FAQS & Contact



Listed below are some common questions and answers that may help you if you are considering joining the club:

At what age does a junior member become a senior?

Normally 16yrs of age.

What does JKAE membership entitle me to?

Your membership covers the cost of your license and insurance. It entitles you to attend any JKAE training session, grading, competition or course appropriate to your grade. Some of these events may incur an additional cost.

What's a grading?

A grading is a kind of exam, where your own sensei and another high-level instructor from the JKAE watch you perform the techniques you have learned in class. If you pass, you move up to the next coloured belt.

How much does a grading cost?

The cost is approximately £18 which covers the cost of a lesson with the examiner / instructor and the grading itself.

When and where are gradings held?

The JKAE holds gradings regularly all over the country, and JKAE members can attend any of them. Locally, gradings are held at the IBM Centre near Romsey approximately every three months.

How often do I have to grade?

Up to black belt, the quickest you can grade is once every 3 months. Note that you don't have to grade every 3 months- you can choose not to grade if you don't feel you are ready, or if for some reason you are unable to attend. However if you don't grade, you won't move up through the belts, and you won't learn the more advanced techniques.

What are the belts in the JKAE?

Our belt system is as follows: White, orange, red, yellow, green, purple, purple/white, brown, brown/white, brown/white/white, black. There are numerous levels (dans) of black belt.

Are the classes conducted in Japanese?

No, it's a karate class, not a language class! Some japanese words are used, but you will find they are always used alongside the english translations, so you don't need to worry.

What should I wear?

To begin with, you can train in any lightweight clothing that allows easy movement. However by the time you take your first grading, you will be expected to wear a gi, the traditional white karate suit. You can buy one through the club or you can supply your own. Please remove all jewellery before participating in a session.

Do I need to warm up before the class?

Each class begins with an extensive warm up led by an instructor.

I already have a belt in karate, but it's from another style/ another association/ I haven't trained in years. Will I have to start again at white belt?

For your first few lessons, while we assess your level, you may wear the belt you attained, but your training will be appropriate to your current ability. When the time comes to grade, you may well be able to grade your at previous level.

Can I come and watch / take part in a session before committing myself to annual membership?

Yes you can watch or have up to 4 lessons before requiring a licence.

Is karate safe?

Yes,shotokan karate is non contact, so is much safer than contact sports.


If you have any specific queries please contact us using the form below:

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The Japan Karate Association England (“JKAE”) is a non profit making association based in England and Wales and is associated with the Japan Karate Association (“JKA”) in Japan, one of the most prestigious, oldest and largest Shotokan Karate organisations in the world.

Under the guidance of the Chief Instructor, Sensei Yoshinobu Ohta (7th Dan), and together with the Executive and Technical Committees, they provide the administrative and practical direction to JKA England.


The Japan Karate Association (JKA), is the world’s largest and most prestigious karate organization. Their mission is to promote the way of karate throughout the world, while ensuring that it remains true to the philosophical precepts since establishment of the JKA in 1949. The Association in England and Wales is JKAE England (JKAE) and through our Chief instructor, Sensei Ohta (7th Dan), we continue to be strongly affiliated to the JKA in Japan. This bond is reinforced by regular visits by world leading instructors from Japan who instruct at our International Courses held in May and September each year.

What sort of karate does the JKA teach?

The JKA is the generally-recognized heir to the Shotokan karate tradition as developed by Supreme Master Funakoshi Gichin, and teaches a specially-refined form of Shotokan style karate.

Shotokan karate is one of the most widely practiced forms of karate in the world today, and one of the most traditional. Introduced to Japan from Okinawa by Supreme Master Funakoshi Gichin, Shotokan puts heavy focus on kihon (basic techniques), kata (forms), and kumite (sparring) to develop a range of powerful and dynamic techniques.

Karate is a form of unarmed combat employing a wide range of punching and kicking techniques. There are no weapons involved in practicing karate and the term “karate” literally means “empty hand” where only hands and feet are used for blocking and striking.

There are many distinctive styles of karate with their own characteristics such as emphasizing speed, power and hip rotation while other styles concentrate on competitions, self defense or various applications of techniques. Through hard training and practice, karate develops not only the body but also the mind and character.