Q: How fit do I need to be to start Karate?

FAQsNot at all, Wado-Ryu is about relaxed, flowing body movement, so you really don't need the physique of a body-builder to develop effective and powerful technique. After commencing karate you'll be surprised how much fitter you'll be within a few months training and as you always work at your own pace, this will reflect your own level of fitness.

We often hear concerns such as "I have poor coordination, I am not flexible, or I need to get fitter before I start", but remember these will all improve once you begin training and you will notice an improvement with each and every class.

(Please seek advice from a doctor before embarking upon any karate practice, if you suffer from any condition which could be affected by exercise).

Q: Am I too young or old to start training?

Our current minimum age for kids to start karate is 6 years old. There is effectively no upper age limit, should you be able and willing to partake in the lessons, which can be demanding. You will gain from the benefits of karate no matter what age you start, both mentally and physically.

Q: What do I wear at my first lesson and what equipment do I need?

For your first lesson you will need nothing more than a T-shirt and loose fitting jogging bottoms. We go bare feet, so there is no need to worry about shoes. Most people like to start wearing a karate suit when they are comfortable in the knowledge that they are going to continue with their training, which is normally after around a month. A mouth-guard, groin-guard and mitts are the basic requirement, should you wish to compete in tournaments and it can be good practise to use these in the lessons when sparring as well. All equipment is available through the club instructors.

Q: How long will it take me to get a black belt?

A guide for a typical student is around 6 years, based upon someone who trains 2-3 times a week, attends seminars regularly and possesses an average level of fitness and co-ordination. Some clubs may claim you will be able to obtain a black back within a year or two, but the students in these clubs may not necessarily be of a very high standard!

Q: What are the injury risks for karate?

Taught by a knowledgeable instructor, karate is very safe and the risk of injury is very low. Injuries in karate tend to be quite minor, such as an odd bruise and bump, but ultimately it is a contact sport. Many of our students actually get their injuries from playing other sports such as football, rather than from karate. If you are constantly being beaten and thumped around at your current martial arts club, then you really should find another club to train at!

Q: I have a small but niggling injury problem, can I still do Karate?

In principle karate training strengthens the whole body, but if you have minor physical problems then discuss them with your instructor before training so that your safety is ensured. The general rule is: It is your body and you know it best, so when training be aware of anything that may upset your injury and then you can simply work around them.


Q: Is it an expensive activity to practise?

Not at all, you only pay for the lessons that you attend. We are a non profit organisation, so the lessons are reasonably priced and compared to most other sports, karate is fairly cheap to partake in. The only other costs you should be aware of are a license and a karate suit, but students are only expected to obtain these after a months training and when they know they want to continue.

Q: Do you have beginner's only classes?

Beginners start all the time according due to individual circumstances and therefore we just ask that you turn up and join us whenever it suits you. There will normally be other beginners in the class anyhow for you to train with and remember we ALL had to start at one time.

Q: Is Karate suitable for girls and women?

Absolutely, it's just as suited for females. In fact they are perhaps more suited, given Wado karate's soft, relaxed and fluid principles. Don't mistake this for a sign of weakness though; Wado karate has all of the attacking and striking techniques of the other martial arts. Please go to our women and girls karate section for more information.

FAQsQ: Can you explain the etiquette expected of me when I am in class?

When we train, you are expected to concentrate on improving your karate technique. So we expect you to lightly stretching before the lesson and all children must be seated when awaiting the start of the lesson or in any breaks. You should try not to chat or engage in idle conversation during lessons. We are not regimental, but a student cannot practise properly whilst their mind is elsewhere.

Q: What is a karate kata and why do we practise them?

Kata is a series of preset movements in which you fight two or more attackers. The attackers don't exist in reality, but you should visualise them, much like a boxer does when shadow sparring. In kata, you learn to combine the basic techniques in a seamless, flowing movement. Each kata is built around specific fighting strategies for you to understand and to develop the principles you will learn in your basics. They are also good for practising at home, as you don't need a partner to practice with.

Q: Do you have a belt system and what do the colours mean?

The systematic use of belt colour to denote rank was first used by Jigoro Kano, the founder of judo, who first devised the coloured system using belts (obi) and awarded the first black belts in the 1880s. Rank and belts are not always equivalent between arts, styles, or even within some organisations. In the Japanese martial arts, further subdivisions of black belt ranks are called Dan grades, where higher numbers means higher rank.

The Wado Academy has a structured belt system along very similar lines to most authentic karate on offer. You will be able to grade from beginner (10th Kyu) through to brown belt at the clubs and the black belt Dan gradings are done in front of Shiomitsu Sensei at the various courses on offer.

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. http://wado.karateforum.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/11/Dan-Grade-Syllabus-2015-2017.pdf