Neither. Classes are structured to cater to all levels of expertise and ability, from beginner to advanced. Training is done at your own pace and, while you will be encouraged to push yourself, you will only ever be asked to do activities that you are comfortable attempting.
Please arrive about 10 minutes before the class is to start to meet us, complete our application, and have a look around.
The application may be downloaded and completed prior to coming along for your trial class, or you can grab one off us when you come for a trial class (please allow enough time before class starts for this).
As the class is about to start, you will see our students ‘bowing’ as they move onto the mats, and then kneeling down in rows facing the instructor. These rows are called ‘ranks’, with the highest levels nearest the instructor, who is usually wearing a black belt and is addressed as ‘sensei’ (pronounced ‘sen-say’). As a beginner, you will be in the line at the back for ‘white’ belts; this just means you have no experience in the style.
The instructor will ‘call the bow’. For the first class, simply watch how this is done. Students remain kneeling until the instructor stands, and then the class will commence.
The class usually consists of sections for basic drills to teach striking techniques, self-defence techniques, break falling (to prevent injury as a result of being pushed or thrown), and stretching.
Simply follow the instructions for the class, and watch how other people behave. It will become second nature after a very short time.
Most students train with us for the same purpose of learning self-defence, and because our students are very nice people, new students are made welcome and are very well looked after.
Might you feel awkward the first few times you train with a more experienced partner? Very possibly. Will you be a little sore the next day? Probably. That is the usual result of participating in a new type of physical activity. But will you have fun? Absolutely!
We believe that causing pain during learning is extremely counter-productive so training with us is respectful and safe. It’s also a lot of fun!
Students come to class with a great attitude and with an open mind to the need for stepping outside their comfort zone in order to progress.
We recommend starting no earlier than 5 years (although we have some students who started at 4½ – it depends on the child) and others who started in their 40s and went on to achieve shodan (1st degree black belt). So start at any age, basically.