What is Karate?

Karate is a system of self-defence originally developed and refined in Okinawa and Japan. The word ‘Karate’ means empty hand or weaponless self-defence. Karate was established by the Okinawan master Funakoshi Gichin who introduced it to Japan.

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.

Self Confidence

Karate helps prepare a child for life. The children in our Karate classes know more is expected from them and with a little encouragement and support from their instructor and parents, they can rise to the occasion.


Children are taught from the outset that Karate is primarily a defensive and not an offensive martial art. They learn to be polite and respect their fellow students, instructor and parents. Soon, they become aware that good manners consist of having consideration for other people.


Children react to the training very well and after a short period they develop self discipline. Some parents notice a marked improvement in their child’s power of concentration.

How old do I need to be to begin learning Karate?

All students need to be at least 5 years old before they can start training in Shukokai Karate, 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.

Should adults take Karate Lessons?

Over the last few years we have all watched with dismay the crime figures of assaults and muggings, given this, it is easy to understand why there is a reasonable case of learning self-defence.

Physical health

Many movements in Karate have a great benefit on the lungs, kidneys and circulation which, when performed with coordinated breathing will develop the flow of Ki (Known as Chi in Chinese) throughout the body. The hard physical training required to reach a high level of skill in Karate promotes overall good health, fitness and well-being.


The concentration, commitment and dedication required to reach a high level of skill in Karate can help build a strong, confident and determined character.

What will training involve?

Training is structured into three main sections: Kihon (basic techniques), Kata (set sequences of techniques) and Kumite (sparring). 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.

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?

Shukokai Karate offers something for everyone, young or old. Regular weekly classes enable you to progress to suit your needs. Feel free to come and have a go, 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.