Frequently Asked Questions

Who is Karate for?

Everyone! We teach children and adults together, and we encourage parents to train with their children.

How do Belts & Gradings Work?

As with many martial arts, a belt system is used in KUGB Shotokan Karate to show the progress and proficiency of students.  Belts are earned through their proven dedication to training in combination with an examination (grading).  Students progress from Novice through the coloured Kyu grades (9th to 1st Kyu) to Black Belt (1st Dan).  Learning Karate is unlimited and 1st Dan Black Belt is only the first in a series of Black Belt grades.  Gradings under the KUGB take place under a senior KUGB instructor every 3 months (or more depending on grade).

KUGB students (karateka) will be eligible to grade providing they have fulfilled all technical requirements, hold a current KUGB licence and record book and have appropriate permission.

What should I wear?

When you first begin Karate, you should wear loose-fitting clothes e.g. T-shirt and jogging trousers. We train in bare feet. Once you’ve decided Karate is for you, you can purchase a Karate suit (Gi)

Are there any age restrictions?

The minimum age we can teach is 4 years old, but 6 and above is better as we find younger children find it difficult to concentrate for the entire lesson. There is no upper age limit.

How often can I grade?

For your first grading you will need to have attended a minimum of 16 training sessions over a minimum two-month period. After that, gradings take place every three months (or more depending on grade) providing you have attended classes regularly (i.e. minimum of 24 classes in each 3 month period).

What is Karate training like?

Karate training involves:

  • Warm up
  • Kihon – basic techniques, i.e. blocks, punches and kicks
  • Kata – set forms
  • Kumite – sparring / fighting
  • Applied Karate / self defence.

How long does it take to become a Black Belt?

If a student trains twice a week, it normally takes around 3-4 years depending on the aptitude of the individual. We focus on quality learning and high standards such that when you reach black belt level you can feel proud of your skill and achievement rather than fast-tracking students to a meaningless black belt.

Is Karate a contact sport?

KUGB Shotokan Karate is a semi-contact sport, which means students are trained to stop their attacks at the point of contact with the opponent, hitting without excessive force or injury. This requires far more skill, control and precision than just beating the other person to a pulp! At beginner level, contact is very light. As grade, skill and confidence grows moves become more dynamic.

Does learning Karate make you aggressive?

No – the opposite! Karate teaches confidence, respect and self-control. Students are more assertive and able to prevent fights before they happen as potential bullies or attackers will feel students are not easy targets. Learning Karate is wonderful for stress-relief and any latent aggression is channelled and released in a positive and controlled manner. Students understand fully that their skills are to be used for self-defence.

I have had a long break in training. Do I need to re-take my grade?

No. You are welcome to come back to training wearing the belt you have earned. Your instructor will help you return to the standard of knowledge and fitness and build on it in a safe manner.

Does my Karate licence give me insurance cover?

The licence provides member to member, public liability and professional liability cover. A copy of the insurance synopsis is held by the club.