Frequently Asked Questions
Q. What is Karate?
Karate is a Japanese self defence martial art with Chinese origins. It is a system that employs the use of the whole body in different ways to defend against an attack and where appropriate engage a counter-attack against your assailant.
Karate uses all parts of the body: hands, feet, fists, elbows, fingers etc to strike a target or block an attack.
Karate is one of the most widely practiced oriental martial arts in the world.
Q. Why study Karate?
There are several benefits to studying karate:
Flexibility & Mobility
Stress Reduction & Relaxation
Socialising – making new friends
Respect and Courtesy
Spiritual well being
Confidence & Assertiveness
Improved self esteem
And it is fun!!
Why spend hours at gym etc repeating the same exercises every session when you can tax your brain and body studying Karate? In short Karate is fitness with a purpose.
Q. I have heard there are lots of different types of Karate?
Within the martial art of Karate there are many different styles. There are half a dozen popular styles plus many others. CFTS Karate Association studies Shotokan Karate which is the most popular - traditional style. The different styles of Karate vary slightly in the execution of moves/stances but the basic idea behind the art is the same. You can learn more about Shotokan Karate in the History & Articles section.
Q. Is Karate for me?
People of all ages study Karate. All our clubs have a nice friendly atmosphere. Why not contact a club nearby or come along and watch. We have beginner sessions starting every few months, so you can begin training with other people of a similar level and learn together.
We also welcome people who have trained in other martial arts, people who have not trained for a long time or people from other styles of Karate. The doors are open to all…
Q. Is Karate dangerous?
No not if you are sensible. All our instructors are qualified by our sports governing body. As part of the program they are police checked, first aid certificated, attend a course on the safe coaching of children and are fully insured. Karate by it's very nature is a very disciplined pastime and as such there are very few accidents or injuries. In fact there are probably more in one football match than in twelve months of training in a karate club!
Q. What are all the coloured belts for?
The colour of the belt denotes how long the wearer has been training and how many grading examinations they have passed. (See our grading syllabus for a list of belts/grades).
Q. Can I enter competitions?
Yes, sport karate is an integral part of karate. We usually host an annual competition day and for those keen that show aptitude and an appetite for it there are always external competitions.
Q. Am I too old or too young?
You are never too old. Some of our students didn't begin until they retired. If a child has turned six and is disciplined enough and can concentrate for an hour they are old enough to try it.
Q. When and where can I study?
Please see our club list for detailed information on locations and training times/days.
Q. What equipment do I need?
If you are a beginner then all you need is tracksuit bottoms and a T shirt! People who have studied a martial art before should wear their old training uniform initially. Once you are hooked you will only need a suit to continue training and that plus any support material may be purchased at a discount through the club.
Q. How much will it cost?
Our one-week introductory beginner's course is FREE! After that, the association charges £5.00 per session. Sessions for beginners usually last 1 hour. More advanced students may be able to train for 2 or more hours for the same price (depending upon club/lesson content).
Q. What is a licence?
All people studying Karate need to be licensed & registered to their association. This is a stipulation by our sports governing body and covers membership and member to member insurance cover.
Have you been convinced that Karate is the martial art for you?
If you have any further questions, or would like to find out about your local club, please get in touch with a club instructor!