Q. Do I need to be very fit to start Karate?
A. No. Fitness will help, but is not really necessary at the start. At the beginning we focus on learning the basics body mechanics and body structures, which you can’t do by rushing. As you become more competent you will move faster, you will move from practicing single techniques to multiple techniques and your fitness will naturally improve.
Q. Will I have to fight anybody?
A. Not at first, that would be pointless. There is no point trying to fight with Karate when you don’t properly know any Karate techniques! We do have partner work, but at first it is pre-arranged so that you learn how to apply the basic movements. The intensity of this builds up as you become more competent, but it’s relatively slow to start with so that we learn thoroughly. Not until after the first grading do you actually do any free-sparring; but even then it’s light contact and controlled. And we don’t do it all the time.
Q. I’m not very flexible, will I be expected to do high kicks?
A. Why would you want to? High kicks are good for physical development and fitness (especially for youngsters). But for real world self defence, low kicks are much more effective.
Q. Am I likely to get hurt?
A. With any physical activity there is always some element of risk. But we are very safety conscious and look to build you up bit by bit. Karate has a “building block” approach to training. So you learn the most basic skills first, then when you’re ready we gradually add a bit more and so on.
Q. What should I wear to start with?
A. To start with, just loose fitting clothes. We normally train barefoot, but if you have any foot injuries or conditions then trainers are allowed. We don’t ask you to get a uniform straight away, wait to make sure it’s really what you want to do.
Q. Do I have to buy my uniform from you?
A. No! Some places do insist that you buy their kit with their logo, but that is usually very expensive. You can get your uniform (gi) from local sports shop (like Norton Sport & Camping in MSN High Street) or on online (ebay.co.uk or BlitzSport.com).
Q. What is the age range?
A. 13 upwards. We don’t have an upper age limit, but there may be some insurance issues over 70 which we look at on a case by case basis.
Q. Will I have to take gradings?
A. No! We don’t force anybody who doesn’t want to, though we would encourage you to have a go. Nobody is put in for a grading if we don’t think that you’re ready.