Class Training

To the untrained eye, most karate styles look the same but once you know a bit about it they are really quite different. Even Wado-Ryu and Wado-Kai which for the most part have the same history and teaching are different and when you look at a style like Shotokan it is really very different to the Wado styles. It also isn’t Mixed Martial Arts even though we might teach you the grappling, joint locks and many similar looking strikes to those favoured by¬†Mixed Martial Arts students and their instructors.

You will have an instructor referred to as Sensei (teacher) in Japanese. One would not address a Japanese instructor as Sifu which is a Chinese term for master/instructor you might see in lots of Chinese martial arts movies. You might also hear the phrase Sempai used, which means ‘mentor’ or ‘senior’ but typically most black belt instructors who teach at a Chojinkai class will be comfortable with being called Sensei.

Classes are good fun, and can be hard work. You will learn discipline and self control, as well as self defense techniques. Do not for one minute think you will be high kicking and starring in films within a week, it takes a while to learn it but everyone in the club started as a beginner (even Sensei James). No two classes are exactly the same! There is a formal syllabus to learn but each class will still be different.

We also have classes designed just for children and instructors who know the different requirements for teaching children to those for teaching adults or teenagers.

We train in a room called a Dojo and that term can refer to a formal training place for any of the Japanese do arts but typically it is considered the formal gathering place for students of any Japanese martial arts style such as karate or judo to conduct training, examinations and other related encounters.

In Japanese martial art culture the suffix ‘do’ transforms a sport into an art and indicates that some philosophy and correct moral discipline is intrinsic to it. There is a lot of philosophy, history and moral discipline to Karate Do Chojinkai. The concept of a dojo only referring to a training place specifically for Asian martial arts is a Western concept, in Japan wherever you train in any sport can be a Dojo.

All classes start with a general warm up followed by basic techniques. We also do etiquette, bowing and welcoming our instructors and fellow students which is very traditional (and spoken in Japanese – we teach you that bit also!).

The classes might be split into smaller groups. It really depends who is in the class, age, grade or training needs.

During your training you will learn karate techniques (stances, punches, blocks, kicks), kata (pre-arranged sequences), kumite (fighting skills) and self defence applications. We may use the safety mats, and we might get pads or kick bags out, focus mits, sticks or other weapons. We may also do something called Bunkai, which is close combat work. We’ll stretch and bend you and teach you about exercise, fitness and control.

Your safety and enjoyment are really important but as this is a contact sport and injuries can happen it’ good to know all our instructors are first aid qualified. Don’t worry – injuries are very rare indeed.

Once the class is done, you can go home and practice what you have learned. We even have DVD’s of the syllabus to help you learn outside the Dojo and can suggest some very good books to augment your thirst for knowledge.