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Martial Arts Training
Shotokan JKA Academy (SJKA) NEW LOGO
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             Frequently Asked Questions  (FAQ's):

What are the aims and objectives of the Shotokan Karate JKA Academy ?

Our Mission is :  To contribute towards world peace by providing instruction of traditional Karate & cultivating the true way of Shotokan Karate spirit by inspiring Men, Women, & Children to build up their physical & mental health, fitness, and well-being, at the same time learning the ultimate self-defence techniques and skills through the practise and spirit of karate, Karate training, for personal, competition, or self protection or for improving their character, positive attitudes,respect,bravery, & courtesies in life towards the goal of positive human development,and leadership qualities, towards living in harmony in society & thereby ultimately creating world peace. In pursuing & developing great self-defence karate skill to the point of attaining,  Ichigeki Hissatsu - " One strike, certain victory " over an opponent one day.

Is Shotokan JKA karate effective in Self-Defence ?

Yes. Shotokan Karate JKA  is an ultimate powerful style of karate ideal in empty handed, unarmed self-defence. It incorporates the total body use to perform powerful punching,kicking, striking, and blocking techniques designed to disable or finish a self-defence / protection encounter or situation with one move if the need arises :

 Ichi-geki & shobu ippon ("One blow finish the aggressor" techniques ). Shotokan JKA Karate self-defence techniques against all kinds of attacks. Strength and size are not important in our Karate as speed together with technique, timing,  distance,and body co-ordination. Our Karate training teaches you how to avoid possible confrontations through non-conflict resolution skills - it is far better to de-fuse or to avoid a dangerous situation than to confront it. But if it cannot be avoided then karate training equips one to finish the critical situation with one finishing KO blow as a last resort to diffuse the situation as quickly as possible !!...without wasting too much time...then the motto becomes ..knock the adversary down or be knocked down !!.

What is the JKA ?

JKAWF (Japan Karate Association World Federation) : This is the world's largest and best shotokan karate organisation, based in Japan, it founded, researched, and refined the  original shotokan karate system,through continuous research & experiments in training and competitions. Originally founded and set up by the late Masters Gichin Funakoshi, his son Yoshitaka, and Masatoshi Nakayama.  Shotokan Karate is the most popular of modern Karate practised by Men, Women, & Children throughout the world. According to various studies, there are over 100 million karate practitioners in the world, every country in the world has a JKA Shotokan affiliated karate club. It is much more than merely physical fighting. It is an art of strong mental & physical self-development through self-discipline and hard work, as well as an exciting & safe sport with rules. There is something in it for everyone. In its history, back in Okinawa,Karate techniques were also combined & developed from the legacy,philosophy, and strategies of the past Japanese Swords Masters ( Bushi/Samurai )  such as Matsumura, a famous martial artist from the past. Through repetitive, continuous, hard training and practice of its fundamental basic techniques , JKA Shotokan karate develops not only a strong body,but also a  sharp mind, a noble heart, forging good positive character. It gives its dedicated practitioner essential tools to overcome mental, & physical obstacles in their life, (both tangible and intangible  through its training).   

remember though dedicated training & commitment for certain amount of years e.g 3 - 5 years for shodan (first Dan Black Belt) .

Can Anyone Practise Karate at the Shotokan JKA Academy ?

Yes... from the age of 6 years plus,in our Academy, but you must first qualify to join our free trial lesson and showing your interest in learning this form of Karate by prior arrangement.   Then if you pass your free trial lesson, we require an initial commitment/dedication for at least 3 months to work hard and train patiently, especially since its the early days of you joining us. The Shotokan Karate JKA Academy has a strong progression syllabus/curriculum approved by the world's top karate masters, with character building, self-discipline & self-control automatically built into it. This is just great, as it turns out great Black Belts and at the same time positive, successful, responsible leaders  in the community through our self-discipline syllabus structure . Being a Family Karate Centre, we offer classes according to different age groups. All our classes are mixed, i.e. Boys & Girls  or Men & Women train together, because in reality a female will be more than likely attacked by a Male .  However in sparring drills or partner work & exercises,we may allow female to female and Male to Male practise. We have various classes to suit all age groups , we have the Tiny Tigers, and Li'l Samurai's Class especially for very young children from the ages of 6 years plus to 9 years of age, who may wish to learn in a fun and enjoyable way.  We have the Juniors class for ages 9 years to 14 years, and finally we have the Teens & Adults class for ages 14 years  to 85 years plus. Each of the classes may offer a different kind of training approach in terms of building health & fitness, conditioning, self-defense, self-control  etc.

