Shikukai Martial Arts & Fitness Association
Frequently Asked Questions
What will I gain from learning Karate?
Karate is an enjoyable sport and an effective method of self-defence. Learning karate will improve your physical fitness and self-control.
Who can benefit from Karate training?
Just about anyone can take up karate. Girls and boys can start from 5 years of age, adults can start karate at the age of 50 or more. It does not matter how fit you are although obviously any medical condition you have should be discussed with Mr. Chamberlain before you start. Mr. Chamberlain takes account of age and physical ability when setting standards for each student and everyone progresses at his/her own pace.
Who is Mr. Chamberlain?
Stephen Chamberlain is a black belt 7th Dan in Wado-Ryu Karate-Do, 3rd Dan Iai-Do (drawing and cutting using a Japanese sword) and a 3rd Dan in Jo-Do (4ft stick against a Japanese sword).
For the past 30 years he has also been teaching Makko-Ho (sometimes referred to as Japanese yoga). Until moving to France 17 years ago he was a senior coach with the English Karate Governing Body, the only karate organisation supported by the UK government through Sport England.
He is a senior Kata/Kumite referee and instructor with Shikukai Karate International. He has been training in Wado-Ryu karate for almost 50 years.
How soon can I get my first belt?
Everyone starts with a white belt. If you train regularly, in 3 months you should be ready to take a grading (examination) to earn a red belt. The progression after this is yellow, orange, green, brown and finally black. With hard work it is possible to reach black belt in 4 to 41/2 years. Progress does not end there, as a holder of a black belt you can take a grading to move from1st to 2nd Dan and so on.
Is it dangerous?
Provided it is taught by a properly qualified instructor it is as safe as other sports. The style taught by Mr. Chamberlain is strictly non-contact, which means that all techniques must stop short of contact with the opponent. Injuries are rare and usually minor. Mr. Chamberlain is also very careful to make sure that all students do a thorough warm-up and warm-down exercises to reduce the risk of muscle pain.
What is the History of Karate?
Most people are surprised to hear that karate is quite a young martial art/sport. It started in Okinawa as a response to a ban on all weapons by the conquering Satsuma clan. The locals developed a martial art using only their hands and feet and this was first called 'Karate' in 1905. The word 'Karate' means 'empty hand' (i.e. unarmed). It has now developed into a martial art/sport practised and enjoyed by people all over the world.
Are there different types of Karate?
Yes. A variety of styles have evolved over the years due to the physical differences between the masters who developed them. The four major styles practised in Japan are Shotokan, Goju Ryu, Shito Ryu and Wado Ryu. The Wado Ryu style of karate which is taught by Mr. Chamberlain, is a subtle method that depends on avoiding and deflecting an attack and then using your opponents momentum to counter with speed and flowing body movement.
Does Karate make people more violent?
On the contrary, it gives the student the confidence to be able to avoid a confrontation and greatly improve self-control. All Wado Ryu students are taught strictly never to strike the first blow, and never use their fighting skills outside the Dojo (training hall) except in a dire emergency.
What does it cost?
There are NO joining fees or Annual Membership Fees. You pay only for each lesson you take.
Classes will be kept intentionally small. Training fees will be kept low and any revenue will be ploughed back into the club. After the first month you should purchase a karate gi (suit) which will include white belt. A licence MUST be purchased, but again can be left till after a month, so by that time you should have decided to continue with your training. You do not need to purchase a gi to start with, just wear a track suit or loose clothing.
If you wish to learn authentic Japanese martial arts and prepared to train hard and diligently then give Steve a ring.
Tel. +33 (0)2 98 78 14 86