What to expect at the Club


The only way to find out if you or your children (minimum age is 5) will like or can adapt to karate is to attend a few classes. Times of each club and sessions are on the website

Just turn up at the specific time to a club near you and tell the instructor you would like to attend a couple of classes or that you would like to stay and watch what happens.

Don’t worry or be concerned that you will feel out of place on your own, remember every single one of us started right where you are now. You will be made to feel very welcome and you can be reassured that we understand it may feel a little strange doing unusual moves in a Dojo full of strangers in your bare feet.

At first you will not need a karate suit or any equipment, just loose-fitting jogging trousers and a T-Shirt or similar top.

It is important that you bring drinks with you to replace lost fluids whilst training, drinks can be taken at break.

The Benefits (how can karate can help you?)


Karate itself is a great fitness aid working your breathing and heart rate along with strengthening muscles and bones.


For children and adults, you begin to develop an inner strength and confidence which enables you to be more assertive, unafraid and ultimately able to respect yourself more.


Self- discipline and control develops naturally as you progress through the grades.

Self Esteem 

Because you respect yourself, yours or your child’s self- esteem increases giving you a sense of peace and calmness.

Self Defence 

Karate must never be used to attack someone, only as a means of self- defence and counter attack. More so than ever before we all need to be able to protect ourselves, children or adults against unwanted advances. Karate will give you the awareness and ability to do just that. The word karate means “empty hand”.


Once obtained all your karate training will have been worthwhile and lifelong.

Focus – Awareness – Courage

Karate has a very long history during which it has evolved into a number of styles.

The style of karate we practice is called Wado-Ryu, this means “The Way of Peace and Harmony”.

Wado- Ryu (Kai) Karate originated from Okinawa and Japan through its founder and grand master Hinorori Ohtsuka.

An important thing to note with Dumfries Wado-Kai Karate Club is that grading follows a set down formal procedure which ensures that pupils passing each grade do so by earning each pass to eventually become in every sense  ‘A true black belt’.

Many clubs and organizations give out coloured belts as if they are ‘two a penny’. Sadly the quality and capability of their pupils is not as it should be.

In choosing Dumfries Wado-Kai Karate Club you will become over time a ‘Black Belt’ in the time honoured tradition of the founding master of Wado-Ryu karate, Hironori Ohtsuka (1892-1982). Every journey starts with a first step which you have now taken by enquiring about Dumfries Wado-Kai Karate Club. Welcome Aboard!

Dojo Etiquette 

The DOJO is the room where we do the training. Karate is a disciplined martial art and as such there are certain rules to follow.  Once you decide to continue along your chosen path of karate you will need a license and grading book. Detailed DOJO etiquette rules will be contained in your grading book, but for now here are the basics.

  • On entering or leaving the main Dojo you need to bow as a mark of respect to the spirit of karate.
  • Bare feet only (unless medical conditions dictate otherwise).
  • No Chewing Gum.
  • Jewellery removed or taped up.
  • Hair Beads or similar tied securely back.
  • Join the line at the white belt end (far right as you stand in it, higher grades are to the left end).
  • On command ‘NORAI’ stand with feet together with hands by your side.
  • On command ‘REI’ bow to the instructor.
  • On command ‘YOI’ stand with feet apart and fists ready.
  • Always call your instructor ‘Sensei’ when speaking to him in class.

All moves will be demonstrated first by your Sensei, feel free to ask if there is anything you are uncertain about.

You must always show senior grades respect and lower grades consideration.

Kihons and Ohyos 

These are pre-arranged attacks and defence moves. As you begin to piece all this together you will work slowly towards co-coordinating an incredible range of different moves, blocks etc. with your mind and body working together.

The learning and building up of all the various moves takes time and patience but the rewards of being able to do them sharply without thinking about them is enormous and great fun.


All moves, attacks and defences and sparring are none or very light contact at all times. Do not worry that you will be kicked or punched as you might be in say boxing or kick boxing. It is with this in mind that karate is such great fun and safe for children and adults alike. 

Things to consider

In building up your skills and knowledge of karate sometimes you will find the work occasionally repetitive but this is necessary to keep developing and building it into your progress.

Gradings (the feeling when you pass is great)

Gradings are carried out every 6 months or so with back up gradings for those who may not be able to make the main gradings. Each time you attend and pass you are moving along to the next coloured belt starting at white through to black. When you pass you will receive an embossed grading certificate with your pass level which is signed into your license. There is no pressure to take grades, you take them when you think you are ready.


We run our own children’s competitions which involves katas and competition fighting, you can also go to other club competitions representing our club once you gain confidence with the aim of winning trophies and certificates.

Fun Time 

At random intervals instructors will play games, tig, catch, relay races or similar to vary the fun and exercise. Kids and adults love it. At Christmas it’s all fun and games, karate goes out of the window with Father Christmas.

Aches and Pains 

Sometimes you will feel aches and pains where you didn’t know you had muscles, this is perfectly normal as you will be using and developing different muscles of your body, the aches and pains will soon pass.

Worries and Concerns. 

Will I fit in? What if I don’t know anyone? Will I look silly? What if I do something wrong?

No need to worry – everyone is really friendly and higher grades along with instructors are always happy to keep you on the right track.

Once you decide to continue you can consider purchasing the necessary equipment, details of which are contained in the next section.


Things that you may need

  • Karate Suit                                                      Must Have (after 4 weeks)
  • Sparring                                                             Gloves Must Have
  • Protective Shin Guards                              Optional
  • Groin Guard                                                    Optional
  • Karate and Kata Book                                 Optional
  • License (Includes Insurance)                   Compulsory (after 4 weeks)
  • Grading Book                                                 Comes with Licence
  • Suit Badges                                                     Optional

All of the above can be obtained from you Sensei, or you can buy your own.

See the instructors for more details.