Your Journey with Shinkyu
If you haven’t already noticed Shinkyu is quite a large club and we have plans for becoming much bigger, but what does that have to do with your journey? Well, scale allows us to offer more diverse services and specialist classes that will help enrich your martial arts journey.
A one size fits all karate class that has a little something for everyone are a great start and a staple of training, but at some point, you may want more out of your journey. You may want to do more of one specific type of training because you love that part, or you may simply want to develop specific skills sets that will require more in-depth training.
We also understand that as you grow as a martial artist and as you grow older what interests you may change. Kids grow up into teens and one day we will all be old. What interest us also changes. For myself, as a martial artist, my focus has changed constantly: for my first 3-4 years I was obsessed with sparring. Later I gained an appreciation for kata and traditional training. At different times I also focused heavily on tournament and competition. And while I have always been keen on self-defence, this area has also become an obsession of mine. It is this shifting focus that has kept karate exciting and rewarding for me for over two decades.
Equally, I have met loads of people who used to train in other martial arts got their black belts and shortly after then quit, this is a largely because continuing looked like it was going to be more of the same.
Leaning on the experience in the martial arts when we created Shinkyu we knew we needed to create a club that would be with our students for the journey. Rather than a club that only offered one size fits all or worse specialised in tournament or kata as some clubs do. After all, when you first start out training you may not know what will interest you and of course what interest you may change.
Shinkyu offers a variety of extra classes and events that serve to enrich a student’s journey and we challenge our black belts to take on new skills and also to specialise their karate journey through an elective based grading system.
As the title says advance classes focus primarily on kata and traditional training. They are a great place for intermediate and advanced level students to meet and train together, but most importantly receive in-depth training designed to develop an appreciation and understanding of traditional aspects of karate but also to get them to become thinking martial artists. Some of these classes are kata workshops that are a grade requirement for belt belts and above.
Combat classes focus on self-defence and sparring skills. Expect a great workout, technical tuition on fundamental techniques to improve effectiveness, sparring and tactical training including grappling and ground fighting, and context driven self-defence. Students must attend a minimum of 6 Combat classes to achieve their green belt or above and receive their self-defence milestone. Like all specialist classes, these are such a great opportunity to hot house specific skill sets to an advanced level in a way that one size fits all classes will struggle to achieve.
Shinkyu offers students the opportunity to compete in our own internal tournament circuit or for the super competitive student’s kickboxing competitions. Although we are not a sport based club, preferring to focus our students on protecting themselves rather than winning a medal in highly stylised competitions, we do recognise the value of competition. Tournaments are a great opportunity for students to perform under pressure (similar to a self-defence situation) Training for tournaments is also a great motivator that pushes both athleticism and tactics.
In Shinkyu achieving your black belt does not signify that you are now a master, far from it, it signifies that your apprenticeship is over and that you have learned all the most fundamental skills and now you can really get into advanced training.
One of the exciting things about Shinkyu Karate is that the form this advanced training takes is up to the student. Rather than continuing to only assess a student’s journey through a generic grading, black belts also complete elective modules which they can choose from a variety of subjects that will push them to learn and grow. These modules take various forms: some are physical challenges, other test understanding and other again challenge students to take on new skill sets.
This elective syllabus allows students to specialise and tailor their karate journey so the students who love sparring can focus mainly on this area, while those who are interested in traditional training and kata can indulge their passion in the art form.
This creates a rich, and most importantly meaningful and purposeful post black belt experience.