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  • What do I wear to the beginner class?
    Please wear comfortable clothing that you can move freely in. Please note, for safety reasons there is no jewelry, wrist bands, watches, piercings etc allowed to be worn during practice times.
  • Can I come watch a class before signing up?
    Yes, absolutely. We encourage people who are interested in our classes to drop by the dojo to watch a class and ask questions before or afterwards. If you would like to come watch or participate in a free class please contact us for details.
  • I have previous experience in a different style of martial arts or karate, do I have to participate in the beginner class?"
    If you have previous martial arts experience please speak with the instructor. Depending on what level of experience you have and from what style of karate or martial arts, you may be able to join the advanced group. In many cases though it's good to participate in the beginner group if the style you practiced previously was significantly different from Goju-Ryu Karate. This is simply to allow new members to learn our specific organization’s forms (katas) and techniques (waza).
  • Do I have to purchase a uniform and when/where do I get one?
    If you wish to progress into the advanced class, participate in clinics or tournaments you are required to have a karate uniform (gi). Our club puts in an order once per term for gis for those who wish to purchase through us. You can also purchase a gi online or from a local martial arts store as long as it is a white, traditional, karate uniform without any decorations of patches.
  • What happens if I miss classes?
    Life can be busy and unpredictable, so missing some classes is inevitable. The beginner course does cover a lot of material though so it's recommended that members who miss classes practice the material they've already covered at home to stay as current as possible and not lose ground. Karate is a physical discipline that needs to be practiced in order to develop and refine. A minimum level of attendance is required if a member wishes to be considered for advancement to the next belt level. Attendance is taken in class.
  • What are the requirements for belt tests?
    Some people enjoy the challenge of grading and advancing in rank as it allows them to benchmark their progress and set future goals within karate to work towards. For those who wish to participate in belt tests they must train regularly, meet the minimum class attendance, and reach the appropriate proficiency level of the belt they will be testing for.
  • Is there contact?
    Our style of karate is traditional and non-contact in the dojo. However there is always the possibility of incidental contact or injury in any martial art, sport, or physical activity. Injuries are very rare in our club and we strive to ensure the safety of all members during practice. Non-contact does not mean that there is no physical interaction between participants though as this is still a martial art and there will be physical interaction through drills and partner work. Sparring at Karate BC sanctioned tournaments does have light contact rules. All participation in tournaments in the sparring (kumite) and forms (kata) divisions is 100% up to each member and is not a requirement for advancement in rank at the dojo.
  • Do I need to be a UBC student/staff to participate?
    No! Everyone is welcome, regardless of affiliation or experience level.
  • Do you compete in tournaments?
    Dojo members have the opportunity to compete in Karate BC sanctioned tournaments at either the recreational or elite level of competition. There is no obligation for members to compete in tournaments as our dojo’s core curriculum is based on the study of traditional kata, bunkai and kumite.
  • Do I need to know anything before I start training?
    Nothing; however, if you want to read ahead we recommend that all students have a quick read of our Dojo Handbook that is available on our website. It will describe how classes are run in addition to basic etiquette for a traditional karate dojo.
  • When do classes start? Can I join in the middle of a term?
    New to Karate We recommend that those new to karate register at the beginning of any of an academic term: Winter, Term 1: September Winter, Term 2: January Summer, Term 1: May Our dojo participates in UBC Recreation’s Free Week at the start of each term so beginners can attend 2 introductory classes before registering for the full term. Experienced Karateka Those with higher levels of experience in Goju-Ryu or other karate styles may join throughout the year. In addition to Free Week, these individuals may pay a drop-in fee at the UBC Recreation Center if they wish to try a class at any time.
  • How often should I train?
    Nihon Goju Karate offers a complete instructional program so participants are introduced to progressively more advanced techniques and movements throughout the academic term. A commitment to weekly training inside and outside of the dojo is required for students to develop proficiency with basic techniques while progressing towards intermediate/advanced curriculum.
  • When do I pay?
    Dojo dues can be paid at the dojo at the beginning of each academic term. (Must be 16+ years of age to register)
  • When are registration fees due? How can I pay them?
    Program registration fees are due at the beginning of each term. Fees can be paid at the UBC Student Recreation Center or online on the UBC Recreation website.
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