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Beginners Course Starting

September 18, 2023

  • ​twelve classes

  • Monday and Wednesday

  • Selkirk Street School

  • Kids (8 to 12 years): Monday and Wednesday  6:30 to 7:30 pm

  • Adults (13 and up) Monday and Wednesday 6:30 - 8:00 PM

  • cost is $100, family rate available

  • no special clothing required

What are we practicing?

Karate is usually translated from Japanese as empty hand. It is a Japanese art with its origins in Okinawa and southern China. Shotokan karate was developed early in the 20th century by Funakoshi Gichin who brought karate from Okinawa to Japan. He adapted this lethal art so it could be practiced safely in schools.

In this six week program, you will learn the basics of karate etiquette, discipline, fundamentals, form, one-step sparring and self-defence.

You will not learn jumping kicks, spinning techniques, breaking boards or contact sparring. We are trying to develop sound fundamentals not movie stars.

“Karate-do is a lifetime study,” says the adage. It will take time to develop the skills and reflexes necessary to defend yourself and others from a physical attack. But the beginners’ course shows you the start. It is up to you where you go from there.

How is karate different from other martial arts?

Shotokan is now the most widely practiced style of karate in the world. It is renowned for its strong stances and powerful techniques. Where Tae kwon do stresses high kicking technique, Shotokan is grounded and uses more hand technique, though it has an arsenal of kicks as well. Judo is a grappling art, involving throwing, joint locks and chokes. Shotokan has these as well but its philosophy tends more to punching, kicking and striking. At the higher belt levels, you will learn sweeps, takedowns, and how to take a fall but, in the beginning, we concentrate on keeping you on your feet. Jujitsu is very similar in its techniques to judo as they have the same origin. The Chinese styles, popularly called kung fu, are incredibly varied. It is supposed that Japanese karate came from some of the hard kung fu styles. In fact, one interpretation of ideograms for karate means Chinese hand.

Do you take 5 year olds?

Unfortunately, we don't take children younger than 8 years old. We have found over the years that teaching children before they have had the discipline of two years of schooling, takes a different teaching method and requires a different type of class. We simply are not set up for the younger ones.


How do I join?

All you have to do is show up on Registration night and start your training. Just wear a plain t-shirt, loose, comfortable pants and bare feet.

Please be aware that unsuitable behaviour will not be permitted. You will be warned once. If it happens again, you will leave the club.


What happens after the beginners’ course?

The six week course is a try out. If we decide that Shotokan karate is suitable for you, and you would like to continue, then you will be given the opportunity to become part of the regular club, showing up at exactly the same times every week. You will have to purchase a gi (white karate uniform about $50) and pay a monthly fee of $40. When you become part of Kita Kaze, you also become part of ShotoCanada (see below). There is small, annual fees to belong. You can download the fees list here.


This is the parent body for our type of Shotokan. It provides the grading syllabus that will help guide your training. When you pass a belt test with Kita Kaze, your rank is recognized by ShotoCanada, the National Karate Association of Canada and most world bodies.

ShotoCanada holds a national training camp every year open to all members. See the ShotoCanada home page for more information.


1 Jan kids grading.jpg

Beginners receiving their yellow belt. With regular practice, students are eligible to test after three to four months. 

Starting Iaido and Kobudo

If you would like to start iaido or kobudo, we strongly suggest you have some martial arts background so that you understand basic stances, movements and concepts . Taking the karate beginners course is a good way to get introduced to the martial arts.

We have equipment we can loan you to get started. 

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