Frequently Asked Questions
Who will teach me?

The Chief Instructor at the dojo is Steve Carless, 6th Dan.  Steve is a full time Karate Instructor with over 30 years experience practising and teaching Karate.  He is a former Champion who competed at National, European and World level.  As a full time instructor Steve can dedicate himself to ensuring that the Karate taught at the dojo is constantly developing.

Steve is supported by ten instructors and assistant instructors.  The dojos instructors and assistants are all black belts who collectively have over 200 years of Karate experience and 26 Dans between them.

Standards are maintained by instructors continuing to be very active through training, competing and teaching.  They also attend specialist Instructor training classes to constantly develop their skills as well as refining the school's methods.

All instructors are First Aid qualified and have Enhanced Criminal Records Bureau checks.
Where will I train?

As with any physical activity, you will only reach a high standard if you are provided with the right facilities to train in.  Karate and the Martial arts are no different.  You can only expect to progress so far training in a sports centre, school or village hall and that's why if you are serious about your karate training, or you are thinking about starting, make sure your environment matches your ambition!

Walsall Karate Dojo is the largest full time Martial arts facility in the Walsall area and is our permanent home.  The dojo is 4,200 square feet in total and boasts 2 training areas, one matted area and one wooden floored area.  Both have mirrored walls as well a host of other equipment on hand to give you everything you need to succeed in karate.

In addition the dojo has a reception, members lounge to relax before and after training and mens and womens changing with shower facilities in both.
What will training involve?

Your training will primarily be structured around the three key elements: the kihon (basic techniques), the kata (forms), and the kumite (sparring).  Upon these three rest all technique, all speed, all strength and all progress in karate.  They are, in essence, one, and must be studied as one.  At Walsall Karate Dojo, we emphasize all three equally and simultaneously.  Stretching, strengthening and plyometric exercises also form part of our classes to supplement the three elements.
How much does training cost?

We keep our prices reasonable and affordable for all. We offer great family discounts so that each family member can get involved. Training at Walsall Karate Dojo is not an expensive activity compared to other sports where you need lots of equipment. To start karate with us you just need to pay your class fees, have valid licence and insurance cover and a karate Gi (suit) to practise in. In fact, the more you train, the more you save!

Visit our Training Costs page for our current price list.
How do I measure my progress?

You will be entitled to take grading examinations after set periods of time providing all minimum training requirements are met and you have met the sufficient technical standard.  At the school all students, irrespective of grade, are regularly assessed against the grading syllabus.  You will receive feedback about your progress and expectations are set for the next grading date.  The syllabus allows you to develop expertise in Shotokan Karate gradually and consistently within a structured grading program.
How long will it take me to achieve my Black Belt?

You can achieve 1st Dan standard at our dojo within 3 years.  However, this is an exceptional performance by the most dedicated students.  Most recreational karate students acheive 1st Dan in 4-5 years.  A 5th Dan will have at least 20 years of experience and dedication.

A Black Belt only means you have a basic understanding and functional ability in the foundational techniques of karate.  At that stage you are now ready to begin learning: It’s the beginning of your journey not the end! In the early stages of your development the belt colour is of great importance, however as you develop past Black belt it’s the journey that matters most.
Will I be able to take part in competitions?

Karate is an exiting and very challenging sport.  We do not see competition as the primary goal of Karate.  However, students who wish to compete have the opportunity to compete in local and national and international events through our squad training program.  The Walsall Team has consistently won local and national competitions as well as having a number of students who have represented England at international level.
Does the Dojo have other events for its students?

In January we hold Kangeiko, a seven day cold weather training that sets everyone up for the year.  We train at 6am every day.  During the year we have high level guest instructors visit the dojo for course.  These include high level masters as well as WKF and JKS World Champions.  Black and brown belts also have the opportunity to attend national training sessions to focus on high level training.  We also offer the opportunity to train on national seminars with Senior European and Japanese Instructors.

We hold 5 day children's camps during school term holidays in the Spring, summer and autumn.  Its a week of fun at for the children where they make new friends,  while also gaining knowledge of karate and other activities. Any child aged between 4 and 12 years can take part in our Camps whether they have karate experience or not.

On the social side, we hold our Annual children's Christmas Party and Adults night out on the last Saturday before Christmas.  We also have Awards evenings in December and regularly organise events such as bowling nights for students, friends and families to get together.

The school has also organised and actively supported charity events since its inception.  Over the years the school has raised thousands of pounds in support of our nominated charities which are the Cystic Fibrosis Trust, Birmingham Children’s Hospital, Acorns Children's Hospice and the Emily Bailes CCLG Fund.