What we do
This club teaches traditional Shotokan karate to all that are willing to learn. Shotokan is a traditional style of karate that was developed from various martial arts studied by Gichin Funakoshi (-1957) who was born in Okinawa, Japan.
Shotokan training in this club falls into three parts: kihon (basics), kata (forms), and kumite (sparring ) and is always preceded with a warm-up. Karate is more than just physical training, but also mental discipline; Karate should begin and end with respect. Funakoshi wrote: “The ultimate aim of Karate lies not in victory or defeat, but in the perfection of the character of the participant.”
When we train
The club’s main training session is on Thurday evening’s in Sopley Parish Hall on the edge of Dorset just North of Christchurch. We train from 19:00 to 20:30 on Thursday every week ( please check the calendar for latest training days and gradings/ special courses ) . We also attend grading sessions in Salisbury; we strongly advise members to train at the grading centre, whether they are grading or not, as this gives the opportunity to train with the association’s chief/senior instructors. The SSKA annual summer and winter camps are based in Bournemouth and this is a fantasic opportunity to train with members from other clubs under a number of senior instructors.
How much will it cost
To start, you can try for a few weeks to see how you like the training, you should try Karate for two or three weeks – do not judge on the first lesson. Each session has a fee of £5 in advance. After a trial, if you want to continue with your training, you will need to become a member of the S.S.K.A. Membership of the S.S.K.A. gives you access to association training, grading and competitions (fees apply – see S.S.K.A.) and also provides you with a grading record. The annually renewable license includes insurance. Regular members may either pay weekly or £20 monthly in advance (£19.00 if by standing order).
History of the club
Founded by Sensei Kevin Nicholls (Sandan – 3rd-degree black belt shown to the left) of Four Counties Karate who ran the club originally in Bournemouth, then latterly in Christchurch, until July 2012. Many karatekas (students) have benefited from Sensei Kevin’s teaching and the club had produced three shodans (black belts) by this time.
The club now trains in Sopley Parish Hall and (since August 2012) is run by Simon Smith (Nidan – 2nd-degree black belt) with his son Jonathan (Shodan) as Junior Instructor (shown right at a recent summer camp). Simon trained many, many years ago in Hertfordshire and came back to training a few years ago gaining his black belt, alongside his son, with the SSKA.
The club’s child protection procedures and practice adhere to the policy published by the S.S.K.A. The full policy may be found here. Parents of younger children are invited to stay and watch the lesson or better still join in!
See you in the dojo!