About Karate

Sometimes people are put off from training in a Martial Art because of a preconceived idea, or something that someone has said. Karate and Martial Arts offer many benefits to the practitioner. Karate is carried out on a level playing field where everyone is equal, it is not relevant what tracksuit you are wearing or what you look like. Karate is a solo art where students are taught and motivated in a group by an Instructor to bring out their individual potential. Karate is steeped in history and tradition, it also has many different aspects of training, Kihon Basic Technique, Kata Form, Kumite Sparring and each of these has tens of sub headings.Your best bet is to find out for yourself what Karate is like by trying it out.Below are listed the most common questions and concerns that people have.

Frequently Asked Questions

Will I be the only beginner?

No. When a class is promoted, most students join on a Karate Introduction Course. These courses have a set number of places and it is very unlikely you will be on your own. If you walk into a class that is not being promoted you may well be the only beginner, but you will still be made to feel comfortable and welcomed and you would be taught on a beginners level.

But I’m not very fit!

Remember that through training in Karate you get fit. Most people start Karate as a way to lose weight and improve fitness. You don't have to be fit to start, but you will get fitter with time. Your Instructor will encourage you, but will not push you so hard that you find it difficult to take part in the class. Every student train for themselves, though you do it as a group and you go at your own pace.Karate is not a competitive hobby unless you make it so by taking part in tournaments for example, but that’s totally optional.Be patient and as the weeks go by you will feel fitter and healthier. Remember, all students on K.I.C. are beginners as well.

I have no co-ordination and I am not very flexible!

Don’t worry! That is why karate might be just the right thing for you.Karate is great for the eye-hand co-ordination as we get your brain to work outside the normal way of thinking. A lot of other sports make one dominant hand or foot it’s main tool but in karate we train the students to use both hands and feet at equal levels. We will start you of at a beginners level and take things one step at a time.It’s the same with flexibility. You can only do what you can do and there is no certain level of flexibility needed, at any stage. As you train you will get more flexible and you will feel more confident in all areas of your training.

Will I get hurt?

No. Atarashii Yoake is a NON-contact karate club! The main reason for this is to minimise any injuries but also to encourage discipline and control.It is a lot harder to stop a punch than to actually punch through, so we teach you how to do both with training aids such as kick shields, as opposed to letting our students punch and kick each other!It is also a common misconception that Karate is about fighting. There are styles of Karate that are full or semi contact, such as kick boxing, but karate is usually a very ‘friendly’ way to get introduced to Martial Arts.

Is it expensive?

Compared with a lot of other activities, such as football or ballet or even the gym, we are definitely a cheaper alternative. Our class fees are geared to you and there are lots of options from PAYG to buying monthly.
To get started you don’t need to buy any equipment or special clothes, you can come in tracksuit bottoms and a t-shirt. Once you have done a few classes and you get into your karate training you might want to buy a Gi Karate suit but that’s about it. See our shop page for prices.

Do I have to be a member to try it out?

Yes! In order for you to try karate out you need to be registered as a member. The joining fee covers insurance and registration. Not having this would be like driving a car without tax and insurance. Martial Art Club memberships varies, but the majority have a joining fee of some description. We have different Registrations fees to cover students needs. You might want to just try it out for a short period or you might already know you want to do this long-term, but either way we have a membership that would suit you. Contact us via e-mail or call us to discuss.

Can I train with my kids?

Yes! We fully encourage parents to train with their kids. It’s a great way to spend some time together whilst at the same time learning a new skill. You can practice together at home and make karate a ‘family thing’ as we take kids as young as 5 and adults up to the age of 70!

Is Karate anything to do with Religion?

No! There is no specific religion tied to Karate. Karate promotes good values as do all the main religions and beliefs.

I just want to Keep Fit!

That’s fine! It so happens the techniques and drills that we train in Karate will get you fit. Karate is not a competitive hobby unless you make it so yourself. You can choose to train once or twice a week and be happy with that. You will get fitter and more flexible with time and you don’t have to compare yourself with anyone but yourself. The benefits are great weather you aim for fitness or that Black Belt.

Do I have to learn Japanese?

No, but you might pick some up on the way! We teach our classes mainly in English, but as you progress with your karate training, so will your Japanese knowledge too. Your instructor will say most things during class in both languages, one followed by the other, you probably wont even realise. Many experienced karate-ka are well versed in Japanese but it’s a process that happens naturally as you are training. You won’t be expected to speak Japanese for your gradings.

Do I have to go to Gradings?

No, but we would advise that you do. Training for your next colour belt will give you something to aim for. It also gives you a sense of achievement once you have been to a grading and got your next belt around your waist.Our gradings are held once a month and your instructor will not send you to grading if they are not totally confident you are ready for your next grade. You are not expected to ‘show off’ on your own, in front of a panel of judges. You will line up with all the other students and train as if it was a normal class. We do all the basics, kicks, a few combinations and stances and will finish of with kata performance as a group, everyone together!

Will the Instructor be strict, like the stereotypical Japanese Instructor?

No! Our Instructors must however make sure students are following the etiquette and tradition of karate, so at times the Instructor must make a point of this. A karate Instructor wouldn’t be able to run a good class without discipline.The Instructor will always be approachable and aware of peoples mental and physical limits. They were beginners too at one stage and they have been chosen to teach for their ability to connect with people of all ages and for their karate knowledge.

Do I have to do sparring kumite?

No! Sparring is optional! But we will encourage you to learn how to spar as it is a very crucial part of Karate. It completes your training and builds your co-ordination up for more advanced self-defence as you progress in your grades.As a beginner you will first learn the basics of karate and we will slowly introduce sparring in the class under very controlled circumstances. As students progress in grades and ability we will take the sparring further to non-contact free sparring.

Do I have to compete in Tournaments?

No! Tournaments are the sport side of Karate and it is something that is not for everyone. Training for tournaments is different from training for your next grade. It is also a very competitive side of karate that might not suit everyone.Our club attend and take part in Tournaments nation wide and locally, but it is totally optional.

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