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Beginners Information

First Lesson

Firstly, you will need to choose a club near to you. Please see Find Us page. You are welcome to watch any classes before starting. There is no need to reserve or book a place as we have beginner classes running continuously. Just turn up and give it a try.

You will need to register with the main club instructor. Your first lesson is free. You will then be given a welcome letter.

You will need to wear loose sports type clothing and will be training in bare feet.

The whole club does a warm up together and then split down into groups i.e. beginner adults, beginner children, coloured belts and brown/black belts (varies for each location). Each group will have its own instructor.

To ensure the traditional etiquette of the Martial Art is upheld, we do not allow spectators during the lesson.

First Few Months

In your first few months of training you will learn the basic punching, blocking and kicking techniques of Karate. Please note that Tokon Kai teaches non contact karate. You will also learn basic self defence. Occasionally kick and punch bags are used to focus power and channel aggression.

To begin with, training once a week is acceptable (especially for younger children). However, twice a week is recommended.



Fees, Karate suit and Joining

You can train for a maximum of one month before you will need to purchase a karate suit (gi) and a membership/licence & join the monthly standing order scheme.
For your first month you pay on the door at the lesson: £5 children and £6 adults. You will be issued with the forms at your dojo.

Training Fees

There are 3 monthly training level options which are listed below.






  • Payments are made via standing order, so you do not have to worry about bringing money to the classes.
  • The levels are flexible, so you can always upgrade to silver or gold if you wish.
  • For bronze and silver levels, if you want to do an occasional extra class (e.g. once or twice a month), then you can pay for the class on the day; £5-juniors and £6-adults.
  • If you miss a class for whatever reason (e.g. you are away on holiday or all the clubs are closed for 1 week i.e. Christmas), then the lessons you missed can still be used provided they are used within that month period. At the end of the month the lessons expire and cannot be carried over to the next month. Please note this scheme is not for afterschool clubs.
  • The following classes/events are not including in the standing order scheme: Kata/kumite and advanced classes (as they are numbers dependent), squad selections, gradings, courses and comps.

Scheme (costs per month)

Juniors

Adults

Bronze - One lesson per week ( 4 per month)

£ 20

£ 24

Silver - Two lessons per week (8 per month)

$ 40

£ 48

Gold - Unlimited training

£ 50

£60

Karate suits (gi's)







Heavyweight gis are available. Please visit the shop for prices.




Lightweight polycotton suits, pre embroidered with the club logo

Sizes

Junior 110cms, 120cms, 130cms & 140cms £15

Cadet 150cms, 160cms & 170cms £20

Adult 180cms, 190cms, 200cms & 210cms £25

Membership/licence

Tokon Kai Karate requires all students to hold a valid membership/licence in order to train, grade or attend events. It also offers personal insurance in addition to Tokon Kai Karate’s public liability and professional indemnity cover.

Membership/licences are renewable annually and are the responsibility of the student, however reminders will issued.

Combined annual payment = £20 new application and renewals. Half price membership/licence is available for new applications, when a karate suit is purchased from Tokon Kai Karate.

Upon successful application you will receive a licence book, grading attendance card and an endeavour award card (under 16yrs only). Renewals will receive only a new licence slip.

First Belt

Once you have your membership/licence & Gi, you will receive an attendance stamp card, Junior endeavour award card and a licence book. Once you have completed 18 lessons and your instructor agrees you have reached the required standard you will be assessed for your first belt-orange. (fees apply)

All subsequent belts vary in requirement (see Tokon Kai Belt System & Syllabus)

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What should I wear to my 1st lesson?

A: Loose jogging bottoms and t-shirt/sports top. You will be training in bare feet.

Q: Who will teach me?

A: You will be taught by one of our black belt instructors in a separate beginner class. You will only move up a group when you and your instructor feel you are ready.

Q: Can I watch my child train?

A: To ensure the traditional etiquette of the Martial Art is upheld, we do not allow spectators during the lesson.

Q: How much do lessons cost?

A: Please click here for the training fee details

Q: Are there any age restrictions?

