Frequently Asked Questions

Listed below are some common questions and answers that may help you if you are considering joining the club.

At what age does a junior member become a senior?

Normally 16yrs of age

What does JKAE membership entitle me to?

Your membership covers the cost of your license and insurance. It entitles you to attend any JKAE training session, grading, competition or course appropriate to your grade. You also get the JKAE's monthly newsletter. Some of these events may incur an additional cost.

What's a grading?

A grading is a kind of exam, where your own sensei and another high-level instructor from the JKAE watch you perform the techniques you have learned in class. If you pass, you move up to the next coloured belt.

How much does a grading cost?

The cost is approximately £18 which covers the cost of a lesson with the examiner / instructor and the grading itself.

When and where are gradings held?

The JKAE holds gradings regularly all over the country, and JKAE members can attend any of them. Locally, gradings are held at the IBM Centre near Romsey approximately every three months.

How often do I have to grade?

Up to black belt, the quickest you can grade is once every 3 months. Note that you don't have to grade every 3 months- you can choose not to grade if you don't feel you are ready, or if for some reason you are unable to attend. However if you don't grade, you won't move up through the belts, and you won't learn the more advanced techniques.

What are the belts in the JKAE?

Our belt system is as follows: White, orange, red, yellow, green, purple, purple/white, brown, brown/white, brown/white/white, black. There are numerous levels (dans) of black belt.

Are the classes conducted in Japanese?

No, it's a karate class, not a language class! Some japanese words are used, but you will find they are always used alongside the english translations, so you don't need to worry.

What should I wear?

To begin with, you can train in any lightweight clothing that allows easy movement. However by the time you take your first grading, you will be expected to wear a gi, the traditional white karate suit. You can buy one through the club or you can supply your own. Please remove all jewellery before participating in a session.

Do I need to warm up before the class?

Each class begins with an extensive warm up led by an instructor.

I already have a belt in karate, but it's from another style/ another association/ I haven't trained in years. Will I have to start again at white belt?

For your first few lessons, while we assess your level, you may wear the belt you attained, but your training will be appropriate to your current ability. When the time comes to grade, you may well be able to grade your at previous level.

Can I come and watch / take part in a session before committing myself to annual membership?

Yes you can watch or have up to 4 lessons before requiring a licence.

Is karate safe?

Yes, shotokan karate is non contact, so is much safer than contact sports.