Everybody is a beginner at some time in their life. This part of the page is dedicated to answering beginners' concerns and frequently asked questions.
So why, as a beginner, should you consider starting Kyokushin Karate?
We believe it's one of the few remaining truly traditional martial arts still being practiced today. It is more than just about fighting. As a beginner you do not have to be fit. Kyokushinkai karate has taught karate successfully to thousands of beginners over the last forty years and there are tried and tested methods in place for doing so, that all of our black belts follow. Instructors and students will be expected to follow the strict rules and etiquette of the dojo, which is the Japanese term for a training hall.
As a beginner you will be able to wear loose and comfortable clothing, and training will be in bare feet. All students wishing to grade and take up training regularly will be expected to buy and wear a formal 'gi' or training suit. This is traditional and, as with any uniform, promotes a sense of equality in the dojo that is then only separated by grade. Most commands are given in Japanese which isn't just for tradition, it's for universality, and it makes it very easy when you visit a dojo abroad or have a foreign visitor at your own dojo. It is also because some Japanese words simply don't translate well into English. As a beginner you will obviously be explained techniques and commands in English to begin with, but you will be at amazed how quickly you pick up the Japanese terms, and every effort will be made to ensure this. Genuine Kyokushin does not try to be all things to all people, it is what it is, and although the training methods have evolved to a more sophisticated level within Kyokushin, the ethos and philosophy behind this martial art remain the same. It has not been watered-down with other, more popular, systems and sports just to appeal to the masses. As you progress through the different levels, the training does become tougher, giving the student something to truly strive towards. One of the core aims when training in Kyokushin is to always strive for perfection, whilst accepting that we are unlikely to ever truly achieve it.
What can you expect to gain from Kyokushin Karate?
Regular training in Kyokushin Karate will have an impact on your life. You will become fitter and healthier. If you train regularly you will also find you develop greater determination to succeed and not give up, which is one of the hallmarks of Kyokushin, which can benefit every aspect of life. It is not a be-all or cure-all, but it is a positive influence for anybody that wishes to train hard and progress. You will learn to defend yourself, but not in five minutes; we do not teach 'tricks' or potentially lethal techniques to beginners.
If you are interested in entering tournaments, we are probably one of the best organisations in South Africa. We have annual semi-contact tournaments for both adults and children with both team and individual events, kata (pre-set pattern/form) tournaments for adults and children, and full-contact knockdown for teenagers and adults with more than two years training behind them. There is ample opportunity to qualify for international tournaments with national colours and the chance to visit other countries to compete on an international level. Our tournaments are acknowledged for being probably the most professionally run tournaments in the world.
Will you have to fight with experienced students or are you likely to be injured?
As a beginner, no. If there isn't a beginnerís course running when you wish to start, you will be taught with the main class, but will be taught at beginner's pace and will not engage in any sparring at all for the beginner period, which is a minimum of twelve weeks.
As you progress beyond this there will be sparring and various interactions but you are safest when sparring against a black belt. As with any activity that involves contact, there is always a small risk of minor injuries, but the incidence and risk of injuries in karate is no greater than that of, for example, five-a-side football or rugby.
Joining from another style/martial art.
People are always welcome to try Kyokushin when they may have trained, or are training in, other styles or martial arts. Certain conditions do apply. We do not accept students that only wish to participate in particular aspects of Kyokushin training, e.g. knockdown or conditioning training. All students must abide by the rules and etiquette of the dojo, regardless of what they may be used to elsewhere, and questions regarding difference in content and style must be reserved for before or after the training sessions, as constant interruptions will disrupt the session for everybody when time is scarce enough already, all students must simply do as they are asked without question. All students must complete the entire session unless injured, sitting out is not permitted. All students visiting from other styles or martial arts must either wear a plain white gi or 'civilian' (i.e. jogging bottoms and plain t-shirt) clothing. Association badges may be permitted at the discretion of the instructor. Flamboyant and personalised uniforms are not permitted. Visitors will be respectfully asked to join the line at the lowest ranked position until their general ability has been assessed and this will be at the discretion of the instructor.
All instructors have current first aid training, all instructors are fully indemnity insured, and are duly affiliated to bigger parent bodies that oversee the proper running of these schools.
Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and get in touch. There's no obligation and we'll be very happy to answer your questions