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Amongst other things, karate will teach you:-

  • Focus
  • Coordination
  • Discipline
  • Determination
  • Self-confidence
  • Respect for others

And of course, will help you to keep fit.

All students need to complete a health declaration in confidence. In some circumstances we can take students with medical conditions, having discussed matters privately with a senior instructor.

We have an extensive amount of equipment for use by students – body armour, gloves, boots, helmets and floor mats are used regularly. We also have “Tyson” a weighted rubber manikin used for full power combat.

To practice full power karate this manikin is ideal, as it minimises the risk of injury whilst enabling students to appreciate just how powerful this skill can be.

We base our training on Shotokan Karate in honour of the many good Senseis that have taught us. However some of our instructors come from other martial arts, so they bring a blend of other skills including Kung Fu, other forms of Karate, Kick Boxing and Aikido.

We have several instructors, male and female, of different ages ranging from teenagers upwards. One of the things we pride ourselves on is our wish to share knowledge, and senior pupils willingly share their knowledge with fellow students.

We coach senior students, in effect teaching them how to teach. This works for both the student and the senior grade – the student benefits from a different viewpoint (in many cases with younger students it comes from someone closer to their own age) and we also find this increases the self-confidence of the senior student.


We can tailor tuition to specific needs if required –women’s self-defence, for instance. We have also coached students through the GCSE Sports Studies syllabus and provided appropriate certification and video to schools for onward transmission to Examination Boards.

However, if you are looking to learn skills to help you to go looking for a fight, you should go elsewhere. The skills we teach are only to be used in defence of yourself and others – they are not to be used to initiate violence and you will be asked to sign to agree to this.

We are proud of the fact that we do not have any bullies in our club. One of the humbling facts about martial arts is that there is always someone better than you, so any attempted bullying would be stopped by someone better.  In the extremely rare cases where we have had would-be bullies joint our club, we find that the humbling nature of martial arts changes their ways. Otherwise, we would ask the bully to leave and withdraw that person’s licence.

Clothing – for your first few sessions you should wear loose fitting clothing, such as tee shirt and tracksuit leggings, and you will be barefooted training on carpet tiles. No shorts please, and please remove all jewellery, but you can keep a wedding ring on if you wish. Long hair may be best tied up, and remember to bring a drink.

After a few weeks, you may wish to wear a “gi” like the other students. You can buy one elsewhere as long as it meets our requirements, but you can probably buy one cheaper from one of the instructors.

You will also need to be licenced – this is a registration process with our professional body that also provides some insurance cover in the event injury.

After several weeks, and only if you wish to, we will introduce to you to “Sparring” where you will have the opportunity to practice one to one combat in a controlled environment. You will also need a gum shield for this as a precaution.

To encourage competition, we hold regular in-house competitions across several disciplines for children, split according to age and grade. Medals and trophies are awarded.

Shelf Karate AC 2016 © (16)

We have a special class for children from age 5.

Our students find our training gives them discipline and the confidence to discourage bullying at school.

We do not condone violence but believe that it is acceptable to defend yourself when attacked. One adult member successfully defended himself against two violent men who attempted to mug him.

Several children have used their skills to ward off school bullies.

You are welcome to come and just watch at first to see if it is for you. We won’t press you to commit because we are not in this for the money and only want people to come to our club who really want to be there.

We are passionate about our sport and want you to share our enthusiasm. You will receive one to one tuition when warranted.


“A kata is not fixed or immovable. Like water, it’s ever-changing and fits itself to the shape of the vessel containing it. However, kata are not some kind of beautiful competitive dance, but a grand martial art of self-defence – which determines life and death.”

Kenwa Mabuni