Frequently Asked Questions
What style of karate do you practice?
Our organization practices wado-ryu, and is affiliated with the Shintani Wado-Kai Karate Federation. Head Instructors of the organization are also certified in the methodology of Sensei Iain Abernethy of the World Combat Association. Several of our senior members have cross trained in other styles and disciplines and share that knowledge and experience with others.
Do I need a uniform to participate in training?
You do not need a uniform to train in our classes. All you need to participate is comfortable workout clothes. If you would like a uniform, they are available to purchase at the dojo once the term begins.
Is karate safe?
Karate is very safe! There are always certain risks associated with martial arts training, but the chances of injury are very low.
All activity, whether it is performed solo or with a partner is observed by an instructor for correct form, and for the safety of all participants.
When sparring members are expected to wear protective hand pads, and other appropriate gear.
For heavy impact training the BKA uses high density foam striking shields that can be held by a partner. We also have four striking dummies for heavy striking at the dojo. We also have focus mitts for lighter impact striking training.
For ground work we have foam puzzle mats, and for throwing training we have four high density crash mats.
How long does it take to get a black belt?
There is no one path to a black belt, but on average it will take an adult member four or five years to reach the rank of first degree black belt.
Our national organzation has a minimum age for attempting a black belt, set at 16 years old.
When will I get my first/next belt?
The BKA hosts coloured belt gradings twice a year for the youth program (December and April) as well as the adult program (December and May). Students are recommended for grading based on their overall attendance, the skills built at their rank, and their overall attitude on the floor. All of the requirements for grading are listed in the Curriculum Manual.
There is a black belt grading in Alberta once a year, on the first Saturday in May.
What does a typical class at your club look like?
Youth classes will begin with a five/ten minute group warm-up, and then participants on the floor will be divided into rank appropriate groups, and be assigned at least one BKA Instructor. At that point the instructor will do some review of the previous classes, followed by work on content for their rank. Students can expect to do technique, kata, sparring, and pad work in every class. Instructors will pause for water breaks every 20-30 minutes.
Adult classes begin with a 30 minute strength training and cardio session, focusing on strength, speed, and explosive power used for martial arts training. During this section members may use free weights, stability balls, bosu balls, resistance bands, medicine balls, plyo ladders, and more! Participants on the floor will be divided into rank appropriate groups, and be assigned a BKA Instructor. Students can expect to do technique, kata, sparring, and pad work in every class. There is an increased focus on partner work, grappling, and practical self protection in the adult program. Instructors will pause for water breaks every 30-40 minutes.
For term fees, what forms of payment do you take?
Our primary form of payment is e-Transfer, to firstname.lastname@example.org. If e-Transfer is not available, we can take cheques (made out to “Bushido Karate Association”), or cash. At this time we do not take any major credit cards.
How old does my child need to be to begin karate training?
We begin taking members at the age of 6. For children younger than 6, we recommend an activity like gymnastics to build body awareness and physical dexterity.
Am I too old to train?
You’re never too old to train! We are very proud to have members who are six years old, and members in their mid sixties, showing no signs of slowing down!