Frequently Asked Questions:

What if I have never done a martial art before?

Neither have most people who join! Everybody is beginner at one time or another. UBKC is a great place to start, with friendly coaches and experienced members, we are here to help you. Each year we have many members join who have never done a martial art before, and soon have them grading and competing, often to a very high standard. In fact, it's our beginners who bring in a large number of medals each year.

I have done another martial art (but stopped years ago)

Great! Even if you have done a completely different style and stopped when you were 10 you will have a head start. You will be surprised how quickly you will pick it back up. The club has many high grades who have come from different styles and clubs, often having not trained in a while who quickly get back into it. Plus, with coaches from varying styles, chances are there's somebody who also does your style. Just bring along your old belt and certificate and start training (if you don't have them don't worry).

How do I get to the Dojo?

The Dojo is found in the Sports Training Village (STV) on campus. More precise details can be found on our taster session page.

Will I get hurt?

While Karate is a contact sport it is by no means full contact. At normal training, particularly at the start, you will not be hitting each other at all. If you decide to do competitions you will be given pads and will actually be penalised if you hurt the opponent, the skill is stopping your punch or kick just as you touch. That said, accidents and injuries do happen but they are more often at high level competitions. Also karate is not all about kumite (fighting/sparring). From self defence to kata (forms) there's something for everybody.

How much does it cost?

At the start, nothing. Just come along. If you decide that karate is for you just sign up on this site by buying the one-off club membership fee. You will also need to get insurance (licence) in order to train, fight and compete, and a Gi (the white clothing), these are less than £20 each and don't need to be bought immediately. Beyond that, all other equipment, such as chest guards and your own kumite mitts and pads are optional and for the most part can be provided by the club when required for training.

What do I need for my first session?

At the beginning come wearing comfortable tracksuit bottoms and a t-shirt. If you have done another martial art before you can wear your old clothing and belts if you still have them. We recommend you bring a water bottle too, though there are always water fountains available nearby. You will have to take your shoes and all jewelry off before the session starts, and bring along your friends!

When can I come along?

See our Training Times page for more details. You can come along to any of the taster sessions during freshers week but if you miss these and still want to come along don't worry - just email one of the club and let us know and we will be happy for you to try it out!

Which martial art is better?

All martial arts have their own strengths and weaknesses. Our members prefer karate because of the variety of skills taught. Judo focuses of throws, jitsu on self defence, and tae-kwon-do on kicking. Karate incorporates a variety of kicks, punches, throws and self defence. If you are unsure which one is right for you, we'd recommend going to lots of taster sessions and seeing which club you enjoy most!

What if I don't like competing?

Simple, you don't have to do them! Although competition is part of karate it's still a relatively small part. If what you're looking for is personal development, the ability to defend yourself, improved fitness and flexibilty or just to make friends karate has so much to offer besides competing. We recommend you try them though, many people are nervous beforehand but they are fun and a great confidence booster!

What style do you teach?

Our club mainly teaches Shotokan. However, we have members who are black belts in a number of different styles. If you came from a different style, chances are it will be very similar to one someone else here has done. We can therefore offer gradings in multiple styles depending on your previous style, making it easy to continue from whatever stage you're at. You're also free to grade with your old clubs if you wish.

How quickly can I get a black belt?

It all depends in your commitment. If you train three times a week and find a good club to train at during the holidays it is possible to get black belt in about 4 years. But getting a black belt isn't everything, we often find most of our medals are won by members below black belt!

What is karate training like?

At the first few sessions it will be an introduction to the sport with demonstrations and a variety of basics (kihon), sparring (kumite), forms (kata), bag work, and self defence. There will also be of stretching and fitness to keep you in top shape. We recommend attending at least two sessions per week.

I'm not fit/energetic enough to do karate

You don't need to be fit to begin with, we will start slow! We start the class with a good warm up and stretch so you will be ready for the training that follows. Karate will provide you with the skills necessary such as improved flexibility, balance and muscle strength.

Any other questions?

Feel free to email the committee as we are more than happy to help!