Getting Started

“The hardest part of getting started at one of our classes is walking through the door of training hall for the first time! ”

It’s only natural to be a little nervous about entering a new environment and meeting new people for the first time but the thing you will notice straight off about our classes is how friendly the instructors and other students are.

Becoming and staying involved in a karate class is about enjoying the whole experience and its hard to enjoy the experience if you feel uncomfortable throughout your first time with us.

Our aim is to ensure you feel relaxed and part of our martial art family as rapidly as possible.

We often get feedback from new students that their initial contact with our senior and assistant instructors was much easy than they had expected.

Why don’t you contact us now to arrange a free lesson?

What to expect at your first lesson

Before class, you will usually get to meet the Instructor, who will explain the workings of the class.

We will then provide you with some literature about our organization and karate in general.

We recommend that you wear loose, and comfortable clothing such a track pants and a T-shirt.

No jewellery should be worn and your fingers and toenails should be well manicured. This avoids scratches and injury to yourself and others while training.

When the lesson begins, more often than not you will be paired up with one of the senior members of the class who will have the responsibility of looking out for you during the lesson.

As the class continues, you we will be taken you through a host of warm up exercises, basics techniques consisting: blocks, punches, kicks and perhaps some practical self defence applications of these basic techniques.

At no time are you expected to work beyond your physical ability or current fitness level.

At the conclusion of the lesson the instructor will meet with you and discuss your immediate reaction to the lesson. If you like, you can arrange further lessons, or you can leave your contact details with us to allow yourself time to think about continuing lessons.

Later, we may give you a brief courtesy call to discuss any further interest.

Benefits of Karate Training

Training in the martial arts is essentially a process of change. A weak person will become strong, while a strong person will learn to control and harness their strength. An aggressive individual will learn self-control, while the passive person will develop confidence in themselves and their abilities. Many of the benefits of martial arts training become apparent after only a few sessions and they continue to develop over many years.

Health and Fitness

Martial Arts training will see improvement in your strength, stamina and suppleness. At the beginning of class it is common practice to spend ten to fifteen minutes going through a series of exercises designed to prepare the body for training by warming up the muscles and stretching the joints. These exercises, combined with the effort involved in performing the punches, kicks, locks, throws and other techniques of the martial arts, have the effect of improving the trainee’s level of health and fitness.

Mental Attitude

As well as improving physical wellbeing, martial arts training develops a positive mental approach. University research indicates that those individuals who exercise regularly seem to show higher levels of emotional maturity, calmness and a greater ability to make accurate judgements when under pressure than those who do no training of any kind. As your fitness levels increase, so will your imagination, self-sufficiency and confidence, which manifest itself in a more positive attitude to life. This improvement occurs when you overcome difficult physical and psychological tasks. Remember, success comes from their own efforts and hard work.

Self Discipline

According to the founders and leading teachers, simply practising techniques isn’t enough to achieve mastery. You must strive to improve the moral and spiritual qualities of your life, constantly facing your own weaknesses and inadequacies with a view to self-improvement. This approach is usually known as ‘the way’ (‘do’ in Japanese, ‘tao’ in Chinese).

The most famous example of this way of life is known as Bushido (the way of the warrior) which was the code of honour followed by the Japanese samurai. It stresses responsibility for one’s action’s, respect between seniors and juniors, duty, honesty, obligation and the development of a strong spirit.

Like wise, the European knight had a similar code which stressed the virtues of Gallantry, Observation, Loyalty, Dexterity, Sympathy, Explicitness, Perseverance and Tact.

While these values may seem old-fashioned or excessive by modern standards, it is vital to maintain them, as without them there would be little or no morality to the martial arts, so allowing self-indulgence and brutality free rein.

Self Defence

Martial Arts will not only improve your ability to defend yourself against physical attack, but will also improve your speed, timing, awareness, mobility and striking ability. Sparring prepares you for a fight by exposing you to an opponent, so enabling them to experience the nerves or ‘adrenaline rush’ caused by facing a higher-graded or more skilful person.

It is the responsibility of all the instructors to teach not only technique but also the correct attitudes which are an integral part of the martial arts. It is most important to realize that the martial arts are not about developing well-trained thugs.

Financial Matters

Membership and tuition fees usually vary between between the different locations. This is a reflection of the different overheads each club experiences. Depending on the membership package you choose tuition fees are typically from:

$8.00 per class for an adult

$7.00 per class for children

Fees should be paid promptly

Once you are a member your financial obligations and responsibilities are clearly described in the membership agreement.

