Beginners Karate Courses

SHOTO runs regular Beginners Courses at both North London and Winchmore Hill dojos.
Courses run for 12 lessons with a grading to Red Belt at the end of the course.  Red Belts may then join the main class.

Learn The Fascinating Art Of Karate

  • Lessons contain kicks, punches, strikes, blocks and self-defense.
  • Traditional non-contact Shotokan Karate for men women and children.
  • Taught by experienced EKF Black Belts.
  • Adult students on the beginners course may attend one weekly kata lesson free.
  • No special clothing necessary.
  • Certificate awarded at end of course.

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What You Learn

Karate teaches you to protect yourself and your friends and is an excellent way of keeping fit, strong and healthy. You will also be able to develop your self-confidence within a safe environment. However, Karate is a martial art and so self-discipline is also very important. Students learn basic techniques (Kihon), controlled non-contact sparring (Kumite) and formal exercises (Kata). These all become progressively more complex the higher the grade that the student attains. During gradings, students will have to demonstrate that they have achieved a level of ability and spirit to justify the next higher grade. To achieve these higher standards, an adult must be training twice a week beyond 9th kyu (orange belt) – once in Kata and once in Kihon/Kumite. Children must be training once a week.

Your Instructors

Your instructor is Hanshi Mick Randall MBE, 9th dan, the highest graded non Japanese Shotokan Karate instructor in Western Europe. He has been practising Karate since 1964 when the Japanese first came to stay in England. The other instructors are all fully qualified black belts who have years of experience in both Karate and self-defence.

Rules and Conditions of Membership


  • All graded students must train a minimum of eight times a month, 50% of which should be Kata
  • All students must attend the training sessions held on the same day of the grading, irrespective of whether or not they are grading
  • All students and especially Dan grades should make every effort to support the club by attending the training courses held by the Association
  • The set monthly training fee allows students to train four times a week, i.e. twice atDojo Etiquette

Dojo Etiquette

  • Correct Dojo etiquette must be observed at all times
  • Always bow upon entering and leaving the Dojo
  • Junior grades should bow first to their seniors
  • Instructors should be referred to as Sensei or by their appropriate title, and not by name
  • Students should try to arrive approx 20 minutes before the start of the lesson, to allow themselves adequate time to get changed etc
  • Karate suits (Gi) should be kept clean at all times, and must be in a good state of repair
  • Shoes or trainers should be removed before entering the Dojo
  • Students should wear an Association Gi badge; a student’s name may also be written in Japanese upon their Gi
  • Students should pay particular attention to their personal hygiene, finger and toe nails in particular must be kept clean and cut regularly
  • All personal adornments (watches, rings, ear-rings, necklaces etc) must be removed prior to the start of each lesson
  • No food or drink is allowed in the Dojo
  • Electronic pagers and mobile phones must not be used unless prior arrangement has been made with the Instructor
  • Students should speak quietly while warming up before the lesson to avoid distracting others who may be performing a technique etc
  • Smoking is not allowed in the Dojo, or any adjacent areas
  • Decorum should be observed at all times
  • The Dojo Captain, The Secretary and all senior Dan grades have the authority to correct a student on their behavior
  • The senior instructor of its respective club has the final decision in any matter under dispute


  • Students below Brown Belt who wish to grade must have a minimum of 26 lessons since the last grading
  • Students who attended an Open Day that occurred after their last grading, may also count this attendance as three lessons
  • There must be a minimum of three months between Kyu gradings below 3rd Kyu, a minimum of six months between third and second Kyu and second and first Kyu, and one year between first Kyu and Shodan.
  • All Brown Belts must train a minimum of twice a week Students may not grade without a current licences


  • All practising Karate-ka whatever grade must hold a current licence (The licence runs from 1st Jan to 31st Dec).
  • All Instructors must have current insurance


  • Students who fail to attend for a period of thirty days and have not informed or contacted the Secretary or Dojo Captain shall have their membership terminated automatically.
  • Any member found to be of unsuitable character and likely to bring dishonour to the club shall have their membership terminated.
  • The Instructor, Secretary, and Dojo Captain reserve the right to refuse membership to any persons they consider unsuitable.
  • Students who wish to leave the club to join another, should out of courtesy inform the club Secretary and also the Instructor


  • Members have a responsibility to behave in a manner which maintains and enhances the reputation of the club, and to refrain from any form of behaviour that may reflect badly on their fellow students or Instructors