Frequently Asked Questions

It is simply a matter of the way people like to train. Gakusei Karate while focused on practical self-defence is taught in a traditional way; with very structured drills and discipline, although we still do use kick shields and focus pads amongst other modern pieces of equipment. For those interested in the japanese martial arts the traditional elements of training in Gakusei Karate can be very interesting while also developing a sense of self-mastery.  Our sparring and self defence classes have a much more casual atmosphere like what you would see in MMA or Krav Maga school, training is heavily focused on partner work and striking pads and kick shields.  

Which one suits you is a matter of personal choice, we find in general children do best the structure and discipline of karate classes.   Self defence and sparring classes have two age groups- 7yrs+ and 14yrs +, while karate classes are very family orientated most have good mix of children and parents and some teens and adults. 

A lot of martial arts are limited by the traditional doctrine of their style. For example most karate and martial arts schools don’t teach any ground fighting in spite of the fact that 42% of fights go to the ground. Gakusei’s broad “Whatever works” philosophy means that we are not limited and adopted all the best self-defence solutions, strategies and techniques.

Most sport martial arts (like boxing, kick boxing and Brazilian Juijitsu) are very stylised and are frequently very limited by the rules of competition. Even mixed martial arts competitions still have rules for safety which prevent you using dirty fighting tactics which are some of the first things you should do in some self-defence situations. Not to mention that MMA doesn’t teach you how to deal with self-defence situations like knife attacks or dealing with multiple attackers, nor will you learn awareness and avoidance strategies.

We also differ from combative systems like krav maga because we drill and develop our students core techniques to make sure they have more reliable and effective skills. Unlike most krav maga clubs we do sparring, which teaches students how to read opponents and be tactical. Sparring also trains you to deal with unpredictability. We use full-face head gear and a system for control so we can use a lot of dirty fighting tactics but still be safe. Very few clubs out there offer this kind of training.

Our simple direct debit fees structure is designed to help you get the most out of your training by encouraging you to train at least twice a week. This helps you quickly develop reflexive skills that you can rely on and also dramatically improves your fitness. This means training with Gakusei karate is not just great financial value but the best way to get results from your training.

Currently we have classes in the Essex and East London.  

Chelmsford, Essex: Beaulieu Park, Great Baddow.

East London:  Leyton.

Click the book a free trial lesson button above for class times and locations.

In short no, just come and train in comfortable training clothes (T-shirt and tracksuit bottoms). Karate and Self defence uniforms are available through your instructor when ever you are ready.  

You will eventually need to get some grappling gloves, shin and instep pads and a groin guard or chest protector for the ladies. Later down the track you can also get your own head guard too. These are all available through the club.

You don’t need to be fit. Most of our students start because they want to get fit. Training in combat is a solo sport so we will be building your fitness levels as you progress. The great thing about training in our classes is that we run through a wide variety of drills to give you a great all round work out and it never gets boring.

We pride ourselves on a safe training environment but that being said realism in training is also one of our top priorities. To make sure we maintain both these values we have developed a light contact sparring system that uses full face head gear (with a perspex face shield) and hybrid grappling gloves combined with a system for controlling technique so we can spar using an almost full range of self-defence tactics while still maintaining a safe training environment- exceptionally few clubs out there do this kind of training.

Our instructors are very friendly and will aim to put you at ease.

When you first arrive at class, your instructor will give you a big warm welcome, and run you through a brief introductory talk and get you settled in.

In our karate classes in general we take children once they have started reception at infants school, however some 4 year olds cope very well with structure of our classes and can start earlier but equally some 4-5 year olds, even if they have started reception, struggle with structured class environment. So it differs for every child, which is why we offer a 2 week FREE trial as the only way to know, is to try them out.  Frequently parents who are concerned about their child’s concentration are pleasantly surprised how well their child does in karate, and better yet karate will help improve their concentration further.

If you have concerns about you child please speak to the instructor both before and after class during their free trial to see how they are getting on.

Self defence classes are either 7yrs + or 14yrs + however if we feel your child is not behaving or concentrating in that environment we recommend them attending karate classes instead. 

This is highly encouraged and makes the experience all the more richer for both of you.  Most of the training in class is in shared activities where you can train with your child. 

Expect a big warm welcome from your instructor and other students. In your first class we will run you through some fundamental techniques and probably some practical self-defence skills that you can use straight away. We will be gradually improving both your fitness and skill sets over time, always building your confidence as we go along.