This page is designed to help you understand a little more about what to expect if you were to start training at the clubs and what you may wish to get out of the classes. Feel free to contact us with any other questions that you may have, which we have not covered on the website.

BeginnersIt's fair to say that most people when starting a martial art, probably choose a local club and have little idea about the particular style are doing, or the quality of the instruction. Around 40 years ago, there wasn't much more than karate, Aikido, Kendo and Judo that you could study, but now there are dozens of martial arts to choose from, such as Kung Fu, Kickboxing, Taekwondo, Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) etc. Some will be better than others, but how will you know what is good and what is not? Hopefully the following information may help you understand how to best to find a decent and reputable martial arts school.

Finding a good instructor is probably the single most important thing, because as there is no legislation covering the practice of karate and most martial arts, it is possible for anyone to claim a teaching qualification and instruct newcomers. Many people therefore go and buy a Black belt and claim to be reputable, when they may be quite the opposite. Hopefully most will be honest and of a good standard though.

We can only give guidance on what you should be looking for in a well run martial arts club and the main thing is that you ensure you are comfortable with the instructor who is taking the lessons. Here are a few pointers to look for.

  • Anyone teaching children should have a relevant CRB (criminal records bureau) certificate.
  • Any instructor should also have a coaching certificate from their governing body such as Karate England. The Wado Academy has an international instructor's course every year run by Shiomitsu Sensei, to ensure high standards are maintained.
  • You should never sign up to any school that wants you to spend lots of money on suits, licenses and joining fees before you've even started!
  • Be wary of any instructor who claims to have invented a style that is better than anyone else's, or claims that they have studied a few martial arts and simply put the best bits together to make a new, super style after a few years training! Also many people start teaching after a couple of year's basic training. This is wrong; instructors should have substantially more experience than this before teaching others.
  • A good instructor should still be training and trying to improve their own karate, at the end of the day we are all just students. Be wary of any instructor who tells you how good they think they are. Those that continually try and tell people how good they are, usually probably aren't!

The first lesson can be the hardest part for any person who wants to study a martial art. There can be a variety of fear factors which can prevent someone from going along and having a try, but everyone is given the same courtesy and chance to develop as anyone else within our classes. Beginners will always be made to feel welcome and whilst it's nice to turn up with a friend at your first lesson, you should feel equally as comfortable if you come on your own.


It should also be pointed out to those that may worry about fighting, that the sparring is only part of the training, so you will get used to it and be gently introduced at your own pace.

If you've never studied a martial art before, then all you need to wear at your first lesson is a T-shirt and loose jogging bottoms. Footwear is taken off at the door.

Standards of fitness and natural ability will vary from student to student, but you should not worry about not being fit enough to partake in a physically challenging karate class. Students should inform their instructor if they have any health issues, but apart from that, you will be encouraged to develop at a pace which is suitable for you. Finding your own limit and then pushing this a bit further every lesson is the key to progressive training within your own limits. Remember we are all different.

The physical benefits of karate are numerous and include; flexibility, balance, co-ordination, stamina, strength, keeping fit, aerobic workout, self-defence, toning (the whole body), speed, agility and loads more energy.

The mental benefits of studying karate will help enhance your whole life. These include self confidence, respect, humility, self discipline, courage, integrity, inner peace, assertiveness, self control, motivation and focus.

All of these physical and mental skills will help young and old students alike in not just their personal karate studies, but will help in everything they do in life, such as school, work and on a personal level. They will help you improve your character as a whole.

The best advice we can give you through our own experience is to train regularly, follow the instructor's instructions to the best of your ability and practise as often as you can. The most outstanding, self motivated karate instructors, such as Shiomitsu Sensei 9th Dan and Wayne Otto OBE, are what they are because they practise harder and far more often than others. It is through sheer hard work, listening and first class instruction that the best get to where they are.

Remember, good basics are the foundation of a good karate student and are practised every lesson. You may get slightly fed up with them at times, but as you move up through your grades and develop mentally, as well as physically, you will see why we practise them so diligently. It is the same as learning your ABC in order to read and write. As with anything in life, the more you practise, the better you will be.

News Headlines

Wado Academy Winter Course 2017
The bookings forms will be available soon. The dates are Sat Feb 18th to Weds Feb 22nd at the Guildford Spectrum.

Xmas closing dates 2016
Farnham - Last class Sunday 18th Dec. Reopens Sunday 8th Jan

Haslemere - Last class 14th Dec. Reopens Weds 4th Jan.

Aldershot - Last class Weds 21st. Reopens Weds 4th Jan.

We often get asked about beginners courses. We don't run them specifically, but beginners are welcome at any time at any lesson. Call us if you want to chat first, all serious students welcome.

New Dan Grade syllabus
The Dan Grade syllabus for 2015-2017 is now available at this link.