Colchester Shotokan Karate Club

Colchester Shotokan Karate Club

Affiliated to the Toyakwai Karate Association

About Karate

What is Karate?:

Karate is a system of self defence and physical culture originally developed and refined in Okinawa and Japan. The word is formed from the Japanese words Kara (empty) and Te (hand), symbolising that its practitioners - Karateka - are unarmed, but use their hands and feet for blocking and striking. Training is conducted within an environment based on certain Japanese cultural practices.

What is Shotokan Karate?:

Shotokan Karate is one of several styles of karate. It is however one of the oldest and most widely practiced styles worldwide. Other traditional styles, such as Wado Ryu, are characterised by their faster but lighter movements, whereas others, such as Goju Ryu are characterised by their stronger but less fluid movements. In terms of both speed and strength, Shotokan falls somewhere between the two extremes.

Can anyone train in karate?:

Karate can be practiced by men, women and children. Students range from the very young to senior citizens. Anyone who is in reasonable health can train at karate. Karate students will improve their health, self-awareness, self-confidence and self-esteem. There is of course the risk of injury when training, but in twenty-five years, the worst we have experienced in the Club are the occasional bruises. This because of our disciplined training structure and the emphasis placed on good etiquette. See "Beginners Page". 

The costs of training:

Karate is a reasonably inexpensive pursuit. Our fees are low compared to many other sports and hobbies (see "About Us" page). The main equipment needed is a Karate suit and belt. For their first few lessons most people will wear light loose fitting trousers and a t-shirt if you decide you want to continue training you will need to purchase in a karate suit (gi). Gi's cost between £15.00 (Blitz student Gi - light weight) to £45.00 (Blitz White Diamond - heavy weight) if purchased through the club [Students are free to purchase Gi's from other sources]. A pair of protective mitts and a mouth guard will eventually be required for kumite (sparring). Members also need to purchase an annual T.K.A licence.

The benefits of Karate training:

The physical training required to reach a high level of skill in Karate promotes overall good health, fitness and well-being. The concentration, commitment and dedication required, help build a strong, confident and determined character. There is a ‘Dojo Kun’, or training code, which not only ensures a disciplined training environment, but serves as a tool for improving behaviour, so that a true Karateka will only use their fighting skills as a last resort.

What is involved in karate training:

Training is structured into three main sections - Kihon (fundamental techniques), Kata (formal exercises) and Kumite (sparring). Each section has a range of complexity to suit the different levels or grades of students. Kumite will be introduced as basic blocking and counterattacking, but will progress to free-sparring which develops the timing, reflexes and co-ordination necessary for self defence and competition.


Karate is an exciting and challenging sport. Although not our main focus recently, our members have enjoyed competition success at both local and national level throughout the years. The karate associations hold many competitions at local, national and international level. There are club and regional events for all ages and grades, with opportunities for selection to the junior and senior Squads. There are separate championships for children and for students who are in full-time education at Colleges and Universities.

Karate and GCSE Sport:

Karate is an option sport in both the GCSE "O" and "A" level Physical Education syllabus. Colchester Shotokan Karate Club instructors will assist in your preparation for practical assessments. The assessments can be incorporated into a lesson if your course tutor wishes to visit the club, or we can video the assessment for submission.   

Karate Equipment

Karate equipment is relatively inexpensive, the items below are the minimum required for progression to black belt.

Karate Gi
Karate Gi and belt
Karate Mitts
Karate Mitts
Mouth Guard
Mouth Guard