F.A.Q

What do I need to start?

- The first thing that you need to start Crouching Tiger Karate is enthusiasm and a desire to learn. 

- Everyone is welcome to train at Crouching Tiger Karate; there are classes available for all ages and abilities. 

- You do not need any special clothes or equipment, just come in loose, comfortable clothing such as a tracksuit and T-shirt.

- Lastly, it will help if you have patience and perseverance. If you find some things difficult at first it is important to keep trying and not give up. Try to think of karate training as an individual progression, and do not compare yourself to other people. Remember, everyone was a beginner once!

What is the minimum age to start Karate?

Tiger Cubs Karateclasses are open to girls and boys between three and six years. The classes run for half an hour and are tailor-made to suit the physical ability and concentration span of children from three years.
Crouching Tiger Shotokan Karate classes are open to girls and boys from six years and above. The classes run for at least one hour each week and are more technically advanced than the classes at Tiger Cubs Karate.

What are the benefits of practising Karate?

- There are many pressures and temptations for children in modern-day society, and Karate does help to provide focus, diminish stress and gain a great level of self-confidence. The confidence and self-control that evolves from Karate training can help to avoid confrontation and gives the ability to resolve problematic situations calmly and effectively, refraining from violent behaviour. Karate training also helps to develop the character through teaching discipline, respect and the importance of good etiquette. - Karate classes are also an excellent form of physical exercise and work on improving all aspects of fitness. Karate improves the balance, strength, flexibility, coordination and automotive skills of its participants through learning basic Karate techniques and exercises. It is a very efficient way to keep the body in good shape and condition.  - Karate promotes the maxim of Healthy Body-Healthy Mind. Students are advised on issues such as diet, exercise and activity as well as life-skills and responsibilities.

Will my child take part in Gradings?

Tiger Cubs Karate classes offer a grading at the end of each term. The children will receive a merit badge and certificate to reward them for their effort during the term. These gradings are fun, and not designed to put pressure on the children. The gradings are a chance for the parents to see their children do Karate, and the children enjoy demonstrating their skills to an audience. - Crouching Tiger Shotokan Karate Gradings are more formal events as the children must demonstrate their syllabus to an examiner, who will decide whether they are ready to be promoted to the next Colour Belt. If the children are successful they will receive a British Karate Association (BKA) Certificate to go with their Colour Belt. The ranks achieved in Crouching Tiger Shotokan Karate will be recorded in a BKA Record Book, and the grades are recognised world-wide. 

Will my child take part in Tournaments?

- Taking part in Karate Tournaments can be a very empowering and confidence-building experience. I encourage (but do not force) students that I feel are ready to compete to take part in carefully selected Tournaments. Competing can often compliment ongoing development, but competing at the wrong time, or in the wrong environment, could also result in a negative experience for the student. It is my view that Karate is not a sport, but a Martial Art, and competition can be a part of the Martial Art. However, I believe that the essence of Karate lies in the traditional teaching which does not emphasise competition.

Is Karate Dangerous?

- Karate has an excellent record for having very few accidents and injuries. Many precautions are taken in order to maintain this record of good safety in Karate. The instructor always checks the floor before the class to make sure it is safe and clean, as Karate is always done in bare feet. All instructors are certified in First Aid training, and have up to date medical records of all the students, as well as emergency contact details. All venues are equipped with first-aid packs. - Minor injuries can occur very rarely such as cuts or bruises as a result of falls or contact with another student. Therefore, the students have to obey the dojo rules which include: no running, no experimenting new techniques without being advised or supervised by an instructor, keep finger and toe nails short and clean, no jewellery, wearing proper safety equipment for the relevant drills, warm up properly before attempting advanced techniques.

Will Karate make my child more violent?

- It has been universally recognised world-wide that training in Martial Arts results in energy being channelled in a positive and constructive way. Karate teaches self-control and responsibility. Although your child will be taught how to gain strength and hit hard, statistics show that it is very unlikely that this will be used in situations where it is not absolutely necessary. All Crouching Tiger Shotokan Karate participants must also sign the Student Declaration in their Budo Pass.

