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RDX Sports Reading Karate Club - Wado Kai


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

We have tried to answer as many of your questions as possible in this section. However, if you require any more information please feel free to contact us using our online form.


Why should I practice karate? What will I learn?
What do I wear

Who will teach me?

How fit do I have to be? Am I too old?

Is karate suitable for children?

Is karate suitable for women?

How long must I train before I can defend myself? When do we get to free spar/ do I have to fight?

Will I have to compete in tournaments?

What do I call the teacher?

Why do we have to bow? What are the belts (grades) in karate and how long does it take to reach them?
What are the dojo rules? How often should I train?
Where are you located? How much does it cost?
Will I get hurt What do i do next?
How do I tie a karate belt  

Why should I practice karate?

There are many benefits of training in karate. Physically it enhances strength, coordination, stamina, balance and flexibility. Regular exercise can improve both the quality and longevity of your life and make you feel happier and more alert. There is also evidence that exercise can help cognitive brain function.

With continued Karate training, you will gain.

  • fitness
  • confidence
  • flexibility
  • improved reflexes
  • coordination
  • muscle strength
  • relaxation
  • discipline
  • etiquette
  • respect for all
  • strength of character

Karate trains the mind as well as the body, resulting in improved self-awareness, discipline, confidence and will power. Not only will you have the peace of mind that you can defend yourself, but your confidence will help you to tackle all life throws at you.

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What will I learn?

We teach traditional Wado Kai Karate in a safe, friendly and respectful environment. Wado Kai is a traditional, defensive style of karate which focuses on technique and using the opponent’s force and aggression against themselves. Our syllabus, from England Wado Kai, is structured and progressive to allow you to develop in easy steps.

The teaching focuses on the following main areas:

Kihon Waza
Foundation Techniques, such as punching, kicking and blocks.

Renkei Waza
Combination Techniques.

Ippon, Ohyo and Kihon Kumite
Pair work, putting the foundation techniques into practice.

Kata – ‘Form’
Predetermined sequences of movements.

Ji Yu Kumite
free fighting/ sparring, only started once you have learnt the necessary techniques and control.

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What do I wear

When you start karate you will need to wear loose clothing so that you are able to move around freely. Suitable clothing would consist of jogging/ tracksuit trousers, and a T-shirt. It is important that whatever you choose to wear is both comfortable and suitable for physical activity.

When you are confident that you want to continue with karate training you can purchase yourself a ‘gi’, which is the cotton jacket and trousers worn in karate. (Say ‘G’ as in ‘Game’ and ‘ee’ as in ‘Bee’).

The karate gi is a devolution of the judo uniform, which in turn originates from the undergarments of the Shaolin monks and comes in varying weights. With the gi, you would wear a white belt until you are ready to grade.

For more information on belts click here›

Learn how to tie a karate belt›

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Who will teach me?

The instructors at the Reading Karate club are insured and registered with England Wado Kai. Amongst our instructors are qualified First Aiders, as is the Club Secretary who also holds a child protection certificate in sport.

All adult instructors and the club secretary have had CRB checks.

Currently the club instructor is Rob Barrett (3rd Dan, Black Belt). more›

The senior instructor for the association is Sensei Barry Wilkinson (8th Dan, Black Belt).

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How fit do I have to be?

Most people are unfit when they start karate and often it’s the reason why they take it up in the first place. We offer person centered training, so your fitness (or lack of!) will not prevent you from enjoying and developing in karate.

Our syllabus is constructed so that the most physically demanding techniques are introduced in a phased manor. This means your fitness will develop as you train more and this in turn helps you to progress through the belt system.

Wado Kai is a softer style of karate which focuses on technique and less on physical strength, making it ideal for all fitness levels. For more information on Wado Kai Karate click here›

As with all sports its recommended that you consult you GP first if you have any concerns about your current level of fitness/health.

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Am I too old?

You are never too old to start Karate; there are many older karate-ka (one who practices karate) including some Japanese masters who practice well in to their 80’s and 90’s.

Wado Kai is a softer style of karate which focuses on technique and less on physical strength. This makes it ideal for all ages to participate.

We believe in adjusting the way that you practice karate to suit your body so you're not expected to perform like a 21 year old athlete if you're in your fifties. If you are over 35 and have not exercised in a while, or have any concerns about your current level of fitness/health it is recommended that you check with your GP prior to training.

Find out more about our adult karate classes here›

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Is karate suitable for children?

Karate is one of the best activities a child can practice, with the degree of discipline, respect and etiquette taught in the class the child will learn to accept more responsibilities, become more aware and confident. Add to this fitness and the ability to be able to stand up for themselves, you can see why so many parents enrol their children in karate classes.

Children from 6 years of age are accepted and we have a good mix of boys and girls.

