Practicing with us
Shotokai Karate does not rely on strength or size as its source of power. The power to defend yourself in Shotokai Karate comes from: the co-ordination of mind and body, relaxation, harmony, distance and timing. Our art is that of understanding and respect for one another, of how we live our lives and the difference we make to those around us.
At UK Shotokaido we use traditional practice methods, which include the practice of Kihon, Kata and Kumite, in addition we are a progressive thinking organisation and as well as utlising these more traditional methods you will also experience many more unique learning methods such as modelling and visualisation techniques, which help to ensure that you fully grasp the art that you are practicing.
Your progress is constantly measured and assesed and you will move through a series of grades as your skills develop see Grading.
The practice of martial arts is accessible for anyone to take part and enjoy regardless of age or physical ability this is particularly true of Shotokai Karate and we encourage people from all walks of life and all ages to give it a try. At UK Shotokaido we offer a structured training programme, which is tailored to the individual's own ability in order that they may realise their own potential.
People decide to practice a martial art for many different reasons including: improving physical fitness as a fun alternative to the gym, or to learn some self defence. Whatever the initial reason for starting people continue to practice because they very quickly realise that the martial arts have so much more to offer over and above their initial wishes.
In order to give all beginners the best possible start we have a specially designed 12 week programme through which we introduce people to Shotokai Karate-do and prepare them for their first grading. We can offer this programme through our practice sessions at all of our clubs or we can arrange for special one to one or group sesions if you prefer a more exclusive introduction.
Kata are the "basics" or "fundamentals", is used to refer to the basic techniques that are taught, practiced and provide
the structure and foundation of your karate practice.
The practice and mastery of kihon is essential to all martial arts training. It focuses not only on the practice of correct
physical form, basics such as stances, punches, kicks, blocks, thrusts and throws but also breathing, rhythm and timing,
Kihon also provides the platform for developing the correct spirit and attitude at all times.
Kata is a coreographed sequence of techniques that enable the practitioner to learn numerous skills through
a single practice method.
Kata has always been seen as a method by which to pass on a number of techniques to a group of individuals.
However, as an individual starts to understand more about their own practice they will soon find that kata is so
much more than just the practice of technique.
It allows us to analyse the application of those techniques as well as allowing us to begin developing our understanding of the dynamics of being part of a group or the responsibilities of being a leader.
You will develop a unique and highly skilled sense of timing and awareness, your learning during kata has no limits.
Kumite allows the practitioner to put into practice all of the skills they have learnt against an opponent and this kind of
practice can take various forms. Typically at UKS we practice four variations which are as follows:
Sanbon Kumite - three step sparring, typically used to develop speed, timing, and technique.
Kiso Kumite - structured sparring drawn from a kata designed to practice specific techniques.
Ippon Kumite - one step sparring, typically used for self defense drills.
Parrying - fast close contact free sparring.
Jiyu Kumite - unstructured free sparring.
Self Defence is a much discussed topic within Martial arts and the reality is that most martial arts will not turn you into an instant expert in Self Defence. The martial arts are a way of life through which you will become proficient over time and with the correct guidance and that is true of Shotokai Karate although the skills and techniques will be learnt it will take time.
With this in mind at UK Shotokaido we spend a great deal of time understanding and practicing the practical application of the techniques and kata that we practice so that we can give our students a very practical and simple method of self defence, we also look at influences from other styles of martial arts to draw similarities and allow a greater depth to our own interpretation.
It is also important to realise that Self Defence is not just about knowing some magical technique that will instantly put your attacker on the floor, it is also more importantly about attitude, awareness and state management if you can succesfully apply all of these elements then the need to defend yourself physically will be very minimal however if the worst happens then you will also be able to respond appropriately.
We run regular courses and are also happy to run specific courses for groups of 6 or more if you would like to find out more then please get in touch.