Contact Keith Gullen to join: 07891 646 638 or  york_shotokan_karate_club@hotmail.co.uk

Q1. Where do you train and at what times?

A1. We train at Knavesmire Primary School on a Monday and at Fishergate Primary School on a Wednesday. Our training times are 7:00 to 9:00 (excluding Bank Holidays).


Q2. Can anyone turn up and train, even if they aren't a member?

A2. Yes. If you are a total beginner or a black belt from another club, you are welcome to come down and train with us. There is no obligation to join the club and if you are a beginner, you can give it a go for a few nights and see if you like it.


Q3. How much does it cost?

A3. Current price is £4.00 a night (£2.50 for children under 16) for non members. Members pay monthly at £25 for adults (£15 for children). This covers use of the hall and instruction from a 7th Dan black belt.


Q4. I've never done any martial arts before. Do you take complete beginners? Are there any age restrictions?

A4. We take absolute beginners and people who have done martial arts before. Due to the nature of Karate, and the self discipline and physical contact involved, we do have a minimum age of 7 years old.


Q5. Do you need to be very fit in order to do Karate?

A5. Whatever your age or level of fitness you are welcome to train with us. All members train at their own pace and slowly but surely, you will notice your strength, fitness and flexibility improve as you train.


Q6. I don't have a Karate suit; do I need to buy one before I can train? If so, where can I get one?

A6. If you don't have a Karate suit (a Gi) then just turn up in normal loose sports clothing. If you decide to join and wish to purchase a Gi, they are available through the club at substantially discounted rates.


Q7. Do I need to train twice a week?

A7. You don't have to train twice a week, although we recommend it in order to progress through the belts. Of course, the more often you train, the quicker you will progress and the quicker your body will adapt to karate.


Q8. Can I compete in competitions?

A8. Yes. The JKS holds competitions both national and international. In addition, we often have local competitions between the three clubs in the area (York, Haxby & Wiggington and Selby).


Q9. Is there full contact in training; am I likely to get hurt?

A9. In training we spar to light contact, so that techniques are pulled just short. None of us enjoy getting hit, and injuries are as rare as in most sports. However, as we are training students a fighting art, the intensity of training gradually increases to match your own expertise. By the time you are a senior student, more pressure will be placed on you to defend, but we will never try to deliberately hurt each other - karate is a physical, but defensive, art.


Q10. How long does it take to get to black belt?

A10. This depends on how regularly and how hard you train. The minimum time is three years, but you grade when you are ready to do so and everyone progresses at their own rate.

"To search for the old is to understand the new. The old, the new, this is a matter of time. In all things man must have a clear mind. The Way: Who will pass it on straight and well?"

--Gichin Funakoshi