What are the Karate Belt Colours & their level of progression ?

​At the Shotokan Karate JKA Academy, we follow the belt colour & progression system as used by the JKA Japan:

our gradings are held three times a year , every four months time.There is a minimum waiting period of 12-18 months after achieving 1st Kyu to grade for 1st Dan (Shodan) and two years after passing Shodan to 2nd Dan (Nidan ) ..etc.

When you join us as a beginner, you are a novice or 10th Kyu - white belt.  At each subsequent grading if you pass, these are the grades you will achieve and their belt colours:  

9th Kari - Red belt with gold stripe.

9th Kyu - Red Belt.

8th Kari - Orange belt with gold stripe. 

8th Kyu - Orange Belt

7th Kari - Yellow belt with gold stripe

7th Kyu - Yellow Belt

6th Kari - green belt with gold stripe

6th Kyu - Green Belt

5th Kari - Purple belt with gold stripe

5th Kyu - Purple Belt

4th Kari - Purple belt with white stripe

4th Kyu - Purple belt with two white stripes

3rd Kari - Brown belt with gold stripe

3rd Kyu - Brown Belt

2nd Kari - Brown belt with red stripe

2nd Kyu - Brown belt with white stripe

1st kari - Brown belt with two red stripes

1st Kyu - Brown belt with two white stripes

                     Dan - Degrees 

1st Dan - Shodan - 1st Degree Black Belt

2nd Dan - Nidan - 2nd Degree Black Belt ...etc...

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 Do I need to be in excellent physical shape to start karate?

No !!... Since karate will gradually & slowly improve your health & fitness as you progress, your starting point is less important than the effort you put into it along the way. At the Shotokan Karate JKA Academy, our main focus is on mastering the basic techniques and fundamentals of Karate, and in their correct form making it easy for beginners to train together with experienced individuals, yet still progress at their own personal best level of fitness and expertise. If you are less fit,or have a health issue, your progress at the start will simply be more moderate; as your fitness & flexibility improves, so your progress will also improve.  However if you have any serious health conditions, or learning issues, please check with your doctor,as well as our head coach first before starting our classes as it my affect your training.

What are some of the benefits that I can expect from the classes ?

Shotokan Karate JKA Academy classes have been structured so that everyone will have tremendous benefits for your whole body, mind and spirit over a course of time (3-5 Years minimum ). Physically, our karate classes are devised so that they are not only a method of learning self-defence but also are good for the heart & circulation, to toughen & strengthen bones, build & tone muscles, create resilience, develop hand-eye coordination, and build up a strong immune system to make the body less susceptible to illness & injury through hard resistance training. Mentally, our karate training helps you to develop patience, a never-giving-up attitude, alert mind, and many other positive qualities needed to become a success in your life. It is vitally important to find an instructor who really understands the importance of these martial arts qualities & concepts and has experienced & realised these in himself, through his own training, as then he can understandably develop these qualities in his student/s more effectively. Just punching and kicking withourt a pupose at the end of it is futile. Sham Aktar sensei 6th Dan has been training over many decades under the guidance of the world's best karate experts and through his many years of experience has devised the back-bone structure of our Black Belt karate course/ programme, so that it is one of the most comprehensive courses in the whole world...guaranteed !!. Starting with a strong solid physical foundation in Shotokan JKA Karate, gradually as the students progress up the grades he ensures their Karate martial arts training is more balanced, applicable, realistic, and practically effective towards Black-Belt Excellence.

How does karate compare with other fitness programs & sports ..?