A: We do not allow children under 5 years old to train at the clubs as it is difficult for them to concentrate for the whole hour. With regards to the upper limit, we currently have students training who are in their mid fifties.

Q: Are there many women training at the club?

A: Yes, we have many girls and women training at the club. The chief instructor is a women.

Q: How often should I train?

A: To begin with once a week is acceptable especially for younger children. Twice a week is recommended. We have classes running 6 days a week across different locations.

Q: I am not very fit, will I cope?

A: You will gradually increase your fitness level as you train in Karate, whilst learning to defend yourself at the same time.

Q: Am I too old to learn Karate?

A: You are never too old. You will not be expected to perform or have the fitness level of a teenager. You can train at your own pace. We have had many students who started training in their

50’s and have gone on to become black belts.

Q: Will I get hurt?

A: No. We practise traditional non contact karate

Q: Will you teach my child how to deal with bullies ?

A: We will not show your child how to beat bullies, but how to defend against them. Also, as your child grows in confidence, you will find the bullies leave them alone.

Q: When do I get a suit and join?

A: Please see above our Karate suit and membership/licence section.

Q: How soon can I grade?

A: Once you have joined, bought a Gi and trained in 18 lessons you will be assessed for your first belt (orange), provided your instructor agrees you have reached the required standard. See agenda page for details of all subsequent grading's.

Q: Do I have to enter competitions?

A: No. It is completely your decision. There is never any pressure to enter and no favouritism towards those who do enter.

For those students who would like to compete, we hold 2 competitions each year. We also have a squad that competes at National and International Level.

See competitions overview and squad overview pages for full details

Q: Does the club use any weapons or bags?

A: Weapons courses are held during the year. Bags are used at certain normal training lessons to focus power.

Tokon Kai Karate Dojo Rules

Tokon Kai teaches traditional Shotokan Karate, where discipline is very important and Japanese etiquette is observed

  • Good etiquette (behaviour) is essential at all times.
  • Always bow and say “oss” when entering or leaving the dojo.
  • Karate-ka must make an effort to always be on time. If the karate-ka is late and the class has already started, they must kneel down at the front of the class until the instructor invites them to join in.
  • All karate-ka will comply with the dojo health rules. Personal hygiene (cleanliness) is essential. Finger and toe nails should be clipped short.
  • Karate-ka must keep their Gi clean at all times.
  • Eating, smoking or chewing gum is forbidden in the dojo. Bottled water is allowed.
  • Jewellery must not be worn. If the item cannot be removed it must be covered.
  • Karate-ka must obey and respect their instructor at all times.
  • In the dojo always address the instructors as ‘Sensei'.
  • When the Sensei gives a karate-ka a command, they must respond with ‘oss’, which shows they understand the instruction they have been given.
  • In the dojo, karate is the only concern. Talking during class, not paying attention to the Sensei or practising anything else is disrespectful.
  • Karate-ka should always line up in grade order. If a fellow karate-ka is the same grade then (if possible) line up in the order of the date graded and then eldest first.
  • Karate-ka must turn away from the front of the class to adjust their Gi.
  • Do not criticize other karate-ka.
  • Karate-ka must not leave the lesson without asking their instructor. If a karate-ka does need to leave the lesson they must kneel down at the front of the class, until the Sensei instructs them to leave. Upon their return the karate-ka must again kneel at the front of the class and wait for their instructor to invite them to rejoin the lesson.
  • When 'Yamae' is called, all students must stop immediately.
  • When you pair up with a fellow karate-ka greet them by bowing and saying "oss". When you leave them again bow and say "oss". These are ways of thanking them for the opportunity they have given you to work and train with them.
  • No Kumite without the Sensei’s permission.
  • Do not use the equipment without the Sensei’s permission.
  • Karate-ka must not show anyone who is not a club member any karate techniques or demonstrate karate in public.
  • Karate-ka must only use the techniques they have learnt in self defence. They must never be the first to attack.
  • Visitors are always welcome, subject to them observing the above rules, where applicable.