What's involved?

What is karate? In Japan over many centuries, fighting without weapons was a skill handed down from generation to generation, father to child, teacher to student. More recently we have seen the art of Karate - "The Way of the Empty Hand" - develop into a renowned and skillful martial art.

Shukokai Karate is "The Way for All" and was developed in modern times by the late Master Kimura. It is one of the most powerful forms of karate in which students learn to utilise the mechanics of the body to their best effect.

What does karate offer? Karate is a skillful martial art but at the same time it is intended to be enjoyed by the students and get them fit. Students will learn self control and how to share, work and have trust in others.

What does a class involve? Beginners will be introduced to the basics of karate including stances, punching, kicking and blocking. There will be general fitness training, self defence and pad work which will lead on to sparring itself. Students also learn different forms or sequences of moves known as kata and their application to real life situations. In addition students will learn about the etiquette of karate including politeness and respect. All students are taught that "The ultimate aim of the martial arts lies not in victory or defeat but in the perfection of the character of its participants".

Advanced Kata and sparring techniques are taught at a very high standard by national and international champions.

Classes (all mixed) for students of any age from 6 years to Adults.

Gradings are where students progress from one coloured belt to another (yellow, orange, green, blue, purple, brown 3rd Kyu, 2nd Kyu, 1st Kyu, black 1st Dan and beyond). Gradings will take place approximately every 3 months during the lower belts depending upon a students progress, attitude, application and attendance.

Who is the Instructor? Shaw Kimura Shukokai Karate Club, is run by Sensei (Instructor) Keith Cockburn 6th Dan who has trained with the late Master Kimura for over 25 years and now continues under Shihan Daniels one of the four joint world chief instructors. Sensei Keith Cockburn has represented England in World and European Championships held around the world and often attends the world chief instructors courses.

What is the cost? There are no club membership fees and the first lesson is free for every new student. The club works on a pay as you go basis. Up to date details of fees can be obtained from Sensei Keith.

An annual licence with the Shukokai Karate Federation to whom the club is affiliated must be obtained which covers you for insurance. Licenses are compulsory, the governing bodies state that "Any persons practicing any form of martial art within the UK must have appropriate insurance cover to train". Your license will be registered with the Shukokai Karate Federation and the English Karate Federation.

Do I need special kit to start with? No. To start with you can train in tracksuit bottoms and a loose T-shirt and when you know you are committed after about two weeks you can purchase a Gi (Karate uniform) available for purchase through the club.