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How old do you have to be to start?

All students need to be at least 7 years old before they can start with us, however, Karate does require self-discipline, concentration and a good attitude so for some children it may be appropriate to wait until they are a little more mature.

Do I need to be fit to start Karate?

No! One of the main reasons many people take up Karate is to improve their fitness.

What style of Karate is taught?

Our style of Karate is known as Shukokai (pronounced Shu-Ko-Kai) and was founded in 1946 by Chojiro Tani who studied Shito-Ryu under Kenwa Mabuni, the founder of Shito-Ryu Karate in 1931.

Roughly translated Shukokai means “Way For All” and this reflects how the style has developed although it keeps its purity. The style is very fast using a relatively high stance to aid mobility. The Martial Arts Commission of Great Britain has also stated in its Official Handbook that “Shukokai punches are the strongest to be found in Karate”.

The style stresses controlled contact in competition sparring. However, the real experience of full-power techniques is enabled by the use of impact pad work.

How will I measure my progress?

All students are entitled to take grading examinations, conducted by senior examiners of the Shukokai Karate Association after set periods of training. There is a grading syllabus for each level with coloured belts used to denote the grades, with regular and correct training students can expect to achieve black belt standard within 4 to 5 years.

How do I join?

Come along and have a go! we offer everyone from the age of 7 a free trial lesson, there is no other way to gauge the experience.

Can I watch a class?

YES!!, we encourage potential students to come and watch a class to give them an idea of what’s involved, all we ask is that visitors keep noise to a minimum so not to disturb the class.

Do I need to pre-book my class?

No, everyone is welcome to train at any time at Atherstone Karate, just show up a few minutes before class is due to start.

What will the training involve?

Training is structured into four main sections: Kihon (basic techniques), Kata (set sequences of techniques), Kumite (sparring) and impact pad work.  Each section has a range of complexity to suit the different skill levels or grades of students. Kumite will be introduced to you as basic blocking and counter-attacking, but will ultimately lead you to freestyle fighting, where you will be taught to attack with and defend against unannounced attacks.

Do I need to wear special clothing?

No special clothing is required at the beginning, just wear something comfortable and easy to move around in such as shorts or joggers and a t-shirt or a tracksuit (no skirts or dresses). We train bare feet so no shoes are required. but you will have to remove any jewellery such as necklaces and bracelets, you don’t have to worry about shoes as Karate is performed in bare feet. After a few weeks when you have decided that you want to continue lessons you will need to purchase a Karate suit (called a gi) this can be purchased from the club or you’re more than welcome to purchase one yourself.

What is Karate?

Karate is a form of civilian self-protection originally developed in Okinawa before becoming popular in Japan. The word ‘Karate’ means empty hand or weaponless self-defence. Japanese Karate was made popular by the Okinawan master Funakoshi Gichin who introduced it to the Japanese mainland in 1922. Funakoshi Gichin once wrote:

As a mirror’s polished surface reflects whatever stands before it and a quiet valley carries even small sounds, so must a student of Karate render his mind empty of selfishness and wickedness in an effort to react appropriately toward anything he might encounter.

Should children take Karate Lessons?

75% of students training today are children under the age of 15. This is mainly because Karate training has many benefits for children, especially the development of three important areas of their personalities.

Physical activity at any level, age or ability increases self-esteem, develops social skills, and improves physical and mental health and well-being.

What are the benefits of Martial Arts training

The instructors at Atherstone Karate Club have trained for many years to make sure everything we teach is reality-based. We’ve trained under some of the best martial artists in the UK and are dedicated to staying on the cutting edge of REALISTIC Martial Arts training – for ourselves and for your children! With that said your child may still be in the developmental stage of their life and will focus only on the basics of our Martial Arts curriculum. Basic techniques include correct stances, punching, kicking, blocking and evasion techniques.

Mental Health
There’s plenty of evidence that taking part in physical activity can have a profound and positive impact on mental wellbeing.
Being physically active can improve mood, decrease the chance of depression and anxiety and lead to a better and more balanced lifestyle.
There are various ways that physical activity helps mental health, including, improved mood, reduced stress and increased self-esteem.

Focusing and Listening
At Atherstone Karate Club we know focus plays a key role in the mindset of children who have limited attention spans at this stage in their life. Our classes will build their attention span teaching your child to focus on the task at hand while improving their listening and reaction skills at the same time. As a result, your child will excel in physical activity, improve their ability to stay focused, and become an astute listener in the dojo, at home, and in school.

Teamwork and Positive Social Interaction
Teamwork is necessary for any young child to develop. It is at this stage in their life that they develop an understanding and confidence in their ability to work with others. At Atherstone Karate Club, our activity-based curriculum and teamwork-oriented environment develops character and teach your child that the more we work together in the dojo, at home, and at school the more we get accomplished.

Self-Control and Good Decision Making
Self-control refers to the training that one gives one’s self to accomplish a certain task or to adopt a particular pattern of behaviour, even though one is unfocused or would rather be doing something else. For example, when your child has learned to listen to Mom and Dad, and pay attention in class while listening to the teacher instead of talking to his friend next to him, he has demonstrated the ability to self-control while making the good decision to do so. At Atherstone Karate Club, as both parents and instructors, we work on this skill set every single lesson.

Balance and Posture
For many 6-9-year-olds, one of the skill sets that are often overlooked, but needs constant work and attention is balance and posture, basic skills necessary for almost any activity. Poor posture leads to cramped organs, improper breathing, and a whole host of other unhealthy bodily expressions. Atherstone Karate Club helps to build strong balance, healthy postures and balanced movement through the use of age-appropriate forms and drills – often presented as an engaging game, to help developing students improve these fundamental skills.

