Frequently asked questions

GENERAL FAQs

If you have any questions, you can contact us by telephone +44 (0) 7764 478507, email info@sama-southwest.com Or complete the “contact us” form on this website. Alternatively, check the list below:

DO I NEED TO BOOK?
No need to book – just turn up to your preferred class to join in. Check our venue page for schools near you.
Find a venue near you.

WHERE’S MY NEAREST CLASS?
Choose the venue tab in your area to find a full list of all your local classes. A map is available to show you the location of the class.
Find a venue near you.

DO I NEED A KARATE SUIT?

You do not need a karate uniform (Gi) straight away. Come along to class in loose comfortable clothing – jogging bottoms & t-shirt or similar. All classes are done in bare feet After your first few classes you can purchase a karate suit from us, either online here or from your Instructor in class. Visit our store

HOW MUCH DOES IT COST?
Children are £5 per session
Adults are £6 per session
We operate a “Pay as you go” system that means you only pay when you train. No expensive unnecessary monthly direct debit schemes, no contracts and no large upfront costs.

We offer a four week “make your mind up” period before Membership & Licence are required – the combined cost of these per year are:
Children £20
Adults £30

WHERE CAN I GET A KARATE SUIT FROM?
When you have decided you’re ready, these can be purchased either from the class instructor or via this website.
Visit our store

WHAT COLOUR BELT DO I START AT?
White belt is the first belt.
HOW DO I PROGRESS THROUGH THE KARATE BELTS?
Each coloured belt has its own syllabus and kata – when your Instructor thinks you are to the required standard for that grade, you will be invited to attend a local grading.
HOW OFTEN ARE THE GRADINGS?
We run local gradings every two months for those students ready to attend.
More about our gradings.

HOW WILL I KNOW IF I AM READY TO TAKE MY NEXT BELT (GRADE)?
Children get awarded black stripes on their karate belt to indicate their progress to the instructors. THREE black stripes on their belts means they have achieved the correct standard to grade. Adults are told verbally by their Instructor and letters are issued in class.
IS KARATE FOR EVERYONE?
YES – nobody is too old, too unfit, too overweight, too uncoordinated, lacking in ability or confidence to join in. We welcome EVERYONE at SAMA Southwest regardless of age, ability or excuses. All students work to their own level and ability, making it suitable for all.
DO I NEED TO TRAIN AT HOME AS WELL AS CLASS?
YES – training in class only is not enough, like with all skills the more we practice the better we become.
CAN YOU SUGGEST VIDEOS OR BOOKS TO HELP MY CHILD LEARN KARATE?

NO – there are 3 reasons why we do not encourage the use of videos, books etc as a form of learning karate:
1.  Firstly, at Sama we pride ourselves that we teach traditional karate as it was taught to us.  It is important that students learn to listen to their Instructor as much as they learn to understand the moves.  This is quite a military way of doing things however it is the basis of traditional Karate.
2.  Secondly, it is important that the Instructor decides how much of the new syllabus they are going to teach the student at any lesson.  This is based upon the student’s capabilities at a rate that they can cope with.  Experience tells us that if after grading to a new belt, we show the student the whole syllabus they will become anxious that they are unable to learn it all because it all seems too difficult.  This is why we usually teach in “bite-size” chunks according to individual ability. 
3.  Thirdly, books and videos are always interesting for advanced students.  The same books however can be quite destructive and can hinder student’s ability to absorb kata and movements.  All books and videos are displayed in either what Instructors call Orthodox or Reverse Hand.
Reverse Hand is a mirror image of the Kata and is usually the way the Instructor would teach while facing the class.  From time to time, as the Kata dictates, the Instructor will switch and carry on the lesson in Orthodox.  This is a difficult skill for the Instructors to learn which is why their apprenticeship usually takes around two years after Black Belt.  We have lost count of the number of children coming to class after “learning” karate from a video and when they start to move they go in the wrong direction because they have been following it off the TV.

GRADING FAQs

We always receive a lot of calls leading up to grading – here’s the most commonly asked questions:

I HAVE JOINED BUT DON’T HAVE A MEMBERSHIP BOOK YET?
Your book will be at the Grading venue for you to collect.
I’VE LOST MY MEMBERSHIP BOOK CAN I STILL ATTEND?
Yes – we can sort this out at grading for you.
MY CHILD HAS LEFT THEIR KARATE UNIFORM AT SCHOOL, CAN THEY STILL ATTEND?
Yes – we can lend you a uniform at grading.
MY MEMBERSHIP HAS EXPIRED, CAN I STILL ATTEND?
Yes – we can renew this for you at grading.
MY CHILD IS A BEGINNER AND DOESN’T HAVE A MEMBERSHIP &/OR KARATE UNIFORM – CAN THEY STILL ATTEND?
Yes – we can sort all this out at the grading but please allow extra time for this.
MY CHILD ONLY HAS 2 BLACK STRIPES, CAN THEY STILL ATTEND?
No – they need 3 black stripes to grade.
Basically, most things can be sorted out at grading with the exception of not being to the required standard which is signified by the 3 black stripes on the karate belt.