Starting Karate

Karate =  空手 ("empty hand")

Developed in Okinawa, and brought to the Japanese mainland in the early 20th century. Now there are millions of practitioners worldwide.

Karate is a dynamic sport focussed on self defence techniques and overall improvement of moral and mental strength of character.

This makes it relevant for people of all ages and at KOBURAKAI we teach children from the age of 4 upwards - there is no upper limit for adults who wish to participate.

No experience is necessary - just bring your enthusiasm and we will teach you the rest!

What Do We Do in Class?

Classes are an hour long and start with stretching exercises, led by the Instructor. Once everyone is warmed up, we move onto:

Kihon    Basics - the basic techniques which are the fundamentals of karate;

Kata      Form - a sequence of movements used in different scenarios; and

Kumite  Sparring/Fighting - training/fighting against an adversary, using techniques from Kihon and Kata


For your first few lessons, please just wear comfortable clothing that allows you to move freely - tracksuit bottoms and a loose t-shirt is ideal.

Training takes place barefoot, please keep toes and fingernails short/clean.

Any jewellery must be removed before class (this includes watches).

Once you become more experienced, a club Karate Gi (uniform) will be arranged for you (cost to be advised by your Instructor).

Dojo Etiquette

Entering and exiting the dojo

Bow on entering and leaving the training room (dojo).


Try not to be late. If you are late, bow in, then quietly kneel near the entrance. Wait until the instructor acknowledges you. Then bow kneeling, get up, and quickly join the class.

Opening sequence

When you hear “Line up!”, stand shoulder to shoulder facing the front of the dojo, in rank order.

Closing sequence

Same as the opening sequence, except that there is a class recitation of the dojo code (see below).

General Etiquette Guidelines During Training

  • Don't chew gum in class.

  • Remove all jewellery before training.

  • Whenever you’re told to move from one part of the room to another, do it quickly (i.e., run or trot, at least). 

  • Whenever you’re asked to stand back or sit back and watch, do so in a normal standing, cross-legged or kneeling position, silently, without distracting others. 

  • If you ever need to leave a class early, let the instructor know beforehand.

  • Every time you get a new partner for any exercise, bow. Every time you’re about to switch partners, bow to your old partner before moving on to the next.

Dojo kun (Code of Conduct)

"Seek perfection of character"

"Be faithful"


"Respect others"

"Refrain from violent behaviour"