Frequently Asked Questions

1What if I have never tried martial arts before?
The Kyudokan has clases 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 karate-ka, 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, we find that it's easier for beginners to understand what classes are all about if they can see other more experienced students training alongside them. Also, our students are all very friendly & helpful (everybody says so after their 1st class), so there's no need to be nervous. It is nice to be around other beginners as well, so we are happy to suggest sessions with other new starters in them. Alternatively why not bring a friend for moral support!
4What do the classes cost?
The first class is free, after that there is a monthly fee of £45 which entitles you to train at our scheduled classes as often as you like, and also includes any future grading fees as well as insurance. Family discounts and memberships are also available. This is paid by debit or credit card.
5Is there a discount for families?
Yes, if there two or more members of the same family, we have various discounts for different family sizes. See our training fees page.
6Is there an annual fee?
We do not charge an annual fee or a joining fee, EVERYTHING is included in the monthly cost.
7How often do I need to attend classes as a beginner?
Beginners are expected to attend at least one class per week. Regular training is the key to progression, so getting into a routine as soon as possible will help.
8I'm totally uncoordinated, will I irritate other students?
Not at all! Everyone has strengths and weaknesses, we will help you whatever your starting point.
9How 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.
10How do I get a karate suit?
You can order the uniform (Gi) from your instructor, or via the 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 additional gi or accessories, we generally have all sizes in stock (up to 190 cm tall).
11How often are gradings held?

The method Kyudokan 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 will be using technology to help communicate progress to students and parents through the app.

The amount of months will now only be used as a guide line for the typical amount of time between grades, at Kyudokan 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 Senseis will then assess that students progress over the next few lessons. A student will not be notified of this assessment.

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 will not be a set 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 no longer be able to have one good session every 3 - 6 months and get through their grades. We believe this will improve the day to day standard of Kyudokan Karate.

12How Long does it take to get my Black belt?

The amount of time it takes to get your Black Belt very depends on you....A Kyudokan Karate membership gives every student access to train many 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 in a little as 4 years although a more typical timeline would be 7+ years.

This usually takes little longer for a Junior student and a black belt with hard study can usually be achieved between 6 and 10 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 excepted 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. If you study ( homework ) an extra hour each day, progression and understanding will be attainable. PRACTICE 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.

13What do gradings cost?
We do 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.
14Can I attend a different class if I miss one?
Of course! Everyone is welcome at any class, 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.
15I’m unsure about joining a class at the beginning. Do you do private lessons?
Yes, no problem. Our Chief Instructor, David Morris Sensei would be happy to guide you along for your first few lessons from the comfort of your home. David’s 40 years experience will make your first steps into the martial arts less daunting and prepare you for the classes.
16Is 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 is about finding one's own path and the scope of that journey is very much entrusted to the individual.
17Do you have Childrens' Classes?
Yes! The Kyudokan Karate Kids side of our club caters for children from 4 to 16 years. We focus on discipline, respect, fitness, confidence and FUN! All based around a traditional yet innovative and progressive karate grading syllabus that rewards effort and personal achievements. To find out more about our children's classes, held at various locations, please call Ben Gibbs on 07818 707077.
18What about insurance?

Once you become a member of the Kyudokan, 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.