uniforms are vary in price depending on size and quality. With a Gi, you get the Gi bottoms, Gi top, a white belt and our embroidered logo. Heavy duty Gi’s are for higher belts. These are much more expensive but are not mandatory until you are grading for black 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. These can be booked via OCM.

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 start again however you would need to grade to ratify you current grade. 

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.