Entering the Dojo
Shotokan Karate is very traditional and is based upon many years of history and tradition, which is maintained above all.
Etiquette and respect is paramount. All students must bow from the waist upon entering and leaving the dojo. The bow (rei) should be in the direction of Sensei.
All commands at the club are in Japanese; please don't worry, as you will learn these over a period of time. You are not expected to know anything to begin, even if you have trained elsewhere. You will be allocated an Instructor who will be your guide for the first few weeks. In this short time you will learn most of the Japanese terms used.
The class will then line up to start the lesson facing Sensei. Beginners will be at one end and the most senior Black Belts at the other. The formal kneeling ceremony will then commence followed by the lesson.
How fit do I need to be?
You are not required to have any level of fitness to start training as long as you are in good health. Many people believe you have to be fit or flexible to do Karate, this is not so. The training is designed to improve these qualities over the years. Is all we ask is that you give 100% effort when training and enjoy the class.
Karate students will improve their health, self-awareness, self-confidence and self-esteem as they progress. Parents and teachers continually report on the improvement in the behaviour of children who train regularly at Kenshinkai clubs. This is because of our disciplined training structure and the emphasis placed on good etiquette.
Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to speak to the Dojo Secretary or the Instructors.
What is involved in Karate training?
Training is structured into three main sections - Kihon (fundamental basic techniques) consisting of blocks, strikes, punches and kicks. Kata, (formal exercises), involving the fighting of multiple opponents at the same time, and Kumite (sparring). Each section has a range of complexity to suit the different levels or grades of students. Kumite will be introduced as basic blocking and counter-attacking, but will progress at a later stage to free sparring which develops the timing, reflexes and co-ordination necessary for self defence and competition. Close supervision of children is strict when doing all forms of fighting.
First time attending the club for training
The hardest thing about attending a Karate class is walking into the dojo (hall). If you have already done that, then congratulations, if you are unsure or nervous about entering on your own don't worry, ask the dojo secretary to guide you in. It's quite natural to feel nervous.
Your journey begins here.
How often should I train?
This is totally dependant on what you wish to gain from Karate, obviously the more you practice the faster you learn. As a general rule, training twice a week will keep you in pace with the rest of the class. Less than this and you need to be questioning yourself whether you are serious enough to learn a Martial Art. More than twice and the growth will be accelerated.
More questions? We've listed all the frequently
asked questions and their answers here.