What is Karate?

What is karate? In Japan over many centuries, fighting without weapons was a skill handed down from generation to generation, father to child, teacher to student. More recently we have seen the art of Karate - "The Way of the Empty Hand" - develop into a renowned and skilful martial art.

Shukokai karate is "The Way for All" and was developed in modern times by the late Master Kimura. It is one of the most powerful forms of karate in which students learn to utilise the mechanics of the body to their best effect.

What does karate offer? Karate is a skilful martial art but at the same time it is intended to be enjoyed by the students and get them fit. Students will learn self control and how to share, work and have trust in others.

What does a class involve? Beginners will be introduced to the basics of karate including stances, punching, kicking and blocking. There will be general fitness training, self defence and some bag and pad work which will lead on to sparring techniques, ringcraft and sparring itself. Students also learn different forms or sequences of moves known as kata and their application to real life situations. In addition students will learn about the etiquette of karate including politeness and respect. All students are taught that "The ultimate aim of the martial arts lies not in victory or defeat but in the perfection of the character of its participants". Games are incorporated into the training to ensure that students, particularly the youngest ones, enjoy themselves whilst getting fit.

Advanced Kata and sparring techniques are taught at a very high standard by national and international champions.

Classes (all mixed) for students of any age from 5 years to Adults.

Fight Club is for more experienced students and concentrates on sparring and sparring techniques. Beginners will be able to progress to joining that session after they have successfully passed their first grading after about 3 months.

Gradings are where students progress from one coloured belt to another (yellow, orange, green, blue, purple, brown and black), Gradings will take place approximately every 3 months depending upon a students progress, attitude, application and attendance.

Who are the Instructors? Kimura Shukokai Karate Kent, is run by black belts Sensei (Instructor) Chris Simpson 4th Dan and his daughter Sensei Katie Simpson 4th Dan. Both instructors are International competitors in Kata (forms) and Kumite (sparring) and have represented England in World and European Championships in places such as Sweden, Estonia, Germany, Portugal and as far afield as Cape Town, South Africa where Katie won the World Kumite Championships in 2004. Both Instructors train with Shihan Eddie Daniels 8th Dan, one of the four World Chief Instructors for Kimura Shukokai International. Sensei Chris and Sensei Katie have run a successful club in Kingswood, Maidstone over the last few years and are both First Aid trained and CRB checked.

What is the cost? There are no club membership fees and the first lesson is free for every new student. The club works on a pay as you go basis and there are discounts for families. Up to date details of fees can be obtained from Sensei Chris or Sensei Katie. An annual licence with the Shukokai Karate Federation to whom the club is affiliated must be obtained.

Do I need special kit to start with? No. To start with you can train in tracksuit bottoms and a loose T-shirt and when you know you are committed after about two weeks you can purchase a Gi (Karate uniform).