5. Do I need to wear a Karate suit (Gi) for my first class?
No, definitely not. A T shirt and sweat pants/ combination is acceptable during the first sessions. However once you have joined up, you should look at investing in a Karate Dogi. Two reasons, you will feel a a sense of committment, and the Instructor will see that you are serious at learning Karate-do and perhaps spend a little more time on your technique
7. How much do lessons cost?
There is an annual registration fee of $30 and then a term fee of $75 for children/students and $85 for adults. A term lasts approximately 3 months - and basically coincides with primary school terms.
There are 4 terms/year and fees are payable in advance of each term. Concessions apply for family groups. Term fees unpaid within 3 weeks of the commencement of the term will incurr a $10 penalty charge. We need your committment in order for us to help you succeed. What better way to show it than to pay upfront?
Some Dojos do charge more or less. You shouldn't judge the standard by the cost. Professional Instructors tend to charge more as they are making a living out of it and tend to have purpose built premises with higher overheads. One such person charges under 16 year olds $120 per term in comparison to our rate of $75 per term, and he is successful doing so. By and large the majority of clubs tend to run as non profit organisations. This in no way reflects on the standard or ability of Instructors or students. Its simply a matter of perception on the part of intending students.
8. Do you have women only classes?
No. Men do outnumber women in most Karate schools. Women are more likely to be victims of attack/assault from a male than any other species, so it is only natural to train together to get a better understanding of the others strengths and weaknesses.
9. Do I need to get fit and/or lose weight before I start lessons?
No, definitely not. Your capacity will increase over time, and you will eventually be able to keep up with the rest of the class.
10.I suffer from a disability or medical condition - does that rule me out from learning Karate?
No, not necessarily, but do seek medical advice before starting lessons if you suffer from any condition that may be affected by exercise especially if you have no recent experience of regular physical training in any discipline. Being confined to a wheel chair or being mentally challenged does not rule you out.
11. Which is the best style or club?
15. Why did Sensei Young leave the IOGKF, the organisation headed by Higaonna Morio?
"It was time to move on. Immediately prior to the National Training Camp in Dunedin NZ in 1995 with Mr Higaonna in attendance I had been asked by Dennis May, the then NZ Chief Instructor for IOGKF to test for Yondan before Mr Higaonna. After much consideration I had decided earlier in the year to leave the organisation, as I felt that I was not learning any more, and there was this urge within to move on. Up to then, I had been a serving member of Rembuden for over 20 years, with an association with Mr Higaonna of slightly less. It was a decision that I did not make lightly and one that I have not regretted to this day.
When we first changed to Mr Higaonna's organisation, the senior members of Rembuden worked very closely with him on his visits to convert Rembuden to Okinawa Goju Ryu. In later years Mr Higaonna became more selective as to who he spent his time with in the NZ structure which was understandable given the size of the new organisation and numbers of students.
I can truthfully say the highlight of my time in Rembuden Karate is still when I was first graded Shodan under the new Okinawa Goju Ryu structure. On the 5th June, 1979, of 15 candidates from around New Zealand who presented ourselves for the Shodan Grading only two, myself and Steven Riley of Masterton were successful with the test which culminated in the traditional 40 man fight. My own grading had been delayed by about 12 months due to the transitional period involved in converting from our former style (Kyokushinkai) to Okinawa Goju Ryu but this was more than made up for at the end of the grading. It is ironic that some of those that failed the grading are now senior Dan grades with Mr Higaonna's organisation".
16. Will I get hurt?
Any physical activity can lead to injury and Karate is no exception., but because we place such emphasis on keeping you safe, we hardly ever see any injuries here.
17. Will this be really hard on my body? And is it violent?
Karate people are never the ones to start fights. But if a fight has to happen, they're ready to defend themselves. So Karate is not violent. As far as the body goes.. the exercise involved may be tough for you at first. But you're welcome to go at your own pace. This isn't the army or anything. We're here to support you and see you succeed.
It may be a lttle hard on your body, but not so hard as to cause major injuries. Just hard enough for a great calorie-burning workout.
