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Last update  18/08/2013
Shitokai Erskine
Park Mains High School, Park Mains, Erskine
Tel: +44(0)141-812-3978, Mobile: 07976-268518
Shitokai Erskine Website:

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Karate Classes at Park Mains Sports Complex - Erskine i
Answers to the Most Frequently Asked Questions
What is Karate?
Karate is a martial art encompassing self defence and physical culture elements. It was first developed in Okinawa (before being introduced to Japan) from a local martial style known as Te which had been enhanced by elements from other Chinese martial arts over a long period of years.

What is different about Shito-Ryu Karate?
Shito-Ryu is one of the 4 main Karate styles being practised in the world today. Fundamentally all styles are the same with regard to the general techniques used i.e they all use stances, blocks, punches/strikes and  kicks. Both geographical and cultural of differences were responsible for a variety of Karate forms which developed in Okinawa, namely Shuri-Te, Naha-Te and Tomari-Te. Unlike the other three main styles of Shotokan, Wado-Ryu and Goju-Ryu which all take their techniques from only one of the original forms, Shito-Ryu developed from all three original forms. This has resulted in a very interesting mix of techniques and performance styles which can be both fast and dynamic but also slow, strong and deliberate  when needed. This is also the reason that Shito-Ryu has by far the largest repertoire of Kata (pre-arranged forms) of the 4 main styles. Shitokai is a branch of Shito-Ryu which holds to the original style framework conceived by its founder Kenwa Mabuni.

What is the youngest/oldest age to begin Karate?
4 years of age is the minimum age our club will take in as a student. Karate is for all ages and as long as there are no major medical issues, many people can and do train well into their sixties and even seventies.

I left for a year or two or I am switching style/club. Do I need to re-grade?
You will be allowed to wear whatever colour of belt you have achieved if you so wish. Once you have returned to full time training, have regained fitness and/or have gained sufficient expertise in our style you will be re-graded in accordance with our system.  The result may not reflect the grade you currently hold and the alternative is to wait until you are confident that you have reached the required standard for our grading system.

Are Club Instructors insured?
Yes all instructors hold individual Professional Indemnity insurance cover through a reputable insurance company.

What are the costs of training?
Karate is still one of the most inexpensive sports when compared to other popular sports/hobbies. All that is needed initially is a karate suit and belt and an Association licence. In summary the first  session is FREE, then depending on age the mat fees are £4.00 Primary School age and £5.00 for High School age and above including adults per session. A licence is required within 2 weeks of joining the club and the current cost of this is £25.00 (First application) and £20.00 thereafter, for both junior and senior students respectively.  Karate suits (Gi) are relatively inexpensive for beginners. Please refer to Sensei for current prices which are size dependent.

What are the benefits of Karate training?
An improvement will be realised immediately in your level of fitness, health and self confidence. Your self esteem and sense of achievement will also rise as you progress through the various levels. For children discipline is another main benefit as all classes must be conducted in a safe controlled environment with proper etiquette and safe practices. Don’t also forget the added bonus of social interaction with other members of the club/community at all levels. Lifetime friendships can be made both locally and through meeting foreign students at various courses.

Are Instructors qualified?
All club instructors have obtained at least a level 2 coaching award from the Scottish Karate Governing Body (SKGB). As such they have been vetted through the Enhanced Scottish Criminal Records Organisation (ESCRO), now a legal requirement to check  for paedophile and other criminal activity.

How often can I train?
Please refer to our training schedule for available dates. Also as a member of Shitokai Scotland you can train at any other Shitokai club (see Shitokai Scotland website). Matt fees for the associate club will be required.

How often can I grade?
Refer to our Gradings section for full details.

How soon do I need to purchase a licence/Karate Gi (suit)?
As in any club organisation, joining is a prerequisite and shows commitment to the club. The first class is free and a licence should be purchased during your next session. A Karate Gi is not necessary at the beginning, however as soon as the membership fee has been paid ie within the first two weeks a free suit will be provided. The student will therefore feel part of the club and feel less self -conscious at the earliest opportunity.

Does the club have a formal constitution/health & safety policy?
Yes, the club has both a formal constitution and a health & safety policy. Please  ask Sensei if you wish to view a  copy. Alternatively the Health & Safety policy can be viewed on the main Shitokai Scotland Website (see links page).