Student Info

Feminist-Karate-Union-Childrens-Class

Before You Start

Before beginning your training, please click here to fill out the student forms. Bring the completed forms with you to the dojo.

What to wear

Gi: The gi is the white cotton uniform that we wear to practice. It is designed for movement and comfort, but you can begin training in any workout clothing that leaves your wrists and ankles visible. Your gi is included in the three-month beginner’s introductory package.

Your First Class

Classes start promptly.

Allow time to change before class start. There are changing rooms at the dojo. Most students arrive 10-15 minutes before to get ready. Arriving late deprives you of warm-up time.

Lining up

Class begins with students lining up and facing shomen (“the front”). We line up according to rank, with instructors facing the students. New students will be toward the right end of the line. The Sensei (“teacher”) will ask the class to kneel on the mats, with hands resting on the thighs, by saying “seiza” (“proper sitting”) or “kneel down for meditation.”

 

FKU-Students-Lining-up-for-Karate 101-practice

How Classes Begin

Kneeling down for meditation

We begin every class with a few minutes of meditation. Meditation gives us a chance to clear our minds of concerns from the day so that we may concentrate on training. The Sensei will say “mokuso” (“close your eyes for meditation”).

Many students focus on their breathing, slowly inhaling and exhaling to prepare for practice with a clear mind.

Mokuso yame

At the end of the meditation, the Sensei will say “mokuso yame” (“stop meditating, open your eyes”), and then “rei” (“bow”). Students bow from their kneeling position then place their foreheads on the ground.

If you arrive late, you will need to meditate on your own for a few minutes before joining the class.

Students rise

Students rise in a wave of rank order starting from the most senior student. After the first wave bow, the senior student will say “sensei ni rei” (bow to sensei). Students kneel and bow, saying “onegai shimasu” (“please let me train with you”), then rise together. The senior student will say “otegai ni rei” (“bow to each other”), and students respond with another bow from the kneeling position, saying “onegai shimasu.” It is then time to begin class.

Karate-Student-Bowing-from-Kneeling-Position

Why we Bow

We often bow in class to show our respect for instructors, other students, and traditions of the art. We bow before formal exercises, kata (choreographed patterns of movements integrating formal stances, attacks, and blocks), before practicing with partners, and before transitioning.

It reminds us that we are not striking each other in anger or to hurt, but as an exercise from which we are both planning to learn.

Warming up

At the beginning of class, we do 20 minutes of stretching, cardiovascular, and/or strengthening exercises to prepare our muscles for the strenuous work of karate.

Standing Basics

After warm-ups, the class lines up in rank order for Standing Basics, the punches, blocks and kicks that form the backbone of karate. Advanced classes such as tournament preparation and blackbelt training engage in more complex movements in Enhanced Basics.

Counting and Kiai

The Sensei will usually count the exercises with abbreviated Japanese numbers. On juu (ten), everyone in class lets out a loud yell called a kiai. The kiai is a “spirit yell” and it symbolizes the strength and effort you are putting forth in your karate focus.

Build Strength

Get the strongest mind and body of your life through Karate training.

Gain Confidence

Karate values and knowing you can defend yourself builds confidence.

Learn Discipline

Bring the discipline of Karate into your training and your everyday life.

 

Start training today and discover YOUR strongest self!