18. What is the best style of martial art?
People that ask this question immediately highlight their ignorance of the martial arts. There is no one best style. There are things that can be learnt from the techniques of all styles of fighting.
Grapplers will have an advantage over the kick boxing styles when it comes to choke holds and locks. However be aware that while you are applying a choker hold on your assailant, his friend may be hovering around you in the background.
Boxers in their element will have an advantage over the non boxers provided the latter is fighting in the boxers Miai (fighter's distance).
If their proficiency levels in boxing are the same, Kick Boxers will have an advantage over Boxers with their extra arsenal of kicking techniques not used by the boxers, eg. leg attacks, round house kicks, back kicks etc.
The list goes on. Think outside the square. Every form of fighting has something to offer the all round martial arts students, but initially do stick to your favourite style first to develop some form of proficiency in it.
The posers that chop and change doing one session here and there, do themselves a disservice. In the end they are not proficient in anything apart from a surprise attack on their unsuspecting victim.
The late Bruce Lee (Martial Arts Movie Star and founder of Jeet Kune Do) is often portrayed as invincible while he was alive and even in death by his countless fans. Why?, because he never lost any of his fights in the movies.
His original style was Chinese Wing Chun Kung Fu, and the proponents of this style say their style is the ultimate because Bruce Lee learnt everything from Wing Chun Grandmaster Ip Man , before he went out and developed Jeet Kune Do. Bruce trained with Master Ip Man for only 3 years.
No disrespect to Bruce, after all, Sensei Young attributes his start in Karate over 45 years ago to Bruce. He even has some of his books in his library. Then why did Sensei Young not learn the same style that Bruce Lee originally practised.
In 1975, there weren't any bonafide Kung Fu instructors around in New Zealand. As soon as Bruce Lee became well known from his movies, nearly every Chinese fruiterer of his generation suddenly came out of the woodwork and depicted themselves as Kung Fu Masters. Some of their students were silly enough to believe them.
Even today many grossly misrepresent themselves as Masters of Kung Fu. Sensei is related to some of them!!
19. I have discovered that the lineage of my present style has Okinawan Goju Ryu Karate origins. I would like to learn a bit more about the Kata that we share, and what you refer to as the Applications, as my present club only teaches you how to perform the Kata but no applications. Do you welcome visitors who wish to pursue this aspect of training?
Traditonally, it was not ethical to train in 2 different styles of Karate at the same time. Although all styles of Japanese Karate originated in Japan and Okinawa proper, in the evolution of the styles, differences have developed between basic techniques, stances and Kata performance from one style to the next.
For one to train concurrently in 2 different styles where there are obvious differences, one would have to change the way you did things everytime you trained. eg. Seyunchin Kata in Okinawan Goju Ryu is performed differently to Japanese Goju Kai. Japanese Goju Kai came from Okinawan Goju Ryu. It is different again in Kyokushinkai which evolved from Shotokan and Goju Kai.
People choose a particular club for different reasons. For some, its because they believe it is the best style for training and fighting (Kumite), for others its the social networking aspects of the club and its size, or they just like the way they are taught and learn, while for others its because of location being close to home or work, and offers the convenience of just popping in.
Back to your original question, we would not orientate the session specifically around your desire to learn the kata applications, because our priority is with our fee paying members.
20. At present I study another style of Karate but am passing through town and would like to train with your club, do you welcome students of other styles?
See above. It depends on your motivation for wanting to train with us, especially if there is already a club that practises the same style as yours in town.
We are only a small dojo, and share a similar philosophy to the dojos in Okinawa.
If you're interested in the origins of Rembuden founded by Sensei Jarvis, or Okinawa Goju Ryu, I'm more than happy to answer any of your questions or put you in touch with Sensei Jarvis directly.
Years ago, we used to get the odd call from people asking to come and train and 'kick arse'. Our response is still the same - you have to do the warm-ups, basics, and all the other exercises the class is expected to do and follow Dojo etiquette.
At my age (68), I'm not particularly interested in competition. We get the occasional nutjob that visits, then never comes back. It wasn't because we did Kumite that night, more the knuckle pushups.