At Reading Wado Kai Karate Club we have a separate class for children which is designed to cater for their attention spans, physical limitations and their ability to take new things on board. 

The main aim of the children's class is to teach the principles of karate and self defence, for them to get some exercise and to work within structured groups following instructions from an adult. Over a period of time it also has a positive influence on their self discipline and attention spans.

Find out more about our children’s karate classes here›

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Is karate suitable for women?

Wado Kai is a style of karate which focuses on technique rather than physical strength, this makes it an ideal style for women.

You will learn to use the strong parts of you body against the weak parts of your attackers, along with ways of using your whole body to defeat an opponent rather than using strength alone.

Karate also exercises and tones up the entire body helping you look and feel great whilst increasing your confidence and awareness.

At the Reading Wado Kai Club we have mixed classes.

Find out more about our adult karate classes here›

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How long must I train before I can defend myself?

The ability to defend oneself from attack is dependent on many factors and the longer you train, the more able you will become. However, you will be better equipped to defend yourself from day one. At the end of your first class you will know how to perform several punches and kicks as well as how to block and evade your attacker.

At each following class you will build on this, getting better every class you attend. Your confidence will also grow with your new found skills which will also benefit in keeping you out of trouble in the first place!

Karate Ni Sente Nashi
In karate there is no first attack

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When do we get to free spar/ do I have to fight?

Basic sparring and pair work is worked on during the early stages of karate. Free sparring or Kumite is looked at when you are more advanced. The main reason for this is that good basic technique is a prerequisite to effective free sparring and too much free sparring tends to create bad habits in basic technique.

Beginners occasionally free spar, but typically it is with senior students as partners or under controlled conditions. This is primarily for safety reasons - the senior students won't hurt you because they have learned to control their techniques, and no matter how unpredictable your technique is, you probably won't be able to hurt them!

Kumite is only a small part of karate training and if you don’t want to participate or focus on Kumite (free fighting), no one will force you.

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Will I have to compete in tournaments?

No, but you can if you want to. The association has done very well in recent competitions and has regular training for the Kumite and Kata squads. Competition is great for developing your techniques but it is an optional, training opportunity.

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What do I call the karate teacher?

Karate Instructors are addressed as "Sensei". Sensei is a Japanese title of respect (sort of like "Sir" or "Mister"). It means "teacher" and is literally translated as "before birth" which infers that the instructor is someone older than yourself. In this case we are speaking of "karate age". In other words, an instructor is someone who has more karate experience than yourself. Sensei and "Master" are titles which people use to refer to or address someone else.

"Sempai" ("senior") is another term of respect that is often used when addressing someone who is not an instructor, but is senior to you in karate experience; usually an assistant instructor.

To find out more about the instructors at Reading Wado-Kai Karate Club click here›

For more karate terminology click here›

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Why do we have to bow?

Bowing is a gesture of kindness and respect for another person common among Eastern cultures. Bowing is a both a greeting and an acknowledgement of another person's worth.

Karate students embrace a philosophy that all people are worthy of respect. Learning to respect others is paramount to correct understanding of martial arts. Great physical and mental power must be offset by making a habit of putting other people before oneself, otherwise karate students might easily become bullies. So as we gain strength with potential to harm others, we also endeavor to become kinder people. Bowing and other forms of martial arts etiquette are training tools to help the karate student make kindness a habit.

For more on karate etiquette and karate rules click here›

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What are the belts (grades) in karate and how long does it take to reach them?

Students start by going through the "kyu" ranks. Progression in karate is a personal journey, but at the early stages you can expect to grade every 3 to 6 months. Kyu ranks and the color belts that go with them are:
8th Kyu (Yellow)
7th Kyu (Orange)
6th Kyu (Green)
5th Kyu (Blue)
4th Kyu (Purple)
3rd Kyu (Junior Brown)
2nd Kyu (Middle Brown)
1st Kyu (Senior Brown)
1st Dan (Black)
2nd Dan (Black)
3rd Dan (Black)

Junior and cadet students (6-15) must take a Mon Grade prior to taking the associated Kyu grade and receive a stripped belt.

For further details on karate belts click here›
For more information on grading click here›

Learn how to tie a karate belt›



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What are the dojo rules?

There are rules and etiquette (for example, bowing) associated with traditional karate. Karate etiquette is based on respect and kindness toward other people, while dojo rules are more for safety and not disrupting the class.

For full details of the dojo rules click here›

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How often should I train?

As a beginner one class a week is fine. However as you progress you may want to train a little more often – as with any sport, hobby or pastime, the more you practice the more proficient you will become.

“Train hard; grade easy”

The advantage of training under England Wado Kai is that we have clubs all over the country, so it is possible to train every night of the week! more›

The association also has regular courses at weekends where hundreds of karate students get together to train and grade. more›

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Where are you located?

