How young can someone start training with you?
5 years old is the youngest we'd accept. Training at such a young age the only expectation is for them to grasp basic stance and coordination.
Do I need to wear a uniform on my first class?
No. Just wear something comfortable and breathable. Sweat pants or joggers and a t-shirt are fine to begin.
Does karate improve confidence and self control?
Confidence will come from being around other karateka, training with the senior dan grades and embracing the martial nature of karate. All our training is about taking instruction and implementing a fighting art, with control. That control keeps everyone safe, sharpens your skills as a fighter and by extension cultivates self-control.
How long does it take to reach black belt?
3 years is the shortest it would take to attain your 1st dan (black belt) in Shotokan karate with WSKU. Assuming you train regularly enough to pass every one of the 10 grading assessments during that time.
Anyone mid-way along this journey will realise that achieving their 1st dan, merely shows they have grasped the basics of karate-do. Achieving 1st dan signals to your instructors (and the rest of the dojo) that you are ready to learn the deeper and more sophisticated aspects of applied karate.
Knowledge and skills we develop as colour grades (kyu-grades) equip us to just begin to understand the complexities of techniques, stances, combinations and strategies for attack & defence.
What if I don't know the rules of the dojo?
Etiquette is easy to pick up, everyone follows the same code. Beginners simply copy their more experienced fellow students.
What if I don't feel confident enough?
We foster a friendly atmosphere, with very little formality. Our instructors encourage all students to train correctly and will only ever ask students to do what they're comfortable doing.
Karate can help develop self-confidence and a sense of belonging. The WSKU dojo is a place where all are welcome and are invited to develop spirit, strength and character.
How do I contact a dojo
I'm calling, why can't I get through?
Please leave a message if you can't get through to someone. Call during regular business hours or in the very early evening.
For any enquiry, you're always welcome to send a message via our Contact page. Leave your details and someone will respond, promptly.
How do I make a general enquiry?
To find out more, whether enquiring about joining or tournaments etc, visit our Contact page.
Can my family come along?
Yes, they can. Even the most experienced students can get nervous and friends or family are always welcome to add support and enjoy the occasion.
How often are gradings?
We hold 4 grading assessments per year. All WSKU students are eligible to grade and convene at our Hombu Dojo at St Cadoc's, Llanrumny.
Karate and bullying
My child is being bullied, will karate help?
Karate can be a valuable physical and emotional resource for victims of bullying. It builds self-confidence and equips you with practical self-defense skills. Contributing to a greater sense of security. A powerful outcome for students of karate is self-assuredness and the ability to face threatening physical gestures without fear and while keeping their emotions under control.
The emphasis on discipline and resilience also promotes non-violent conflict resolution, through self-control and management of fear.
I'm being bullied, should I learn karate?
While karate can be empowering, it doesn't guarantee immunity from bullying. Addressing bullying incidents should involve multiple strategies, including reporting to appropriate authorities. We teach karate responsibly, with an emphasis on self-defense and discipline, rather than retaliation.
Within the dojo, the personalities, self-confidence and attitudes of instructors and experienced karateka will rub off on you. Being around people who carry themselves with confidence in their own safety and security, will help create this valuable attitude in you.
My child is a bully, should they learn karate?
Learning karate has as much to do with developing a calm and mature character, as learning martial arts techniques. Within the dojo, we emphasize discipline, respect, and self-control. Enrolling your child in karate is not a quick fix for bullying behaviour, but it can provide a valuable framework for their emotional development.
How much does a gi cost?
One of the most popular brands of karate equipment is Blitz. Their adult gi ranges from £40 to £150, with kids' gi costing less than £40.
Can I pay for a batch of classes?
We find it's easier for classes to be paid for upon attending your dojo.
Do you mainly practice fighting?
WSKU practise a rounded syllabus comprising fundamental technique, attack & defence combinations, and freestyle fighting. These are referred to as kihon, kata and kumite, respectively.
Shotokan is a well-rounded style of karate, where the focus is on developing the complete karateka (or student), instead of concentrating on one specific aspect of combat.
What if I don't have equipment?
It's not essential to have your own equipment (and certainly not for beginners). The main item to consider is your gi, but only when you feel comfortable and wish to attend classes more regularly.
How much does my size or weight matter when training karate?
Karate can be practised by people of all shapes and sizes. The most senior and revered karateka such as Shirai, Kase, Asai, Ochi sensei to name a few, have demonstrated that mastery of this martial art isn't restricted to one particular build.
Can I train on an injury?
If you have any injury or weakness, you should take proper medical advice and listen to what your body tells you before coming to the dojo. Don't aggravate or prolong an injury by training when you should be recovering/healing.
There are safe ways to train and improve your strength to potentially assist in recovery, but please get professional medical advice and do not train if they advise you not to.
How fit must I be to train karate?
At our dojo, we only train within what our body and fitness levels allow. You'll begin training at a comfortable level, and once you're in a groove, it's easy to increase the physicality and start pushing the work rate. Regular training will boost your journey back to fitness.