FAQs

Q?

What should I wear or bring to class?

A.

If you’re a beginner coming to your first classes with Karate Kawartha Lakes, you should wear athletic clothes that you feel comfortable moving around in.  Typically students practice karate in bare feet, so you need not worry about footwear.  Once you’re ready to commit to the class, you can buy a uniform.

Q?

Do I need to schedule a trial class?

A.

No.  New students are welcome to try a class during the regular weekly class at any Karate Kawartha Lakes dojo.  Just show up in appropriate clothing and see if you like it.

Q?

How is a typical class structured?

A.

Class begins promptly at the specified time on the class schedule.  Students line up by rank facing the front and follow the instructors commands for the Reiho (opening bow in).  Class begins with 10 – 20 minutes of warm-ups and group exercises.  The instructor will then teach the group as a whole or split them into smaller groups if additional instructors are available.  At the end of class, students line up again and the instructor will lead the closing etiquette (bow out).  We bow upon entering and leaving our dojo (i.e. – the gym or hall) and before addressing any higher rank.

Q?

What if I arrive late to class?

A.

The club expects students to arrive on time to class out of respect for themselves and their instructors, all of whom are volunteers.  That said, arriving late to training is better than not at all.  If you must arrive late, you should enter the dojo and wait just inside the door in seiza (kneeling position) for the instructor to acknowledge you and welcome you to join the group.  Once this instructor has acknowledged you, you may join in the class’ activities.

Q?

Do you actually hit each other? Will I get hurt?

A.

The instructors at Karate Kawartha Lakes are committed to providing an educational and safe experience for everyone. Beginning karate students are expected to make little or no contact with other students when practicing to ensure safety for everyone.  If ever you are uncomfortable with the level of contact in class, you can let your fellow student and/or an instructor know, and he or she will make adjustments. The level of physical contact you will make with other students will increase as you gain experience and greater levels of control.

Q?

How Fast Do Students Advance? What are the belt ranks?

A.

The Kyu belt system was designed to give students a sense of accomplishment along the long journey from white to black belt. In earlier years there was only three belts; White, Brown, and Black. Even then, the brown belt was the same belt as the original white one, only it was stained by the years of training

Karate Kwartha Lakes dojo's use the following belt order:

  • White Belt
  • Yellow Belt
  • Orange Belt
  • Green Belt
  • Blue Belt
  • Brown Belt
  • Black Belt

For junior students, stripe belts are between each colour group to help a younger student see their progression and reward effort.

Moving through the rank system is a very personal thing, and no two people will progress at the same rate. It is important to look inward to assess if you are progressing, NOT TO ASK YOUR INSTRUCTOR. Physical ability is only part of the grading requirement. Honesty, humility, honour, strength of character, and most of all, a pure heart are the mark of a good karate-ka.

When these attributes are apparent to your instructor, along with the required skill level, you will be recommended by your instructor for your next rank and grading may take place.

It is important to understand, for students and for parents, that karate is not a sport, and unlike other activities you may participate in, students do not progress through rank as a measurement of time.  Simply because a student has been training, or at a current rank for any given period does not entitle that student to grade to their next rank.

Equally important, although most karate schools use the same coloured belt system to indicate rank, the standard required by Karate Kawartha Lakes dojo's is high, and rank will not come quickly or easily.

Minimum time requirements are in place for those students who are exceptional at their present rank.  It is not the "normal" training time between ranks.  Most students, if attending two classees per week will progress at one and a half times the minimum requirements.

Q?

Do I have to be athletic or particularly strong to do karate?

A.

Not at all!  Karate is designed to work for all different body types and athletic abilities.  It relies on technique, not strength or athletic ability, although both will increase as you train.