Reading Wado Kai Karate Club meets every Monday at South Reading Youth & Community Hub. See the location page for full details.

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How much does it cost?

Your first introductory lesson is free!

After that a lesson costs £5.00for children and £6.00for adults.

When you are confident that you want to continue you can join the England Wado Kai Association and if you become serious and want to grade for your first belt, it will be necessary to obtain a license. Full details can be found on our Fees page.

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Will I get hurt?

Our main aim is to provide a safe environment for our students and serious injuries are extremely uncommon in karate.

The injury risk in Karate is much lower than in most other sports, such as football, rugby and hockey; where broken bones and noses as well as knee and joint injuries are common.

All contact is controlled and the most you would expect is the occasional sore muscle or bruise.

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What do I do next?

All you have to do is come along and try it out, and we offer a free first lesson to all new students. You will need some comfortable clothes (tracksuit and tee-shirt) and maybe a bottle of water.

If you're shopping around for martial arts schools or unsure whether Wado Kai Karate is for you; you're very welcome to observe a class and talk to the instructors or club members when it has finished.

We understand that the hardest step to make is the first one through the dojo door, so if you have any questions not answered already please contact us.

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Contact us

If you have any questions or an enquiry, please feel free to contact us using our online form Contact us›

contact us

Starting Karate

Do you want to learn karate?
Karate can make very positive changes to your life, teaching discipline, etiquette and respect for all.

If you're thinking about starting karate, there's no time like the present. Read our beginners guide to find out more›

Starting Karate

How to find us

Reading Wado Kai Karate Club train at
South Reading Community Hub,
252 Northumberland Avenue,
Reading, Berkshire.
RG2 7QA.

South Reading Community Hub

Training Fees

We try to keep our karate prices as competitive as possible and invest any money we make back into the club.

There are no contracts with our club and we operate a 'pay as you train' policy.

Details of our training fees›

Karate Training Costs

Training Times

Reading Wado Kai Karate Club trains at South Reading Community Hub on Monday evenings from 6:30pm. Training Times›

Karate Training Times

Karate Books

See some of the karate books recomended by our instructors and members. Karate Books›

karate katak of wado ryuOhtsukaBunkai Jutsu
Wado Ryu Karate manualAngry White PyjamasSport Stretch

Recomended Karate Books

Adults Classes

Have you always wanted to take up karate but always found a reason not to join?

The popular concern is that everyone will be like Bruce Lee and you won't fit in - that just isn't the case. Adult Karate Class›

Adult Karate Class

Kids Club

At Reading Wado Kai Karate club we run a class catered especially for children.

As well as the normal training we have various martial arts related games to keep their interest. more›

Childrens Karate Reading

Sensei Wilkinson

The founder of England Wado Kai, Barry Wilkinson, has an impressive pedigree, being taught Wado karate by leading exponents of the style and achieving Nanadan (7th dan) in June 2002. Sensei Wilkinson›

Sensei Barry Wilkinson

Dojo Rules

Karate is not just a sport it is also a school of discipline and a few simple rules for respectful behaviour and safety must be observed within the Dojo.

Respect for the Dojo facilitates good learning and good karate. Dojo Rules›

Dojo Rules

EWKR Grading Rules

A grading is a formal examination for which the applicant must be fully prepared. Full details of the requirements for grading can be found on our grading rules page›

Karate Grading Rules

History of Wado Kai

The Origins of Karate can be traced back as far as the Greek Olympic games of 776 B.C.
Wado History›

Wado History

Grading Syllabus

  8th Kyu syllabus
  7th Kyu syllabus

6th Kyu syllabus
  5th Kyu syllabus
  4th Kyu syllabus
  3rd Kyu syllabus
  2nd Kyu syllabus
1st Kyu syllabus
  1st Dan syllabus
  2nd Dan syllabus
  3rd Dan syllabus

Grading Syllabus›

Karate Syllabus

Sensei Ohtsuka

Hironori Ohtsuka (1892-1982) was the creator and first Grand Master of the Japanese karate style Wado Ryu. Hironori Ohtsuka›

Sensei Ohtsuks

Karate Terminology

Do you know your Kiba Dachi from your Jigo tai? Wanna learn the difference between Mikazukigeri and Atoshigeri? Well to find out, and a whole lot more visit our karate terminology section›

Karate Terminology

How to Tie your Belt

When you buy your new gi, the first thing you need to learn how to do is tie the belt correctly›

Karate Belts

Downloads Centre

We have loads of forms and resources available for you to download in our Downloads Centre›

Karate Downloads

Meet the instructors

Currently the club instructor is Rob Barrett (3rd Dan, Black Belt). Find out more about Rob on the instructors page›


Karate Store

Karate Shop

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