Karate is a system of self defence originally devloped in Okinawa, Japan. The word Karate was formed form the japanese words 'kara' which means empty, & 'te' which means hand, thus karate students are unarmed, and use their arms, legs, hands and feet as weapons.
LUKC practice Shotokan karate. There are several fundamental styles of Karate which all conform to the definition of 'shotokan', but all use slightly different training methods and place varying degrees of emphasis on issues such as the speed, strength, and range of techniques - thus you will hear some described as 'fast' styles, and others as 'strong'. Shotokan is a style of Karate which emphasises a balanced development of all these aspects, taught within a system which instils confidence and self-control.
The Shotokan style was originated by an Okinawan teacher of physical education, Gichin Funakoshi (seen right), who introduced it to Japan in 1922, where it was developed extensively by the Japanese Master, Masatoshi Nakayama. Because of this development there have been relatively few changes since then, & Shotokan has spread to become the most widely practiced style of Karate throughout the world.
LUKC has been proudly affiliated to the KUGB (Karate Union of Great Britain) for over 30 years. LUKC’s senior instructors train regularly under the auspices of the KUGB chairman and England Coach Sensei Andy Sherry 8th Dan. In addition, a number of LUKCs senior karateka are members of the famous Red Triangle (Sensei Sherry, Sensei Poynton and Sensei Brennan’s own club) and travel down to Liverpool twice a week to benefit from their instruction. As a result LUKC members benefit as these Dan grades are able to pass on to Lancaster Students the same techniques that are currently being taught to the England Kata and Kumite teams.
The KUGB is a democratic body controlled by its membership and operates under an approved constitution. All positions on its committees are elected at the Annual General meeting by its members. Its fully audited accounts are presented annually for approval by the AGM.
It consists of over 400 clubs, all of which practice Shotokan Karate. It was established in 1966 as a democratic and non-profit making organisation for the development of Shotokan Karate and is affiliated to European and World Shotokan Karate Bodies. It has clubs established in many Sports Centres, Universities and Schools.
It is by far the largest and most successful single-style association in Great Britain with currently almost 11,000 members. (cf. www.kugb.org)
Getting hurt in our training sessions with the sensei is very rare. Being 'beaten up' is certainly NOT a part of our training, as a key principal of karate is self control. Our sensei also puts us through a series of stretches and warm up exercises at the start, and during training if necessary in order to prevent strain related injury, so pulling muscles is very rare.
We do however apply our taught skills through kumite sparing (demonstration seen right) but the choice to participate is wholly placed on the individual and at the discression of the club instructors. These techniques are taught in a controlled environment, but due to the nature of the training, minor injuries such as a bruise are inevitable from time to time.
Yes. To train regularly and to participate in gradings or competitions you must buy a KUGB license. The KUGB license provides Public Liability and other limited insurance cover for injuries you may sustain or cause other people whilst practising Karate in training or in competitions. The club membership fee covers for non martial arts related injuries such as slipping on the dojo floor, and is also an official record of your progress, thus a license is compulsary. To request a license, you can get the application form from the LUKC club secretary.
When you are ready to be examined for it. A Dan grade is achieved by those who can demonstrate almost expert-like skill, speed, control and spirit, tested by a grueling exam which covers all aspects of karate including being able to show that you can defend and attack in freestyle kumite.
Successful karateka can normally achieve this after between 3 and 3 and a half years, so if you join in the first year and regularly attend training sessions then hopefully by the end of the third year of your degree!
But for those who achieve a dan grade, this isnt the end. The true spirit of karate is characterised by a continuous learning and training process, both before and after achieving a dan grade!