When choosing a karate club or martial arts club for yourself or a child, there are many considerations to take into account. Not everything is always as it seems, so please be careful.
Firstly, from a legal stand point, a Dbs check must be obtained if the class has students who’re either children or vulnerable adults. Dbs is the new name for the Crb check of old. Although not a legal requirement just yet, find out whether the karate club has been Safeguard trained also.
First aid training is a must for any martial arts or karate club, and keeping a compliant first aid kit is a legal requirement. It is also Important that the club/Instructor is Insured.
Any professional Karate club or Martial Arts club will have these items available for Inspection at any time. If you request to see them, and get fobbed off, I recommend making your excuses and leaving.
There are plenty of legitimate and hard working Instructors who do comply with legislation, so seek these out for your peace of mind.
On that note, clubs advertise in different ways, some leaflet, some go door to door, others just advertise online. It’s very difficult to know how good (or bad) a club is from their sales literature. I recommend shortlisting the ones that seem the best, and then arranging to go and see a class in action.
I’ve seen some clubs where the Instructor allegedly got their black belt within a year or starting. Other clubs just get their students punching bags and pads. If you think the club is rubbish, then It probably Is! Can the Instructor really teach? I’ve also seen clubs claiming that they have World Champions training there, when you get there there’s just a few people playing at training.
Karate and all other martial arts take time to learn properly, and It takes professional Instruction to achieve that. In fact recently, a martial artist asked what weapons I train in? When I explained that when you need to fight, the chances are that you won’t have your weapons with you, I think the point hit home. If you train properly, then your hands and feet should suffice. Don’t get distracted by flashy weapons training, It probably won’t help you in the long run.
At Rotherham Shotokan Karate Club, we teach Traditional Shotokan Karate, and have been taught by the best Japanese and English Instructors. I’d like to think that we offer one of the best Karate classes in Rotherham. We offer all prospective students the chance to watch a class or even join in. We understand that learning Karate is difficult, and although there are no shortcuts, we Iron out bad habits before they take hold. Thirty five years of karate experience has taught us a thing or two about teaching.
Advancing through the grades should be an opportunity for students to apply what they’ve learnt, In a formal and structured environment. Everyone should have the same syllabus to grade to, and everyone given a fair chance to succeed. Our karate club In Rotherham grades every 3-4 months, so obtaining a black belt could take 4 years. I think that anyone can tell what an Instructor is like by watching a class. If it looks suspect, please walk away.