Frequently asked questions
Q. What is a typical lesson like?
Well, the short answer is, there are no typical lessons. Every lesson is tailored specifically to meet the needs of the students present and often covers a variety of different skills and disciplines. An example of a lesson may include a functional skills warm-up which includes core exercises, hojo-undo (supplementary training), Kihon drills, Stretches and core kata. The content will always be tailored to either consolidate key points from prior training or prepare for the remainder of the lesson. We then usually focus on 1 or more core principles for the majority of a single lesson, this may be intensive kata study and their applications or working through personal techniques relevant for each grade. Crucially we include a large amount of partner work in our training to ensure everything is practical and functional. We often end each lesson with some form of consolidation, groundfighting or grappling to embed the learnt skills.
We also move through key themes in cycles and so may spend one month focusing heavily on one area, for example, a specific kata, specific partner drills like ohyo kumite, throwing techniques or locking techniques etc, but always tailored towards the progress of students.
Q. Am I too old or injured to start?
The short answer is no, especially for injuries one of the beautiful things about the diversity and array of techniques practiced is that we can work around injuries so that training is still 100% accessible.
Q. How do I grade for each belt?
Gradings are always done as directed by the sensei. There is no required number of lessons or fixed time periods, simply put, students only grade when they are truly ready. This is essential for us maintaining the high technical standard we expect of every student. Gradings are most commonly done within the time of a normal lesson and are scheduled in advance.
Q. What are the costs for each lesson?
Adults lessons are £6 for the hour and a half. Most students pay as they go but can set up standing orders if you wish. We are flexible with payment options to make it work for you. Children's Classes are £4.50 for the hour. Kobujutsu lessons are done as a fixed £25 for the month irrespective of whether it is a 4/5 week month, due on the first Tuesday of each month.
Q. How old do you have to be to join the adult class?
Normally you need to be 14 years or older to automatically join the adults class however it is not done solely on age but also height, weight and prior experience. Safety is always of paramount importance so the final decision is always at the discretion of the sensei.
Q. How old do you have to be to join the children's class?
The recommended age is 7 years old however we do accept students of 5 and 6 years provided they demonstrate the capacity to be able to concentrate for the full lesson.
Q. What is Kobujutsu?
Ryukyu Kobujutsu literally translated means "The ancient martial arts of the Ryukyu Kingdom (Okinawa)". The term is most commonly used as in our case to describe the study of weapons common to Okinawa. This includes the Bo (6-foot staff), Sai (metal truncheon - think Electra if your a comic fan or Raphael if you're a ninja turtles fan), Tonfa (Wooden Baton), Nunchaku (Flail made famous by Bruce Lee and Michelangelo - the turtle not the artist), Kama (A pair of metal sickles), Tekko (Knuckle dusters), Timbe & Rochin (A turtle shield and short spear) and Surichin (A weighted rope). To find out more visit our page on Kobujutsu under "Our classes" section above.
Q. What should I wear for my first lesson?
You can wear anything you are comfortable in. We'd recommend regular sportswear, to begin with, so that it is comfortable and suitable for getting a sweat on. We train barefoot so don't worry about footwear.
Q. Can I just turn up?
Of course, you will always be most welcome at our dojo. Your welcome to just turn up, join straight in or watch a lesson first if you prefer the choice is totally with you. It is exceptionally rare for a class to be cancelled usually only through illness or travel but the advantage of contacting us first, confirms the class and allows us to inform should there be any irregular changes.
Q. Can I come alone or do I need a partner?
Training is always better with friends so bring along a friend or partner if you know someone else who might be interested in training however it is totally fine to come alone and make a whole load new friends who will be able to help you every step of the way. We pride ourselves on being a friendly club where everyone supports each other as it should be with the principles of Budo.