FAQs

Browse F.A.Q. Topics

About karate

  • Will I get hurt?

    To answer this we need to define “hurt”. Any physical activity can result in pain, ballet dancers will go home covered in bruises and aches, etc. Yes you are likely to occasionally ache or be sore after training, especially when concentrating on one thing in a session or doing something new. Yes you probably will go home with bruised forearms and shins every so often for the first few years. Every precaution possible is taken to ensure that you will not get hurt any more seriously than this, however this is a martial art and especially when you are training with a partner there can be accidents. In nearly 30 years of training the Chief Instructor of Bushido has seen many minor injuries to toes and fingers that have required some medical attention, but never what he would call a serious injury. He bases this on a high standard of instruction and a good level of control over who is accepted into classes. All Bushido classes are run on a zero tolerance basis, any aggression or abuse shown to another member or instructor results in immediate suspension from the association. Suspended members may apply to the Chief Instructor for one second chance, which would then be discussed with the class instructor and any other members that were involved in the incident.

  • Does it include self defence?

    All karate will provide an understanding of body movement and psychology and so will give some self defence benefits. Again, some instructors will focus more on this so you should ask the instructor of your local club if this is one of your reasons for training.  At the Hombu dojo we refer everything back to self defence and its practical use.

  • Can I learn weaponry?

    Yes, but not immediately.  Our syllabus includes use of traditional weapons at the later grades.  You must first show that you can control your own body before we trust you with a weapon.

  • Will I get fit?

    If you put in the effort you will gain additional fitness! If this is one of your reasons for training you should advise the instructor so that they can help you reach your goals.

  • Will I be able to do the splits?

    Maybe, with dedication and the right level of training on flexibility this is fully achievable for many people.

  • Do I need to learn Japanese?

    No. You will pick up some words and names of techniques but the volume will depend upon the club instructor.

  • What is after Black Belt?

    In our Association, we do not give dan grades. When you achieve your black belt the training that follows is more independent. You will know by this stage where your specific interests in Karate lie and can choose a path to pursue those aspects of Martial Arts within or outside of the association. Bushido is not interested in feeding people’s egos and trying to advertise a standard by labelling each other, we show our standard through the way we train and we should all be mature enough to spot who we can learn from in the different areas of the art.

  • What order do the belts go in?

    The belts go in the following order: White (absolute beginner), Orange, Red, Green, Blue, Purple, Brown, Brown & White, Brown & Red and finally Black.

  • How long will it take to get to Black Belt?

    Usual answer is, “How much time and effort are you prepared to put in?”. There is no definitive answer to this, I am very dubious of any clubs who award black belts within 4 years as there is a level of maturity gained only from sustained training over a period of time. We pride ourselves on the standard of our members and will not compromise this just to have more black belts training under us. The grade is only a bi-product of training hard and improvement.

    Grade Timescale

    The above shows a reasonable journey through the belts, in comparison to a standard Shotokan group. It should be remembered that everyone is treated as an individual in our group and some will progress faster than the times shown below, while many take longer. Progression is all that matters, and that does not necessarily mean progression through the set syllabus.

  • Will I be registered as a lethal weapon?

    NO. Urban legends of people being registered as a lethal weapon with the police once they reach a certain grade and rules around announcing that you practice Karate before defending yourself are all incorrect. Should you injure someone then your position within a Martial Arts club is likely to be considered in court but this is as far as it goes. Also, in a self defence situation, if you need to defend yourself then you do not have time to announce anything as you would be too busy trying to defend yourself. If you have time to announce anything then you have time to remove yourself from the situation without violence.

  • Will I have to hit people?

    The answer to this depends upon the instructor and the class you attend. All partner work is conducted under strict supervision by senior members and, while it does make some people uncomfortable, is necessary to provide knowledge of the effectiveness of your techniques within a safe environment.

  • Do I need to be fit?

    You do not need to be fit and will be able to join in with the class activities as they are tailored for everyone. However, if you are severely out of shape or suffer from any conditions that effect your ability to exercise, we may request documentation from your doctor.

About the club

  • What do i need to bring/wear?

    Comfort and safety are our main concern.  You should attend your first class wearing comfortable clothing that does not hinder movement or present any tripping risk.  Well fitting jogging bottoms and a t-shirt are perfect.  We train in bare feet so no footwear is required and you will not be required to take part in any aspects of karate that would require protective equipment.

  • What ages can train?

    Our insurance covers us to teach from the ages 4 – 75, however each club will have their own rules depending upon the target audience of the club. The Hombu Dojo, for example, will accept member from 5 upwards but may request a young child be brought back at the age of 6 or 7 if it is not felt that they are responding well in class.

  • What are the costs?

    We keep costs to a minimum, but they will vary from club to club based upon number of members and venue costs etc.

    Please select your desired dojo for current costs:

    Hombu – St Albans

    Shinka – Hatfield

  • Is there insurance?

    YES. All instructors are appropriately insured and each and every person in the class has Member to Member insurance. Again, due to tight controls we have never known a member need to call upon this insurance.

  • Do I need a suit?

    No, a karate suit (known as a Gi, or more correctly a Dogi) is the most appropriate and comfortable attire but it is not essential. Most people will wear one from their first grading onwards, variations on dress code will depend upon the Instructor and event.

  • Can we fight?

    Sparring is a part of the syllabus and is very important as you reach higher grades. However, if your aim is to find a club just to “fight” then a Bushido club is NOT for you.

Joining and when you start

  • What do i need to bring/wear?

    Comfort and safety are our main concern.  You should attend your first class wearing comfortable clothing that does not hinder movement or present any tripping risk.  Well fitting jogging bottoms and a t-shirt are perfect.  We train in bare feet so no footwear is required and you will not be required to take part in any aspects of karate that would require protective equipment.