Karate is one of the best & most balanced martial arts as well as a challenging sport, It is a complete way of keeping in good physical condition as research has shown again and again. But more important then this is to develop a strong spirit through training. This will ensure progress in other areas of one's life too. Remember, all martial arts have their weak and strong attributes , Karate incorporates the use of the entire body in which legs, hips, spine, shoulders and arms are all co-ordinated to develop balance, flexibility, poise, speed, strength and stamina, whilst keeping the torso straight to develop good health at the same time. No other form of training uses as many parts of the body to such an extent. Karate is not seasonal and so one's condition can be maintained throughout the year. Other forms of training, where exercise for the sake of exercise is done, become a chore after the first enthusiasm passes and are invariably dropped. However, Karate becomes more, & more interesting, challenging, and rewarding as you progress, without any limit. Even after decades of training, students will still be learning, improving, and refining their techniques - this is very rare in many other sports, where at the age past 30 to 40 years for example, you are done physically for life...whereas you can still keep maintaining your health way past 70's and 80's through karate practise like most of our masters are continuing to do up until the present day !!..


What is Required to Join the Shotokan JKA Karate Academy?

 Commitment,dedication and the ability to concentrate, focus & work hard in the lessons are the key requirements to join us. You need to set yourself an initial minimum goal of 3-12 months as a beginner,on our introductory course of Black-Belt, to see some initial positive results and outcomes of your training.  Remember !!... For Juniors and Adult members a minimum of 3 and upto 5 years,  and for the really younger Tiny Tigers,5 or more years on average of continuous training 2 to 3 times is required to progress towards your first Black Belt, and thereby see some of the above benefits of self-development . You should remember though, that is just the start of real exciting & true karate training to come !!.  

With Over 48 years of martial arts & Karate experience, Sham Aktar sensei 7th Dan has been so passionate about martial arts even to this day.  His vision is to see all students, regardless of their age progressing as a big happy family towards the goal of Karate Black Belt excellence together, and thereby improving their health, as well as their physical & mental well-being. We expect all our students who join us to apply the self-discipline structure of the Student Creed, Dojo Kun & Dojo Rules  in their daily life, i.e at home, at School, work etc, where ever possible. It is also vitally important to believe in yourself and most importantly in your instructor (Sensei) and his assistants  (Sampais) and their teachings, as they are your role models and have all followed the same learning structure at the Shotokan JKA Academy with passion & dedication to get to where they are now and are in a better position to help you succeed towards that goal too.   The ultimate aim of the Shotokan Karate JKA Academy as set out by  Sham Aktar 7th Dan is to help build up true leaders in the world, who know their strengths & weaknesses and can then build a stronger, smarter, wiser, & just community,and thus the whole will one day move towards a positive human potential/ goal through this way. It requires the correct mind set & special training of both your mind and body to do this,and through this way we will aim to produce our future generations of leaders who are strong, yet courteous, modest, with noble hearts and strong bodies, who are responsible people in their community.  This process of character &  self-development takes time, it does not happen overnight, the physical techniques ,skills, and your  self ego, need to be trained, forged,& mastered first through this process of self-discipline in the dojo under an understanding & guiding Sensei .  If you do not willingly undergo this process of self-development, you will not understand and appreciate self-discipline nor the purpose behind True Traditional Karate Training.

That   We hope that every understanding aspiring student/member who joins us will follow these guidelines for the mutual benefit of themselves and others, so that we will continue to grow together positively as a family of Karateka in our communities, pursuing a like-minded martial art, hobby, sport, & past time, and all our efforts & contributions to this positive end will be appreciated by the society as a whole in the future generations to come....

But the best reason to join us is for karate itself. Karate is not an easy martial art to learn. But it is an art form. And like any other art the more you put into it, the more you will gain. Karate enriches you physically, mentally, and spiritually — developing your body, your mind, and your character. Why?... Because the Shotokan JKA karate is one of the strongest Karate and has a great tradition & history behind it too.. We see it first as a martial art way of life & Self-Defence , not only as a sport.

So that's always our emphasis: The whole. The goal is to help you develop every aspect of who you are .

That is why we encourage and welcome dedicated & commited Men, Women, and Children of all ages and abilities to come and try our classes..who knows you may end up becoming a great Black Belt one day regardless of your age or other limitations !!. and a great person through it...and that could be a great contribution towards our goal !!

 If you want to dedicate & commit yourself to mastering the art of shotokan karate, and you feel you meet our requirements..Call FREE now to book your first free trial lesson in your area.   

Call 0800 999 1959   or Call/ text :  07956 553417 .

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