Memorization and Retention
We utilise fun and effective memory and retention drills for both Martial Arts and real-world applications. Aside from Martial Arts etiquette, skill-based and technique-driven retention, our memorization requirements include parents’ home and mobile numbers, emergency contact numbers and home address retention. You’ll find in many cases, our students are pre-prepared and learn these life skills prior to being introduced to them at their school. Our classes improve memorization skills essential for well-rounded student development and school academics in the near future.

Self-Discipline and Responsibility
Our instructors are masters at creating a vision for your child that self-discipline is fun and rewarding. We instil this vision through interactive and teamwork oriented games, drills and real-world activities. Our age-specific Martial Arts training techniques are used in correlation with a child’s home responsibilities, their awareness to clean up after themselves and homework assignments accomplished in a timely manner. At Atherstone Karate Club, your child will begin to improve their ability to initiate accountability, follow directions and take pride in doing the right thing.

Physical Fitness and Healthy Living
It is important for children to understand the importance of being healthy and physically fit at an early age. Being physically fit is a necessity for any martial artist but more importantly the sooner we enforce this concept, the healthier your child will be now and the less difficult it will be to stay physically fit as they grow older. At Atherstone Karate Club, we stress the importance of good eating while physical fitness activities are always fun and rewarding.

Coordination and Motor Skills
Children with strong bodies, fine-tuned motor skills and physical coordination developed through Karate classes will have improved general health, sports performance, as well as other physical activities such as dancing or bike riding. Our coordination and motor skills training will develop your child’s cardiovascular system, their muscular strength, and will create a general kind of body awareness that can only be gained from a whole-body method of Martial Arts training. At Atherstone Karate Club, your child will be more coordinated, less susceptible to injuries, and be much more aware of their body and how to use it correctly.

Self-Esteem and Confidence Building
Our classes improve children’s self-esteem through consistent positive verbal reinforcement. When children work to earn their next belt, not only are they learning the basic world-class defence, they are building self-esteem and learning to feel good about themselves.

Stranger Awareness and Personal Safety
At Atherstone Karate Club, we talk with our students about home safety, traffic, fire safety, anti-drug, dangerous substances and strangers in an age-appropriate way. We can’t expect a six-year-old to understand the subtleties of stranger awareness but at this particular age, it is enough to teach them to stay by a parent’s side when out and not to wander off. As your child gets older they will learn the difference between meeting someone new when Mom or Dad is present and being approached by a stranger when they are alone.

Nothing can take the place of the security in knowing that your child can defend themselves should the need ever arise and your own child’s self-confidence in knowing this themselves is immense.

People who continue to practice the Martial Arts for prolonged periods are different from the general populace in these ways: they have a lower level of anxiety; an increased sense of responsibility; they are less likely to be radical; they have an increased level of self-esteem, and they are more socially intelligent.
(Source – Psychology Today, May 1985.)

One of the most important words in Martial Arts is RESPECT. Students are taught to respect their instructors, each other and themselves. Our instructors spend time in class discussing the importance of respecting school teachers and parents. Respect is often missing in many facets of today’s society. This is what separates Atherstone Karate Club from other sports. A child’s social behaviour should be directly linked to his or her progression in the Martial Arts class. It’s not just about winning, our Martial Arts class is about personal growth and becoming a better person.

Discipline, Behavior and School
We have a lot of fun at Atherstone Karate Club but instructors will not tolerate excessive talking or messing around in the class. Improved behaviour in a Martial Arts class often translates into improved behaviour at school. Improved behaviour at school often translates into improved grades. We want to make sure that our students are working on their Martial Arts technique, improving their behaviour at home, as well as improving their grades at school. We teach a very effective form of self-defence and want to make sure that the right children are learning it.

Great Physical Fitness while Battling Childhood Obesity
Did you know that childhood obesity has more than tripled in the past 25 years? The first step to preventing childhood obesity is addressing the problem before it occurs. If you catch obesity early on, there are ways to prevent your child from developing further health risks. If your child is already overweight, it is important to understand the psychological effects obesity has on children that are potentially more damaging than the physical side effects.

Atherstone Karate Club is dedicated to empowering your child with self-confidence while rewarding them with achievement. For children with low self-esteem issues, Martial Arts teach confidence and self-discipline while providing engaging physical activity. The stamina and endurance children develop during Martial Arts training in our class results in natural weight loss and an improvement in overall physical and mental health.

Anti-Bullying Education
Bullying is defined as unwanted, aggressive behaviour that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. children who bully use their power – such as physical strength, access to embarrassing information, or popularity – to control or harm others. Bullying includes actions such as making threats, spreading rumours, attacking someone physically or verbally and purposely excluding someone from a group. Both children who are bullied and who bully others may experience serious, lasting problems.

Our anti-bullying approach is based on the Martial Artists Against Bullying principles of redirection and straightforward assertiveness. Students are taught to manage situations without the use of violence, learning ways to assess threats, redirect verbal assaults and mobilise the audience, which is a critical factor in empowering the bully.

Personal Attention
At Atherstone Karate Club, We know the impact a good instructor can have on a student. Our qualified instructors are experienced, patient, enthusiastic, and teach with a perfect blend of discipline and fun.

Social Skills and Friendship
Making friends is an important part of childhood. At Atherstone Karate Club, we provide a positive atmosphere and family-oriented activities necessary to help young children make new friends while teaching them the concepts of sharing, compassion, and conflict resolution

Smile, Laugh and Having Fun
We learned a long time ago that children learn faster when they are having fun. Keeping children interested in their Martial Arts training requires an element of fun and games. Traditionalists are usually only concerned with the discipline and structure of their training, but incorporating fun involving proper techniques will add to the value of training and keep the children hungry to improve themselves even more.