The following Questions and Answers are intended to help those interested in taking up
Karate to choose a club and to know what to expect in terms of good practice.
This information provided is accurate to the best of our knowledge. Any further questions or
comments can be emailed to
and we will do our best to provide
answers and assistance and may help us to keep our questions and answers updated.
Q. What are the benefits of Karate?
Karate is a Martial Art and a very effective method of self-defence. However, it also
promotes good health, self discipline, self confidence, fitness and fun.
Q. What is the earliest age to start training?
At present, there is a minimum age of 5yrs. This is the minimum age that Insurance
companies will provide appropriate cover.
Q. What is the latest age to start training?
There is no maximum age
Q. How can I find the most appropriate club for me?
Karate clubs are located in Sports Centers. NIKA is affiliated to an WKC World Karate
Q. How often is training recommended?
This can vary but the accepted minimum frequency is twice per week, as this maintains
fitness and skill. This is also the usual minimum frequency of training to be allowed to take
part in grading examinations. Once you progress onto higher grads and international level its
expected you train ¾ times a week.
Q. How do I know that the club is suitable?
NIKA is always developing and learning through travelling all over the world and also
completing many courses.. This will help provide assurance of minimum standards of quality
and safety of instruction for new members. In the meantime, it is important that a club offers
appropriate insurance to all of its members; the instructors hold an instructor qualification
and are CRB checked and verified.
Q. How much does it cost to train?
The cost can vary greatly £4.50 per session. You should not be afraid to ask for the costs
beforehand and for details of what might be included in club or association membership fees
and the costs and frequency of gradings;. A gi or Karate uniform can be purchased relatively
cheaply – the club will be able to supply or advise on suppliers. Beginners will usually be
allowed to train initially in a track suit or other loose-fitting clothes.
Q. What is the difference between Karate, Taekwondo, Kung Fu, Jiu Jitsu etc?
All of the above are arts or disciplines which are generally known as Martial Arts. These
are formalised systems of fighting which were developed mostly in Asian countries. Karate,
for example, is an art which is based on a system of blocking and striking and is practiced in
a ‘Gi’ (a Japanese style uniform’ and in a ‘Dojo’ (a Japanese style hall). Taekwondo
practitioners also use blocking and striking but use Korean uniforms and terms as a reflection
of its origins.
Jiu Jitsu by contrast is a discipline which uses throws and locks, but again
has it’s roots in Japan. Kung Fu is a collective term for Chinese Martial Arts – Bruce Lee
practiced Wing Chun, his own devised striking art.
Q. What are the different styles of Karate?
Within Karate, there have developed ways of performing blocks and strikes and these
have become known as Karate ‘Styles’. The principles however are the same, ie, to learn to
avoid or defend against an attack. The oldest traditional styles are Goju Ryu, Shotokan,
Shitoryu and Wadoryu, though there are now many more styles or derivatives. The vast
majority of clubs will offer one style of Karate and a new member will therefore become
familiar with training in the style of the club in which they first train.
Q. How is progress measured?
Karate is structured in similar ways to an academic process, where there are various
steps or qualifications, for example GCSEs and A Levels, to be gained en-route to a degree.
In the case of Karate, the steps are called Kyu grades and these must be passed in order to
achieve the first Dan or degree of black belt. The number of kyu grades varies between
associations, but in general there are less than ten, with the highest number being the lowest
grade and 1st Kyu the final step. Beginners will wear a white belt whilst Kyu grades are
designated by different colored belts, for example orange, green,blue, purple for early Kyu
grades and brown for the later ones.
Q. Are there Karate competitions?
There are opportunities for males and females of all ages and grades to compete at club,
regional, national and international level. Karate is recognised as a Sport by the International
Olympic Committee and efforts are being made to have Karate included in future Olympic
Q. Where will Karate qualifications be recognised?
Awarded grades should be recorded by the practitioner’s club and Association and
Karate and recognized through all Wado Ryu Clubs in the World. . Karate has also been
recognised for many years as a subject for GCSE and A/AS level in Physical Education.