Colchester Shotokan Karate Club

Colchester Shotokan Karate Club

Affiliated to the Toyakwai Karate Association

About Colchester Shotokan Karate Club

At Colchester Shotokan Karate Club we believe our philosophy has been a key factor in our success over the past twenty-five years, and distinguishes us from many of the other karate clubs in Colchester. Colchester Shotokan Karate Club is a registered Community Amateur Sports Club (CASC), which ensures the Club is run as a not-for-profit organization.

Why The Club Exists:

First and foremost, we are here to provide high quality/low cost tuition in Shotokan Karate. We believe this is something we have achieved successfully to date, evidenced by the success of our members in competitions and Black Belt gradings. All of our Instructors are of at least 4th Dan Black Belt level.

We continually seek to improve our standards, and we regularly attend courses and invite guest Instructors to the Club.

We rejoined the Toyakwai Karate Association at the beginning of 2007, a move that has introduced us to new training partners, and allowed us greater control of our own destiny.

Not For Profit:

We are confident you will find our fees very reasonable. This is because none of our Instructors receive any payment for their services, all money received from lesson fees and gradings remains within the club and is used to pay hall fees, equipment, subsidise courses, subsidise competition entry etc.. All of our Instructors are long-standing club members who have benefited directly from training with Colchester Shotokan Karate Club, and want to extend those benefits to others. We keep our training fees as low as possible, any surplus funds are used for solely the benefit of our members. Our club grading fees have not been increased in the last 15 years, our monthly lesson fees have not increased for 7 years.

We have no hidden costs e.g. we do not insist on members purchasing clothing and equipment from us at inflated prices, so long as what they do buy is suitable. We do however offer quality karate suits, belts and other items, and do so at cost or near-cost. Neither do we insist on fees being paid for long periods in advance or demand payment of future fees in-lieu of a 'notice period' if students stop training with us. We operate solely on a pay-as-you-train basis or offer a discounted monthly rate.

We have no objections in principle to others profiting from teaching martial arts, as long as anybody doing do is of a high enough standard. The only advice we can give to new students is not to commit to paying up-front fees until you are satisfied that you are getting quality tuition as well as value for money.

Freedom Of Choice:

We do not consider that we 'own' our students or their karate, and so we would not usually discourage them from training at other clubs, whether in Karate or other martial arts. The only time we would do so is if this additional training was proving detrimental to their Shotokan Karate or to the Club itself.

In fact, we actively encourage our members, especially the higher grades, to make the most of training opportunities, Instructor Paul Sumner, leading by example, was recently awarded his 3rd black sash in kung fu.

As well as encouraging our members to seek additional training, we also welcome non-members to train with us, whether on a one-off or regular basis.

Family Orientated:

We believe that karate is an activity that is suitable for all ages and so we encourage family members to train. Many of our members are parents that were only bringing their children to the Club, before they thought they might as well have a go themselves.

Making karate enjoyable for the whole family is not incompatible with maintaining our high standards, and so we prefer to hold all-age/all-grade sessions. This has worked well for us for over twenty years.

Do not be afraid to look at more than one club before you decide. At Colchester Shotokan Karate Club we would encourage anyone interested in starting karate to visit the club and watch a class, talk to instructors and existing members. Choosing the right club is very important particularly when children are involved.

We also recognize that members, not least the Instructors, have lives outside of karate and so have decided, at least for the time being, to restrict regular training to two evenings a week. However, by the time you have allowed for a 10 minute stretch and warm-up at the start of every lesson and a 5 minute cool-down (which should be a minimum) we actually offer more training time than three separate sessions of an hour each, and without the additional cost!

Related pages

Club photograph

Course photograph - Instructor Sensei Mick Billman 8th Dan (14th May 2010)