frequently asked questions
Below is a list of 'Frequently Asked Questions' relating to Karate and training with us at Chelmsford Karate Club.
If you have a question that is not answered below, please feel free to contact us using any of the contact methods on our Contact Us Section.
What do karate lessons involve?
Kihon - (key-hon) basic techniques, i.e. blocks, punches and kicks.
Kata - (cat-ah) set moves/a routine made up of combinations of Kihon.
Kumite - (koo-me-tay) fighting/sparring.
Karate training involves three main areas:
Our lessons can vary from focusing on one of these three areas from containing elements from all three.
Are there age restrictions?
The minimum age for our club is 4 years old. Through experience we have found that children under this age find it hard to concentrate and may become overwhelmed.
We have specific classes for youngsters (4-10 year olds) called 'The Shotokan Tigers' which are designed to help kids progress into the larger main classes. We also hold Family Classes throughout the week where parents can train alongside their children.
There is no upper age limit for adults, and we even have an Adults Only Class. Remember that it is never too late to start learning something new!
Who will my Instructor be?
This depends on the type of class you attend. All of our classes are taught by our Senior Instructors, and most are taught by our Chief Instructors.
If you attend one of our beginners classes, such as our Shotokan Tiger's Classes or Adults Only Classes, you will be taught by one of our Senior Instructors from the beginning, as well as some of our Young Leaders who help out.
For the first few lessons if you are part of an All-Grades class, such as our Family Classes, you may be taught by one of our High Grades, giving you, in many cases, 1-1 or 1-2 tuition separate from the rest of the class. Once you are able to perform some of the basic techniques you will be invited to join the main class.
How many lessons should I attend per week?
The KUGB recommends that students should train at least twice a week in order to grade.
How soon can I grade?
For your first grading you will need a minimum of 20 sessions over at least a two-month period.
After that, you will need at least 24 sessions between each grading.
Gradings are held 3-4 times a year and are taken by either the KUGB's Chief Instructor, Sensei Andy Sherry, 9th Dan, or by Sensei Frank Brennan, 8th Dan. These gradings take place after their Masterclasses.
What should I wear to train in?
For your first few lessons you should wear loose-fitting clothes, such as a tracksuit/t-shirt.
After a few weeks you should purchase a Karate suit (called a Gi) which can be ordered, at a discount, through the club. The Instructor will be able to recommend the best suit and size for you.
If you have trained at another club or in another style of Martial Art, we will allow you to wear your Gi from that style as long as it is a white Gi.
I want to learn karate, but I have a disability. Will this stop me from doing karate?
Absolutely not! We teach students with a variety of medical conditions and disabilities.
However, if you are nervous to jump straight into the main classes, you can take part in specially-designed Private Lessons which can be adapted to your specific needs.
I am very interested in learning Karate as a means of self defence. Will these lessons help?
Most of the techniques we teach will help you with self defence.
We also run specific Personal Safety and Self Defence Courses which you can take part in.
I am nervous about fighting.
You will not be expected to spar as a beginner unless in a controlled fashion with a High-Grade helping you.
Once you understand some of the basic blocks and punches you will be taught some very basic sparring skills.
This skill is taught slowly throughout the grades in a controlled manner. With each new belt you earn you will learn more about fighting, slowly building up your skill to a point where you should feel less anxious about it.
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We're always looking to update this page, so if you have any questions you'd like to see answered here we'd love to hear from you!