Dojo Etiquette

Gradings

The first grading for red belt (10th kyu) will take place after 12 weeks. Thereafter, adults can take a full grading every 3 months, while children take an intermediate (half) grading every 2 months. The order of grading is 10th kyu to 1st kyu and the coloured belts representing these grades are red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple, purple/white, brown, brown/white and brown/double white. Black belt grades follow, starting from 1st Dan, 2nd Dan, 3rd Dan, etc, until 10th Dan. Adults training twice a week should be able to get to 1st Dan (level) black belt within 4 years.

What You Learn

Karate teaches you to protect yourself and your friends and is an excellent way of keeping fit, strong and healthy. You will also be able to develop your self-confidence within a safe environment. However, Karate is a martial art and so self-discipline is also very important.

Students learn basic techniques (Kihon), controlled non-contact sparring (Kumite) and formal exercises (Kata). These all become progressively more complex the higher the grade that the student attains. During gradings, students will have to demonstrate that they have achieved a level of ability and spirit to justify the next higher grade. To achieve these higher standards, an adult must be training twice a week beyond 9th kyu (orange belt) - once in Kata and once in Kihon/Kumite. Children must be training once a week.

Your Instructors

Your instructor is Hanshi Mick Randall MBE, 9th dan, the highest graded non Japanese Shotokan Karate instructor in Western Europe. He has been practising Karate since 1964 when the Japanese first came to stay in England. The other instructors are all fully qualified black belts who have years of experience in both Karate and self-defence.

EKF Licenses

All students of any martial art practised in the UK need a licence from the English Karate Federation (EKF). This is renewed annually in January. It provides:

Registration as a martial arts student
Insurance cover
Grading record form

All students must acquire a licence once they have graded to 10th kyu (red belt). The cost is £20 for adults and £15 for children.

Children

It is the parent/guardian's responsibility to ensure that children are safely dropped off and picked up on time.

Children should not train if:

They have a cold, cough, flu or a fever
They have vomited within the past 48 hours
They have an infectious disease (e.g. chicken pox)
They are weak from an illness

Dojo Etiquette

Etiquette and standards of behaviour are very important in Karate. The Dojo is the Japanese name for the place of training. Correct Dojo etiquette must be observed at all times:

Bowing upon entering and leaving the Dojo
Bowing to your instructor and more senior grades
No talking inside the Dojo, unless absolutely necessary
No talking once the lesson has begun
No jewellery or other personal adornments may be worn
Students must have clean and short finger and toe nails
Students must ensure that their gi is clean, tidy, and respectable
Students must try to arrive 20 minutes prior to the lesson start
Students that arrive late will not be allowed to train
No food, drink or smoking in the Dojo
Decorum should be observed at all times

Students have a responsibility to behave in a manner which maintains and enhances the reputation of the dojo, and to refrain from any form of behaviour that may reflect badly on their fellow students or instructors.