Vocabulary

English Japanese
   
Numbers  
   
One Ichi
Two Ni
Three San
Four Shi
Five Go
Six Roku
Seven Shichi
Eight Hachi
Nine Kyu
Ten Ju
   
Blocks Uke
   
Up Block Age Uke
Outside Block Ude Uke
Down Block Gedan Barai
Inside Block Uchi Uke
X Block Juji Uke
Knifehand Block Shoto Uke
   
Hand Techniques  
   
Punch Zuki
Double Punch Nidan Zuki
Triple Punch Sanbon Zuki
Backfist Uraken Uchi
Elbow Strike Empi-Uchi
Spearhand Nukite
Hammerfist Strike Haisho Uchi
   
Leg Techniques  
   
Kick Geri
Front Kick Mae Geri
Roundhouse Kick Mawashi Ger
Back Kick Ushiro Geri
Side Kick Yoko Geri
   
Stances  
   
Ready Position Yoi
Kneeling Position Seiza
Front Stance Zenkutsu Datchi
Back Stance Kokutsu Datchi
Side/Straddle Stance Kiba Datchi
   
Commands  
   
Command To Bow Rei
Bow To Instructor Sensei Ni Rei
Begin Hajime
Stop or Halt Yame
Get Ready Yoi
Turn Mawate
Go Into Position Kamaete
   
General  
   
Empty-Hand Kara-te
Way of the Empty Hand Karate-Do
Karate Student Karateka
Spirited Shout Kiai
Training Hall Dojo
Training Suit Gi
Belt Obi
Teacher Sensei
Senior/Assistant Instructor Senpai
Empty Mind (Meditation) Mokuso
Command to Bow Rei
Martial Way Budo
Colour Belt Rank Kyu
Black Belt Rank Dan
Basic Training Kihon
Fixed Sequence Kata
Applictions of Kata Bunkai
Sparring Kumite
Lower Section Gedan
Middle Section Chudan
High Section Jo Dan
Left Hidari
Right Migi
Front Mae
Back Ushiro
Side Yoko

To download an extended version of this please click here.

Grading Syllabus

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To download a version of this grading syllabus please click here

References

Children

We asked the children from the Putney Dojo to write a sentence or two describing why they enjoy Karate. We have been very impressed with the entries from Mae and Adam; we would like to thank them very much for their effort and creativity.

Parents

Sensei Ben is unique in that he makes the classes really stimulating for the children so there is no effort in getting them there. 
Mother of girl (4 years) and boy (6 years)

My daughter, who has mild special needs, has benefitted tremendously from Sensei Ben's sensitivity and understanding. His classes have been a great complement to her physiotherapy programme and his approach has given her a great boost in confidence. 
Mother of girl (4 years)

This dojo has lived up to all its recommendations and Sensei Ben has exceeded my expectations in how he handles the children. 
Mother of girl (4 years)

Sensei Ben doesn't just teach karate. He uses thorough intelligence and outstanding leadership skills to elevate their thinking. 
Mother of boy (3 years) and girl (4 years)

I have always found Sensei Ben Pethick to be a responsible and trustworthy teacher who knows how to engage the children and motivate them. He is a natural teacher.
Mother of girl (6 years)

Teachers

Sensei Ben is a very professional teacher, consistent and confident in his approach with the nursery staff, children and parents; he is always polite and courteous and used feedback to enhance the learning opportunity for the children he teaches.
Ben is very confident with the children, whilst being firm he also understands every child's needs and uses various methods to encourage their participation. Ben has the ability to control the children by recognising their attention span and introduces new activities to maintain their interest and attention. The children look forward to the Karate lesson and during routine play they often role-play pretending to be Ben teaching their friends.
Ben recognises that some children are not initially very confident, but through his encouragement many children have developed a keen interest in physical activities; particularly karate. Many children have continued to access Karate after they have progressed to school, mainly because of Ben's ability to maintain their interest.
Georgia Fransella, 
Nursery Manager, Twickenham Park Day Nursery

Sensei Ben's classes have been very successful and very popular with the children and their parents. He has a particularly good manner with the children and a good rapport with them. He has developed the classes appropriately to match the childrens' age, ability, understanding and enthusiasms. We have been very pleased with the progress of our children in the Karate and gross motor skills that he teaches them. Sensei Ben organizes the classes and deals with the payment from the parents so there need only be minimum extra work for the nursery staff in this area. He has been very reliable and is always on time to take the classes.
Dr Sally Corbett, 
Headmistress of Busy Bee Nursery School

Sensei Ben has been teaching Karate classes at Bright Sparks for nearly four years. He comes for half an hour once a week and is punctual and reliable. Ben is always cheerful and smiling and has a great rapport with the children. His Karate lessons are extremely popular with both the children and parents alike. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend Ben to other schools.
Matilda Marriott, 
Headmistress of Bright Sparks Montessori School