Colchester Shotokan Karate Club

Colchester Shotokan Karate Club

Affiliated to the Toyakwai Karate Association

Frequently Asked Questions

At Colchester Shotokan Karate Club, we've done our best to create a Web site that anticipates and satisfies our customers' needs. With that goal in mind, we've compiled a list of frequently asked questions. If you do not find an answer to your question here, please use the  Contact Us page.

Q: Do any age restrictions apply for Karate training?

A: At Colchester Shotokan Karate Club we have no upper age limit, however we do restrict the starting age to 6 years and above. This is because we do not run separate classes for children we feel that this is the minimum age suitable for integration into our classes.

Q: I have not trained for years and I want to get back into karate...

A: We will discuss on an individual basis the best way for you to restart your karate training. This will to a large extent depend on how much is remembered, the time scales and the previous style of karate.

Q: I’ve been training with a different association, will you honour my current grade?

A: Generally other association grades are honoured, although this is not guaranteed. However we will asses the standard before our next club grading, we may request that you confirm your current grade with our examiners.

Q: Do I have to take exams?

A: Progress in karate is shown by the wearing of different coloured belts, these belts are awarded after successfully passing a formal grading examination. It is always up to the individual student if they want to be entered into a grading. Gradings are not compulsory it is however the only way to move to a different coloured belt. If you only want to do karate as a form of exercise then grading is not essential.

Q:How long does it take to get a black belt?

A: This depends to a large extent on individual student ability and lesson frequency, the minimum period would be 3 years.

Q: Equipment Cost?

A: Initially no equipment is required, a T-shirt and loose fitting trousers is suitable until you decide karate is for you and wish to purchase a Gi.
We do not use any special “club design” karate suit that can only be purchased from our club. White karate Gi can be purchased at most sports retailers, we do offer equipment at discounted prices to our members.
A mouth guard is recommended for sparring, and is compulsory for competitions..
A set of sparring mitts are required for sparring and competitions, the club does have a number of pairs available for general use.
A Typical student suit Gi would cost approximately £10 - £15 depending on size and a heavy weight Gi would cost approximately £35 - £40 again dependent on size, when purchased from the club. We have included a link to Blitz on our web site to illustrate the range of equipment available, however the prices shown are not club discounted prices. You are free to purchase a Gi from a source other than the club, the only stipulation we have is that the Gi must be a karate style Gi and white.

Q: What are the training costs?

A: At Colchester Shotokan Karate Club we are a registered Community Amateur Sports Club (CASC), which ensures the Club is run as a not-for-profit organisation. We keep our training fees as low as possible, any surplus funds are used for solely the benefit of our members.

  • We do not have a membership/joining fee.
  • We do not insist that lessons are paid for in advance, although we do offer a monthly option with discounted rates.
  • We use standard white karate suits, enabling the student greater choice on source and cost.
  • An annual  License is required from the Toyakawai Karate Association at £30.00, this provides insurance cover.


Seniors (16+)


Per session (1.5 Hour)

Seniors £5.00

Juniors £4.00

Monthly fees Once weekly (1.5 Hour)

Seniors £18.00

Juniors £12.00

Monthly fees Twice weekly (2 x 1.5 Hour)

Seniors £30.00

Juniors £20.00

A typical month would have 8 training sessions, a student can swap between monthly and individual lesson fees depending on circumstances (e.g. holidays).
We offer the first four lessons free for anyone who has not trained with us before.

Q: How do I start training with Colchester Shotokan Karate Club?

A: Just drop either Paul and/or Ian an email to say you are interested in starting Karate and when you would like to visit the club, then simply come along to one of our classes [Tuesday and Friday evenings 19:00 to 20:30 at Colchester Academy Sports Centre] talk to one of our instructors and either watch or join in a class. If you are going to join in a class wear a tee-shirt and  joggers or similar loose fitting clothing. There is only one simple form to fill in with contact details and a few health questions, then you can start training.

Equipment Suppliers

Colchester Shotokan Karate Club member can purchase karate equipment from Blitz Sport Ltd through the club at discounted prices. Note we will not purchase "replica" weapons for club members.

Students are free to purchase equipment from sources other than the club.

Some of the links in this section will take you to Web sites not owned or operated by Colchester Shotokan Karate Club. Colchester Shotokan Karate Club is not responsible for the condition of these links or the information they provide.  If you would like to report an issue with one of these links or the information displayed please contact us, see “Contact Us” page for details and we will investigate the issues raised.