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.

Do I need previous martial arts experience?

No, most of our new members have no previous experience. If you have experience in karate or some other martial art, of course you're also welcome.

How often should I practice?

In general, the more you train the faster you'll learn. Two times a week is a reasonable target for beginners to aspire to.

You should establish a regular and consistent training schedule in order to learn techniques efficiently It is important that beginners do not expect instant results! Karate takes patience and perseverance. It takes years to become proficient no matter how often you train. You must also balance training with your life. Don't neglect other things due to excessive training.

How old should a child be before starting karate?

This depends on the child's maturity and attention span, which can vary widely among individuals. For most children, age 5 should be considered as an average starting age although we have had many children as young as 4 who have handled the classes very well.

Can older adults practice karate?

We have students of all ages in our club. Karate can be practiced at any age as long as a person is relatively healthy. Older people may not be as strong, fast or flexible as someone in their 20's (but not in all cases), but they can still practice karate at their own pace and derive great physical and emotional benefit from it. It is not uncommon to have students in their 50's and 60's training, we have had students in their 70's start training with Fushin Ryu. Our head instructor Sugihara Kenpu sensei is still teaching at 89years old.

How coordinated and physically fit do I have to be to practice karate?

A lot of our students come to karate in order to become more coordinated and physically fit so the brief answer is, "no". You can still practice karate and by doing so, your coordination and fitness will greatly improve.

How coordinated and physically fit do I have to be to practice karate?

A lot of our students come to karate in order to become more coordinated and physically fit so the brief answer is, "no". You can still practice karate and by doing so, your coordination and fitness will greatly improve.

Will I get hurt practicing karate?

Karate training can be very rigorous. Bumps, bruises and sore muscles are not uncommon.

Serious injuries however are extremely uncommon because karate emphasizes both physical and mental control as well as respect for your training partner. No excessive hard contact is allowed during our sparring exercises or during competitions. The result is that karate practice is considerably safer than many other popular sports such as basketball, soccer or rugby.

How long must I train before I can defend myself?

The ability to defend oneself from attack is dependent on many factors. Certainly, the longer you train, the more able you will become. The probability of success is relative to the strength and ability of the defender versus that of the attacker(s). It is important to realize; however, that there are no guarantees! It is possible for a beginner to get lucky or an advanced karate person to be caught during an inattentive moment. This uncertainty is one of the practical reasons why strategies that reduce the chance of conflict are as important to self-defence as physical prowess. Beyond all that, a beginner should think on the order of years (as opposed to weeks or months) before he/she begins to be proficient at karate. Herein lies the danger of the many "self defence courses" that typically run from 6 to 8 weeks. They can be a great introduction but nothing of great lasting value comes easily or quickly. The most important thing a short course can teach you about self-defence is how vulnerable you really are if attacked and that you should be extremely cautious about dangerous environments.

How effective is karate REALLY?

This depends on the commitment and ability of the individual karate student. The most adept karate experts, who train constantly and have devoted their lives to mastering the art, are certainly able to defeat multiple, variously armed attackers under most circumstances.

The key to this is highly developed timing, reflexes, and accuracy as well as developing sufficient power to disable an attacker with a single exchange. The average karate student with only a few years of experience may not be able to do the all the things you see on TV, but even so, what they have learned could nonetheless save them in a self-defence situation.

What do I call the teacher?

Instructors are addressed as "Sensei". It means "teacher" and is literally translated as "before birth" which infers that the instructor is someone older than you. In this case we are speaking of "karate age". In other words, an instructor is someone who has more karate experience than you. "Sempai" ("senior") is another term of respect that is often used when addressing someone who is not an instructor, but is senior to you in karate experience.

Why do we bow?

Bowing is a gesture of kindness and respect for another person. Common among Eastern cultures, we have no real equivalent here in the West. Bowing is both a greeting and an acknowledgement of another person's worth. Karate students embracea philosophy that all people are worthy of respect. Learning to respect others isparamount to correct understanding of martial arts. Making a habit of putting other people before oneself must offset great physical and mental power, otherwise karate students might easily become bullies. So as we gain strength with potential to harm others, we also endeavour to become more understanding and respectful of other people.

So many martial arts to choose from, why should I learn karate?

Karate trains the mind as well as the body, resulting in improved self-awareness, discipline, confidence and will power. It is an excellent way to enhance strength, coordination, stamina, balance and flexibility. Regular exercise can improve both the quality and longevity of your life and that it makes people feel happier and more alert.There is also evidence that exercise can help cognitive brain function. Everything that you do in your life becomes a bit easier because of your karate practise. Not only will you become more confident and able to you can defend yourself, your confidence and ability to handle life's problems will grow. Karate training results in one feeling less conflict within, as a result of increased "Inner harmony" and "Inner strength".

Your participation in our Karate classes will teach you correct ways to breath, exercise and stretch, increasing fitness and flexibility. Studying karate will help you develop self control and self discipline enabling you to learn the self defense moves giving you confidence and the ability to defend yourself and others. Correct training along with correct eating habits will help you to build a martial arts physique.

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