How fit do I need to be to start Karate?
Not 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, your strength, speed, coordination and flexibility, should all improve significantly over time.
(Please seek advice from a doctor before embarking upon any karate practice, if you suffer from any condition which could be affected by exercise.)
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 and everyone will gain from both the mental and physical benefits of karate, no matter what age they start.
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. Just bring water for hydration and plenty of enthusiasm!
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 we would advise caution with this sort of claim!
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 rare and quite minor, such as an odd bruise and bump. Remember though, that it is ultimately a contact sport.
Is it an expensive activity to practise?
Not at all, you only pay for the lessons that you attend, or can bulk purchase at a discount. We are a non profit organisation, so the lessons are reasonably priced & compared to most other sports, karate is inexpensive to do.
Do you have beginners-only classes?
No, we have beginners starting all the time 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 for you to train with.
Is Karate suitable for women?
Absolutely, Wado-Ryu karate is just as suitable for females as it is males.
Do I have to fight?
Wado-Ryu karate is ultimately an extensive fighting system, enriched with self-defence capability, including its Ju-Jutsu elements. The training covers a comprehensive syllabus, of which fighting is a part of, however students are introduced to this gradually and paired with others of a similar standard.
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 imaginary attackers. Each kata is built around specific fighting strategies, for you to understand and further develop the principles you will have learnt in your basics.
Do you have a belt system and what do the colours mean?
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 and his senior instructors, at the various local courses on offer.
Are you fully insured?
Yes, all of our instructors are insured for personal liability of £5m or more.