However, it should be made clear that it is an embarrassing situation for the instructor having to petition a student to honour outstanding fees .

If financial difficulties are experienced your club instructor should be informed immediately so as to arrange a suitable understanding to help administer the students financial obligations.

Family discounts

When two or more members of a family enroll, a discount is given. Prices given upon application.

Class structure

To ensure the quality of discipline and control there is a restriction regarding the numbers of students permitted in each session. Members may nominate to attend one, two or all sessions per week, however the acceptance of this nomination is subject to the vacancies in each session per week.

Progress and Development

Once you begin training in with the Golden Knights Martial Arts Group you will immediately notice the different levels of expertise of the members of your chosen club. The most obvious difference will be that between your own skills and those of the instructor.

After you’ve been training a while, you’ll relax more and notice what is going on, you will see that your instructor trains also, continually seeking self improvement. In fact, progress and development never stops. On-one can train with the idea that there is a fixed place to arrive at where they can then rest on their laurels., you can start to train properly.

Training should be done regularly and patiently, with no rush, and with the awareness that training itself is the target and not the black belt you may aspire to.

Ranks

Different forms of martial arts use different ranking systems but they all have the same twofold purpose. The first is to give you and other members of the club some idea of your stage of development, and the second is to make it easy for the instructor to divide the class into different ranks for different levels of training.

Ranks are awarded after grading examinations and they are denoted by the colour of the belt you wear. In our system there are eight kyu ranks (below black belt), eighth ‘kyu’ being the lowest and first kyu being the highest.

There are ten ‘dan’ ranks (black belt) starting at 1st-Degree Black Belt (shodan), the lowest, going to tenth-Degree Black Belt (Judan), the highest.

Understanding

During your training you will be asked to do things in a particular way by your instructor. If you ask, you will be given an explanation about the why you have been requested to train in this particular way or practise a technique in a specific manner.

These answers may not make sense to you and you may even feel that your progress is being limited by some aspects of your training. Ignore these feelings and preserve; almost certainly through the training you will start to understand the value and reasoning behind what you are doing.

Even if, in your judgement, this turns out to be the case, be sure that in the martial arts we can learn just as much through disappointment as through success.

Physical and Mental Development

if you are unfit and unused to physical exercise, you will probably end your first martial arts classes with an aching body. However, compensation for this discomfort will be a warm sense of satisfaction.

After a surprisingly short time of training the physical demands of the class will become less of a strain and you will be more able to appreciate and enjoy the fine points of the training. This is a time in your training that is most enjoyable. It coincides with you being both physically fit and still full of excitement about this newfound method of self expression.

Soon after this, however, your progress will noticeably start to slow down. This is a lean time in your training and you may become despondent about your progress. Despite these feeling, as long as you continue to train hard you will, unbeknown to yourself, be developing a deeper understanding than you had before.

Unfortunately some students do not recognize this phase for what it is and drop out. Encourage yourself during this patch and ask the instructors and other students to help you reinforce your determination. They will understand since they will have gone or may be going through similar difficult patches themselves (they recur throughout your training). The rewards for perseverance are worth it.

Mind and Body Development

All that is meant by this terminology at this stage is that you become more mentally aware of your body. You should learn its limits, its requirements and its potential. Without this awareness students over extend in some areas, whilst others tend to take things too easily and do not push themselves enough.

It is difficult to get the correct combination at first; it is only by working at becoming ,ore aware of your body that you can do it. By practising and concentrating on particular skills you can develop an awareness which replaces self conscious deliberation and calculation by instinctive natural responses.

The tennis player naturally performs accurate returns of fast deliveries; the snooker player instinctively ‘knows’ the angle, spin and strength of most shots, and both only use considered calculation for deciding the tactics of the game. Similarly you should develop a natural instinctive set of body responses.

You will then know that when you execute a particular technique or set of moves no time will be wasted thinking about how to achieve them. Your mind and body will act in unison to produce the fastest and best technique you are capable of.

Examinations

Our martial arts organization has specific requirements needed for each particular rank. This is to ensure uniformity between the various clubs in the Golden Knights Martial Arts Group. In the grading, the student is required to perform particular moves, attacks and defenses. Both the difficultly of the moves and the way in which they are executed are judged by the examiners.