So you’re interested in karate, but don’t know what to expect from karate classes? You may be nervous going into your first class and that’s OK, we’re all new at the beginning whether you are an adult starting karate or a kid.

Our instructors are always ready to answer your questions and assist you with your practice. If you’ve signed up for a kids karate class or an adult’s and are worried about what you’re getting into, here are eight tips to get you prepared and familiarise you with how our practice works!

First thing is first. You don’t have to worry about getting hurt, feeling embarrassed, or being on your own. We train in a safe, friendly, and professional atmosphere. Any time you start something new, it’s a little uncomfortable. But that’s when you know you’re learning, growing and transforming! We’ll support and compassionately challenge you to be your best and we’ll guide you every step of the way. Before you know it, new students will be looking to you for advice!

The practice of bowing in karate. Bowing in the dojo is a mutual sign of respect between practitioners, no matter their level of expertise, which is why you bow before sparring or practising drills with another person. You will also bow as you enter the dojo and as you leave, at the beginning and end of class, to show respect for the dojo, the history, and the practice.

The important terms used in karate. There will be a few terms in our practice that we refer to. ‘Karateka’ means a karate practitioner. ‘Kihon’ refers to fundamentals or building blocks taught and practised in karate, like breathing, self-awareness, bio-mechanics, techniques, etc. Once you can do Kihon, you move onto Kata. ‘Kata’ refers to the ancient forms and models of detailed and preset movement patterns practiced in karate that contain fighting symbols, codes and structures for self-defense. ‘Dojo’ is the school or place of training for karate. You’ll pick up more terms as you continue with your practice.

How to tie a karate belt. Belt levels advance from white through to black. Basically, the darker your belt, the more experience you have. Your instructor may also teach you how to tie your belt in class, but learning the process ahead of time will help when you actually tie the belt yourself. Here’s a great video tutorial from author, educator and Karate athlete Jesse Enkamp. (Insert link)

Be prepared for class:

Fuel properly for your practice. You’ll find yourself burning a lot of calories from mental and physical focus in just one class, so be sure to eat in the way you would before a workout and give yourself time to digest. Bring a bottle of water with you so that you can hydrate during and after class because you’ll be moving and sweating a lot. Students are expected to put their best efforts into their practice, and preparing yourself accordingly will go a long way.

Arrive a few minutes early. This way you can get ready for class. We recommend you give yourself time to sign in, get changed, catch up with fellow students and start warming up before we begin class. We do a thorough warm up, but every body is different so it’s good to get nice and loose before we begin. Getting into the habit of warming up your muscles before your workout will prevent discomfort, lower the chance of injury, and will also generally improve your health and your ability to learn new moves.

It’s a commitment. It takes a lot of practice to perfect the techniques to condition the mind and body. As you learn and become better you will also need to practise at home outside of class. This will assist you to get even more out of your training in class so that you can work towards your next belt. It’s an exciting journey towards black belt and we’re here to help you achieve it.

We offer a free trial so you can experience the passion and dedication that our students share in the dojo, and see the confidence that comes with the practice. Starting is the first step!