united english karate federation

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Information for Parents

The united english karate federation regards the safety of its students as paramount. We set the highest standards for our instructors, and lead our industry in meeting or exceeding all legal requirements for the teaching of karate to children.

We encourage parents to be fully informed about their childrens' participation in our clubs. Our insurance details, enhanced criminal record checks, first aid qualifications are all available for inspection on request. We have a child protection officer attending regular courses for updates on best practice and legislation.

Parents are welcome to observe classes and formal gradings, especially in our open clubs where space is not limited. In schools, there may be space or access constraints, and parents wishing to observe classes should make contact with the instructor or school concerned.

Karate is a martial art. We minimise the implicit danger to the students by strictly limiting contact, especially to the under 11's. Our competitions run according to World Karate Federation rules. For children, no hand contact is allowed to the face and only the 'lightest' touch with the feet.

Karate has a Japanese / Okinawan heritage. We teach with this cultural background in mind, so there is a somewhat formal atmosphere in class which contrasts with ordinary school classes. We do bow at the beginning and end of classes, and students do naturally pick up japanese words and phrases. However, we teach this very much in the context of 21st century Britain. English is our first and main language. Karate is not a cult or religion, and the bowing has no religious significance.

As a martial art, karate has utility as a self-defence skill; but in an age when weapons are easy to acquire, an oriental art of unarmed combat taught within modern health and safety rules cannot be expected to provide safety in the face of armed, determined adult attackers or indeed to make any difference at all. In our experience, children enjoy karate as a vigorous and interesting exercise, and over time some have found improvements in fitness, flexibility, self-esteem, discipline, and powers of concentration but we make no such claims, and the experience of each child is entirely individual and subjective.

Further information on the typical format of classes and the skills taught may be found in the section, 'information for students'. Many parents have been sufficiently inspired by the quality of the teaching given to their children to join our open classes themselves. Karate is one of the few activities which can be enjoyed by all the family regardless of skill.

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