We have tried to answer as many of your questions as possible in this section. However, if you require any more information please feel free to contact us using our online form.



Why should I practice karate?

There are many benefits of training in karate. Physically it enhances strength, coordination, stamina, balance and flexibility. Regular exercise can improve both the quality and longevity of your life and make you feel happier and more alert. There is also evidence that exercise can help cognitive brain function.

With continued Karate training, you will gain.

  • fitness
  • confidence
  • flexibility
  • improved reflexes
  • coordination
  • muscle strength
  • relaxation
  • discipline
  • etiquette
  • respect for all
  • strength of character

Karate trains the mind as well as the body, resulting in improved self-awareness, discipline, confidence and will power. Not only will you have the peace of mind that you can defend yourself, but your confidence will help you to tackle all life throws at you.

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What will I learn?

We teach traditional Wado Karate in a safe, friendly and respectful environment. Wado Kai is a traditional, defensive style of karate which focuses on technique and using the opponent's force against themselves. Our syllabus, from is structured and progressive to allow you to develop in easy steps.

The teaching focuses on the following main areas:

Kihon Waza
Foundation Techniques, such as punching, kicking and blocks.

Renkei Waza
Combination Techniques.

Ippon, Ohyo and Kihon Kumit e
Pair work, putting the foundation techniques into practice.

Kata - 'Form'
Predetermined sequences of movements.

Ji Yu Kumite
free fighting/ sparring, only started once you have learnt the necessary techniques and control.

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What do I wear

When you start karate you will need to wear loose clothing so that you are able to move around freely. Suitable clothing would consist of jogging/ tracksuit trousers, and a T-shirt. It is important that whatever you choose to wear is both comfortable and suitable for physical activity.

When you are confident that you want to continue with karate training you can purchase yourself a 'gi', which is the cotton jacket and trousers worn in karate.

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Who will teach me?

The instructorsare insured and registered with ONAKAI and are high grade instructors with many years of training. With Garda vetting.

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How fit do I have to be?

Most people are unfit when they start karate and often it's the reason why they take it up in the first place. We offer person centered training, so your fitness (or lack of!) will not prevent you from enjoying and developing in karate.

Wado Karate is a softer style of karate which focuses on technique and less on physical strength, making it ideal for all fitness levels.

As with all sports its recommended that you consult you GP first if you have any concerns about your current level of fitness/health.

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Am I too old?

You are never too old to start Karate; there are many older karate-ka (one who practices karate) including some Japanese masters who practice well in to their 80's and 90's.

We believe in adjusting the way that you practice karate to suit your body so you're not expected to perform like a 21 year old athlete if you're in your fifties. If you are over 35 and have not exercised in a while, or have any concerns about your current level of fitness/health it is recommended that you check with your GP prior to training.

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Is karate suitable for children?

Karate is one of the best activities a child can practice, with the degree of discipline, respect and etiquette taught in the class the child will learn to accept more responsibilities, become more aware and confident. Add to this fitness and the ability to be able to stand up for themselves, you can see why so many parents enrol their children in karate classes.

Children from 7 years of age are accepted and we have a good mix of boys and girls.

We have a separate class for children which is designed to cater for their attention spans, physical limitations and their ability to take new things on board. 

The main aim of the children's class is to teach the principles of karate and self defence, for them to get some exercise and to work within structured groups following instructions from an adult. Over a period of time it also has a positive influence on their self discipline and attention spans.

Is karate suitable for women?

Wado is a softer style of karate which focuses on technique rather than physical strength, this makes it an ideal style for women.

You will learn to use the strong parts of you body against the weak parts of your attackers, along with ways of using your whole body to defeat an opponent rather than using strength alone.

Karate also exercises and tones up the entire body helping you look and feel great whilst increasing your confidence and awareness.

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How long must I train before I can defend myself?

The ability to defend oneself from attack is dependent on many factors and the longer you train, the more able you will become.

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When do we get to free spar/ do I have to fight?

Basic sparring and pair work is worked on during the early stages of karate. Free sparring or Kumite is looked at when you are more advanced. The main reason for this is that good basic technique is a prerequisite to effective free sparring and too much free sparring tends to create bad habits in basic technique.

Beginners occasionally free spar, but typically it is with senior students as partners or under controlled conditions. This is primarily for safety reasons - the senior students won't Hit because they have learned to control their techniques, and no matter how unpredictable your technique is, you probably won't be able to hurt them!

Kumite is only a small part of karate training and if you don't want to participate or focus on Kumite (free fighting), no one will force you.

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Will I have to compete in tournaments?

No, but you can if you want to. The association has done very well in recent competitions and has regular training for competition.

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What do I call the karate teacher?

Karate Instructors from 3rd Dan are addressed as "Sensei". Sensei is a Japanese title of respect. It means "teacher".

"Sempai" ("senior") is another term of respect that is often used when addressing someone who an assistant instructor 2nd Dan down, but is senior to you in karate experience.

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Why do we have to bow?

Bowing is a gesture of kindness and respect for another person common among Eastern cultures. Bowing is a both a greeting and an acknowledgement of another person's worth.

Karate students embrace a philosophy that all people are worthy of respect. Learning to respect others is paramount to correct understanding of martial arts. Great physical and mental power must be offset by making a habit of putting other people before oneself.

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What are the belts (grades) in karate and how long does it take to reach them?

Students start by going through the "kyu" ranks. Progression in karate is a personal journey, but at the early stages you can expect to grade every 3 to 6 months. Kyu ranks and the color belts that go with them are:
9th Kyu (Red)
8th Kyu (Yellow)
7th Kyu (Orange)
6th Kyu (Green)
5th Kyu (Blue)
4th Kyu (Purple)
3rd Kyu (Junior Brown)
2nd Kyu (Middle Brown)
1st Kyu (Senior Brown)
1st Dan (Black)
2nd Dan (Black)
3rd Dan (Black)

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How often should I train?

As a beginner one class a week is fine. However as you progress you may want to train a little more often - as with any sport, the more you practice the more proficient you will become.

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How much does it cost?

Your first introductory lesson is free!

After that a lesson costs €5 for children and €6 for adults.

If you continue training you will need a Linence Record Book and this ie renewed each year.

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Will I get hurt?

Our main aim is to provide a safe environment for our students and serious injuries are extremely uncommon in karate.

The injury risk in Karate is much lower than in most other sports, such as football, rugby and hockey; where broken bones and noses as well as knee and joint injuries are common.

All contact is controlled and the most you would expect is the occasional sore muscle or bruise.

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What do I do next?

All you have to do is come along and try it out, and we offer a free first lesson to all new students. You will need some comfortable clothes (tracksuit and tee-shirt) and maybe a bottle of water.

We understand that the hardest step to make is the first one through the dojo door, so if you have any questions not answered already please contact us .

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A Tatsuo Suzuki Sensei Ryu-Ha Federation.

Affiliated to: Official National Amateur Karate Association of Ireland | Wado Kokusai Suzuki-Ha Europe | Wado Kokusai San No Ya

Copyright 2019, WKKI. All Rights Reserved.