Frequently Asked Questions

I'm new what do i wear?


We train in traditional karate suits, called a 'gi', which can be purchased if you decide to join. For your first lessons simply wear loose fitting, comfortable clothing. Karate does involve kicking and punching, so freedom of movement is necessary.

Why Practice Karate?


Karate is great for improving your reaction time and hand/speed co-ordination. Training builds stamina, flexibility and strength. Students (karate-kas) develop higher levels of concentration, self-confidence and awareness. Progress in the art demands concentration, the remembering of complex sequences of actions and the practice improves decision-making and shortens reaction times. Karate emphasises the importance of meditation and controls breathing as a way of reducing stress and anxiety. In short, karate is good for your physical, mental and emotional health!

How do children benefit?

At Heiwa Shotokan Karate Club we teach Shotokan Karate-do that is very well suited to children as well as adults. Children can quickly and easily master the basic techniques which in turn increases their motivation to continue and improve. There are numerous benefits for children who study martial arts and the structured learning programme instills self-discipline, self-esteem and a level of commitment which can be beneficial in everyday life. Children are taught from the outset that Karate is a defensive not offensive martial art and to only use their skills in self-defence.

How do I  become a member?


Membership of Heiwa Shotokan Karate Club is open to those aged 4 years and upwards. You will need to fill out a membership form and abide by our code of conduct. All students must hold a valid licence and insurance to be able to train. 

How often should  I train?

At least twice week if possible. The more you train the faster you wil learn.

What do the different colour belts mean?


Students start at white belt and eventually achieve blackbelt

10th kyu - white     9th kyu - red              

8th Kyu - orange    7th kyu - yellow

6th kyu - green        5th kyu - blue    

4th kyu - purple      3rd kyu - brown      

2nd kyu - brown + 1 stripe   1st kyu - brown + 2 stripes

How long does each belt take?


The waiting time between grades is a minimum of 3 months for Kyu grades up to 3rd Kyu, 6 months for 2nd/1st Kyu and 1 year for 1st Dan (Shodan)

What to expect?


Our classes are structured and start with a basic warm up. We then cover the three “k’s” of karate – Kihon (basic techniques and combinations), Kumite (sparring – from basic and controlled 5-step or “gohon kumite” working up to free sparring or “jiyu kumite” for more advanced students, and Kata (a range of choreographed, sequential moves designed around imaginary opponents). The content is varied and often incorporates cross training from other styles.