Frequently Asked Questions

1What if I have never tried martial arts before?
Kyudokan Karate classes are for every ability, so whether you are just curious to know a bit more about the benefits of karate, or whether you are an experienced karateka, you will be very welcome at our school.
2What should I wear for my first class?
Any loose clothing, e.g. Track suit & T-shirt is ideal.  We train barefoot so there's no need for any special footwear.
3Are there any 'beginners' classes?

Not really, all of our classes are family classes of mixed ability. We always make sure that we have enough Sensei's (instructors) at every session so that during the class we are able to split students into smaller groups of 6 - 10 by ability and / or age. Beginners then get to see other more experienced students training alongside them. Kyudokan Karate students are all very friendly & helpful (everybody says so after their 1st class), so there's no need to be nervous. Alternatively why not bring a friend or another member of your family to try with you for moral support!

For children aged 4-5 years old we have our Kyudokids class, where the very youngest of our students can train together in a safe and fun class, with focus on the basics and an introduction to the Kyudokan.

4What do the classes cost?

For our full membership, the first class is free, after that there is a monthly fee of £49 which entitles you to train at our scheduled classes (a maximum of 1 class a day per venue) and also includes any future grading fees as well as insurance. Family discounted memberships are also available. This is paid by debit or credit card.

For our Kyudokids membership, the first class is free, after that there is a monthly fee of £30 which entitles you to train at one our locations once a week. It also includes any future grading fees as well as insurance. This is paid by debit or credit card.

5Is there a discount for families?
Yes, for two or more members of the same family you will all get a discount. See our training fees page.
6Is there an annual fee?
No! We do not charge an annual fee or a joining fee, EVERYTHING is included in the monthly cost.
7Can I pause my membership
Yes! if you are going to be away for 5 weeks or more you can pause your membership and payments. Please fill in this form: Pause Membership.
8How do I cancel my membership?
Cancellation of membership is subject to only 1 months notice. Any monthly payments due in the notice period will be collected as usual. Please fill in this form: Cancel Membership.
9How often do I need to attend classes as a beginner?
That is up to you! Regular training is the key to progression, so getting into a routine as soon as possible will help.
10I'm totally uncoordinated, will I irritate other students?
Not at all! Everyone has strengths and weaknesses, we will help you whatever your starting point.
11How fit do I need to be to take up karate?
There are no pre-requisites in terms of fitness or flexibility. Whatever your level now we'll help you to improve on it.
12How do I get a karate suit?
You can order the uniform (Gi) from our online shop. When you join the club you will be given a lightweight gi completely FREE of charge, as well as a set of hand mitts and shin guards and a gum shield. Should you require an additional gi or accessories, we generally have all sizes in stock (up to 200 cm tall).
13How often are gradings held?

The method Kyudokan Karate use to award grades is actually the most traditional way and one that the majority of Karate clubs in England now no longer use. Although traditional, Kyudokan Karate will be using technology to help communicate progress to students and parents through the app.

The amount of months since your last grade is only be used as a guide line, at Kyudokan Karate we believe it is the amount of hours that a student trains and how the student has improved in that time, not just the duration since the last grade.

Each week / month when a student has completed the guideline amount of hours training since their last grade or has shown outstanding performance, Kyudokan Karate Sensei's will then assess that students progress over several lessons. The higher the grade the longer the assessment. A student will not be notified they are being assessed.

When a student is eligible and continues to perform in lessons to the standard for their next grade, they will be shortly be awarded their grade in a lesson. There will not be a formal grading day where we have found that some students can become very nervous and their performance on that day doesn’t reflect their usual standard. Similarly students that only perform well on the day but do not consistently work hard in the lessons will not be able to have one good session every so often and get through their grades.

For our Kyudokids students, there is only one grade to attain under this membership - 10th kyu. - this is to prepare the child for 'graduating' to our standard classes and covers the basics of punching, blocking and kicking as well as some of the stances required. Grading is awarded in the same way as above, via ongoing assessment and correction.

14How Long does it take to get my Black belt?

The amount of time it takes to get your Black Belt very much depends on the student....A Kyudokan Karate membership gives every student access to train 5 times a week, if a student then also studies in their own time out side the dojo it is possible that you could complete the journey to your 1st Dan Black Belt quicker than the typical timeline of 7 - 12 years.

This usually takes little longer for a Junior student. The typical timeline for a Junior Student to achieve a black belt with hard study is between 9 and 12 years.

While the black belt grade is a sense of personal achievement it must be remembered that it is just another milestone moving forward. It is generally accepted that it is the number of years a student has been studying. It is better to consider the hours of study. It is similar to being a student at school, If you study (homework) an extra hour each day, progression and understanding will be attainable. PRACTISE MAKES PERFECT

Karate is not an easy journey just like the path of life it has many highs and lows. It is about the study of nature and perfection of character and diligent study to name but a few.

15What do gradings cost?
Kyudokan Karate does not charge for gradings, they are all part of the monthly fee. Students are assessed throughout their journey with us and are awarded their grades purely on merit, not on a financial basis. The only additional cost that students may wish to consider would be for when they achieve their 1st Dan, whereby we offer a personalised silk belt.
16Can I attend a different class if I miss one?
Of course! Everyone is welcome at any class, (maximum 1 class per day per venue). if you miss a class for some reason the best thing to do is  get along to another one. We have students who work shifts, or travel a lot with work, all of whom find out flexible approach ideal.
17I’m unsure about joining a class at the beginning. Do you do private lessons?
Yes, no problem. Just use our contact form to request this and we can discuss prices and how this works.
18Is this a 'real' martial art?
Kyudokan Goju Ryu Karate Do is a Bubishi lineage school and can be traced directly back to Goju Ryu's founding masters, where throughout history, its efficacy has been proven 'in the field' so to speak. We do not practice 'sport' karate, we study a diverse and complete martial arts system that benefits the dedicated karateka in self-confidence, spirit, practical self-defence and overall mental and physical wellbeing. We will provide the tools, how the individual karateka chooses to interpret them and utilise them is entirely down to their level of study and commitment. Kyudokan Karate is about finding one's own path and the scope of that journey is very much entrusted to the individual.
19Do you have Childrens' Classes?

All standard Kyudokan Karate classes are Family classes and have Kids from age 6 to adults up to 76. For the kids we focus on discipline, respect, fitness, confidence and FUN! All based around a traditional yet innovative and progressive karate syllabus that rewards effort and personal achievements.

For younger children we have our Kyudokids membership, where, from age 4-5, they can train in the basics of Kyudokan karate in a child only environment.

20What about insurance?

Once you become a member of Kyudokan Karate , your monthly membership fee automatically enrols you into our group public liability insurance scheme. In addition all our instructors are fully insured to teach martial arts and have current Enhanced DBS check certifications.