FAQ This section will be divided into two parts. First, questions about Karate generally and second, about Fushin Ryu specifically

Beginning something new can be a little daunting at the best of times, Karate with it's Japanese traditions can be a little more so. We hope that the information contained here will make your time with us a little more enjoyable and getting started a little bit easier.

How does Fushin Ryu karate differ from other karate styles?

All martial arts have their specialties and unique character. Fushin Ryu is a traditional Japanese karate style that specializes in punching, striking, kicking and blocking techniques. However, we also practise sweeping, throwing, grappling and joint-locking techniques, as well as pressure points. Weapon training is also available after a good grounding in karate technique has been attained.

I can't speak Japanese?

FKR classes use japanese terminology. Don't worry, you will pick it up as you learn the movements, lots of repetition! We also teach many other Japanese words along the way.

Whats going on?

Regular newsletters will be sent by email and will be available in printed form in the dojo.

Please check the Club Calendar to see the dates and times of all events that are coming up.


FRK NZ holds many gradings over the year. When a students is considered ready to grade they will receive a "grading form" from their instructor.

Fill the grading form out and return it to your Sensei with the grading fee or fax or email the form to info@fushinryukarate.org.nz and deposit the fee direct into the FRK NZ account (Westpac 03 1322 0041942 00 ) with your "Grading" and your name as a reference.

You will find out your results in class over the next week or two and you can also keep an eye on the website. Go to STUDENT INFO under Grading Results. Results and marks will be posted online.

The Grading syllabus will be taught to you in class, the requirements can also be found on the website under STUDENT INFO under Syllabus and a copy may also be on the wall in your dojo.

If we miss a class?

Please let your Instructor know, via email is perhaps the best or leave a message. We have many class options available. We hope that students will make up any missed classes at a time that suits. It is important to get into a regular training routine for constant improvement.

I would like to get involved, how do I help?

We welcome all helpers. For smooth running tournaments it is essential to have trained tournament officials. You can start by coming along to the FRK NZ Club Championships. Training will be given in the different areas. Marshalling, Scorekeeping.

What do I have to do to join?

All you have to do is come to any of our classes and try it out for a casual fee of $10.

If you decide you like it, you can then fill out an application form, pay the term's tuition fees (your $10 casual fee will be deducted) and annual registration. If you're shopping around for martial arts schools, you're welcome to come and observe the class and talk to the instructors after the class has finished.

What should I wear? Do I need to buy a uniform?

Beginners are not required to wear uniforms (called "dogi") to join the class. Any kind of light clothing that you can stretch and move easily in is fine for your first few lessons. However, there is a karate saying "One's training does not really commence until you are wearing a dogi". Although new students have the option of purchasing uniforms immediately if they wish we prefer that it is "earned" Karate is not only for in the dojo and good manners and helpfullness should be practiced at home. Once students start making an effort at home (without being asked) then they would be considered to have "earned" their uniform.

A Karate dogi(karate training suit) is not required right away but will be needed if you wish to sit a grading. The Japanese believe that your training doesn't truly begin until you have a Dogi, then you mentally commit yourself to becoming a Karate-ka. Female students are permitted to wear a white t-shirt only under their Dogi. (White Fushin Ryu T-shirts are available from your instructor.

How long are the classes?

This can vary from dojo to dojo and whether it is a children's or adults class. Generally classes are 1 hr 15 to 1hr 30min long for the younger ones and 2hrs for Senior or specialized classes.

Isn't 1hr 30 too long for children?

It can feel that way at the beginning for some. The reality is that most children could easily spend two or three times that amount of time watching tv, playing video games or on facebook. We aim to increase students attention span and ability to co ordinate the body and mind.

When do we get to free spar?

Basic technique and kata and then basic sparring is emphasized during the first year or so of practice. Blocking and movement exercises are also taught which will help students towards free sparring.

Free sparring becomes more important for more advanced students.

The main reason for this is that good basic technique is a prerequisite to effective free sparring and too much emphasis on only free sparring tends to create bad habits in basic technique.

Will I have to compete in tournaments?

Only if you want too. You will be encouraged to try a minor tournament or two when we consider you are ready for it. We participate in a number of regular competitions as a supplemental form of training and a means to test both physical and mental skills.

Competition is stressed as an important, but optional, training opportunity.

Tournament prowess is not a major goal in traditional karate. More important is the development of body, mind and a non-violent philosophy.

What do we have to do to get started?

You are most welcome to just show up at the Dojo at the Class that suits. You can try out a class for a casual fee of only $10. If it is the beginning of the term then this will come off your term fee when you join. If the term has already started then it will come off your "pro rated" term fees.

Wear loose clothing, track pants and a tee shirt will be fine for a start. Please remove any jewellery and your shoes and socks before you enter the dojo floor for training.

  • When you join there will be two forms for you to complete
    1. The FRK NZ registration form - The annual fee is payable by cash or check made out to FRKNZ and given to your Sensei when joining or you can pay online (FRK NZ Westpac 03 1322 0041942 00) please include your name and "FRK Rego" as a reference.
    2. The Dojo joining form - Your tuition fees are payable to the club Instructor. You can get these forms from your Sensei or click on the links to download for yourself.
What's the advantage of membership to the National Karate Federation?

The Fushin Ryu Karate Association is an international association in its own right. Many of our instructors and students have been involved in international competitions.

Exacting standards of technique and rank are the same in our club as they are in Japan. Instructors are nationally and internationally certified and regularly participate in instructor training courses and seminars to better their teaching skills. Fushin Ryu is a member of the New Zealand National Karate Body, Karate New Zealand (KNZ). This provides an opportunity for our members to represent their dojo in regional and national competitions and even to represent New Zealand internationally. Regional, National and International refereeing and coaching qualifications can also be attained.

What are the belts (ranks) in karate and how long does it take to reach them?

When you first start training in karate you will wear a white belt (obi), which in our system is not ranked. The coloured belts in karate are the "kyu" ranks. These could be likened to being an apprentice. Starting at 10th kyu and numbering downwards, so that the highest kyu grade is 1st kyu, these are the opposite of the "dan" grade, which number from 1st dan up to 10th dan. Just before the 1st dan is a "shodan ho" grade (probationary 1st dan) When your instructor considers that you are ready, you will be asked to sit a grading for the next belt. For the first two or three grades 3 months continuous training between grades is the minimum time requirement and thereafter six months continuous training between grades must be observed. Once again this a minimum requirement no matter how good the student (or parents) thinks that they are. Good attitude and etiquette as well as technical prowess are necessary to sit a grading. Six months after students attain 1st kyu, they may then start testing for "dan" (black belt) ranks. Students who train regularly typically require about 5 years to reach the first level (Shodan) of black belt. However, this will be longer for children, depending on what age they are when they start, as 16 years of age is the minimum for Shodan. Once again, we have had one or two students who have performed exceptionally and gained their black belt at the age of 15. Each succeeding black belt level requires increasingly more time to attain. For example, it generally takes at least 2 years to go from Shodan (1st dan) to Nidan (2nd dan), at least 3 years between Nidan and Sandan (3rd dan), and at least 4 years between Sandan and Yondan (4th dan). There are also minimum age requirements for the dan grades.

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