shotokan sika

F A Q

Red Belt

How do I join SIKA?

You can email us at msolomon.sika @gmail.com or pushpanathan.sika @gmail.com.

Application forms are available in the link “Registration Forms” Menu and below of this page. These should be completed and returned to the general secretary with the requisite affiliation fee for Association membership, or State membership Fee (Contact Us for Fee Enquiry +91- 9894244747).


What are the criteria for acceptance as a member of SIKA?

Membership is open to any bonafide, correctly organised association, or similar organisation, democratically organised and operated who wish to apply for membership. Once the application and fee has been received, the details are circulated to the board of SIKA who will in their absolute discretion consider the details submitted, and then accept, reject or defer membership status will be notified.


What services will/are available from SIKA?

   Membership and recognition in SIKA
   Entry to many National run competitions i.e. SIKA & WSKF
   Junior and Senior National Championships
   Access to coaching program
   Recognition of grades and abilities
   Access to National and State, Referee / Officials qualification programmes
   Access to National Level Karate programmes
   Access to planned competitive coaching courses (learn to coach for competitions)
   Advice, Guidance and template policies for Child / Women protection
   Access to membership services
   Openness and transparency with all information available for scrutiny via the SIKA website, newsletters, email information and meetings.


Are you Sport or traditionally based?

The association caters for everyone and looks to work with people. Sensei.M.Solomon and Sensei.S.Pushpanathan has worked with many great instructors and coaches in Martial Arts.They recognises the need for individuals and clubs/schools who want to have access to the competitive structure for their competitors but also for Karate-ka to want access to develop their traditional avenues.


What benefits are there to joining sika as a dojo?

SIKA brings the best of martial arts traditions and training to the Nation. Joining provides access to new levels of understanding, technical training, recognition and affiliation as well as access to premier seminars, exhibitions, DAN grading in KAI through us and exchanges worldwide.


I have my own martial arts dojo. How do I join SIKA?

Instructors of individual dojos are encouraged to learn more about the benefits by joining SIKA.


Do I have to be a large group or club?

No, we invite anyone who is 1st dan and above who teaches a single class to a senior dan grade with a number of schools/clubs.


How may I contribute to SIKA?

SIKA welcomes participation in a wide range of activities.

Some contribute by:

   participating in and/or leading Seminars

   assisting with administrative activities

   writing reviews of martial arts & Issuing Tournament Kits, Stationary materials.

   contributing materials and ideas for SIKA as an organization or the SIKA website

   helping to find the best Martial Art practitioners Nation wide to join SIKA.


How long does it take to obtain the level of black belt?

Training in karate requires commitment and determination to achieve the various levels which start at white belt (9th kyu) and eventually leading to the level of first degree black belt (shodan) which is based on experience, time and ability. Many students have trained regularly for five years before receiving the rank of shodan.


Does my child need to enter competitions?

Tournaments are not mandatory. Entry depends on the student’s ability and willingness to compete.


How do I join the Club ?

For junior grade students (ages 6 to 16), it is important that a parent or guardian is with them before the class begins in order that Sensei can explain things fully. But apart from that, it is no different from a senior student.

A senior student (over the age of 16) all you need to do is turn up at one of our training sessions. The Sensei will ask you a few questions about any martial arts history you may have (most students don’t have any!) as well as your general fitness levels. You can then take part in the class.

At the end of the class the Sensei will get your feedback on how the class went and discuss how our classes work in more detail together with membership and class fees. The appropriate membership forms will be dealt with when you next attend. You may order a Karate suit (gi) after few weeks. So that is not an immediate issue.


What Karate/martial arts experience do I need to join?

In short… none at all. Most of our students did not have any history in Karate or martial arts when they joined us

Of course, every new student feels unfamiliar with terminology, the movement and the physicality of the techniques themselves. This is completely natural and every one of our students will identify with how things can feel in the beginning.

New students will often have a senior grade training alongside them during the first few classes also, to help keep things at a sensible and realistic pace.


Do I need a Karate suit (gi) for my first class?

No you don’t. We would generally expect a student to have been training with us for a good four to six weeks before purchasing a gi.

Students/parents are welcome to purchase one from any sports or martial arts store, but we also handle stock orders at each training session and We also have a club badge which can be sewn onto a Gi. That needs to be ordered Seperately.

What about the etiquette and discipline in the classes

There are some etiquette procedures that are fixed and must be adhered to.

Each session begins and ends with a formal bow, which must be treated with the utmost respect with no disruption. During the class, the Senseis will issue training instructions which should be acknowledged by the students with the phrase “osu” is pronounced “ooosss”.

If during a class a student wishes to ask a question, the student should raise their hand and simply attract Sensei’s attention (when he is not speaking to the class or any other student) with the phrase “osu Sensei”. When Sensei acknowledges the questioner, the student should bow to Sensei and then ask the question. Once an answer has been given, the student should bow once more and return to the training in hand.

If a student arrives at a class late, he or she should make a bow to join and then wait to be bowed into the class by Sensei. In general, the Senseis will not keep a latecomer waiting and will always endeavour to have the student join the class as soon as possible.

As with most martial arts, the training hall (referred to as a “Dojo“) is viewed as spiritual ground and must also be treated with respect. There is of course a correct way of bowing. The Senseis will expect senior students to reflect this “correct way” at all times. Newer students will be educated on the correct bowing procedures during the early weeks of their training. With lower grade students, the Senseis will naturally take a more balanced and tolerant approach, correcting where necessary and gently building each student’s implicit understanding of class form.

With the junior class, the approach is again slightly different, as the Senseis are primarily teaching children. If anything, instruction is more direct and a fair amount of repetition is required, as anyone who works with children would appreciate!


What belts are there and how long does it take to move up to the next one?

There are nine grades that every student must pass through before attaining the rank of 1st Dan (black belt).

Asking how long it takes to reach any grade is too difficult a question to answer as it depends on too many factors. Generally, progression through the earlier grades is far quicker than progression through the senior grades though.

Once a student is in 3rd to 1st kyu territory, gradings become a lot tougher and a good deal further apart. This is because a certain standard of excellence is required with each element being tested.


How Fast Do Students Advance? What are the belt ranks?

Student progress depends on the individual student and the amount of time and effort they devote to learning the art. Students test for and advance to a new belt rank once their instructors see that they have mastered the skills and techniques required at that level. The course is designed such that all beginners who attend regularly should receive their first belt (yellow) within one quarter. The next belt (orange) is typically attainable in two quarters, but after that it depends on the student. The belt order is white, yellow, orange, green, purple, brown and black. Once students reach intermediate rank black, they train to become assistant instructors.


What are the age groups in your junior and senior classes?

In general, to attend a senior class, you must be aged 16 or over. There are certain exceptions to this rule in that students from the junior class who have reached a senior grade level (4th kyu for example) are permitted to train with the seniors also.The junior class has an age range of 6 to 15 years old.


What are the contact rules for fighting in the class?

In the senior class we would describe our fighting as “semi-contact”. For those not familiar with the term, this would imply that during sparring or a competition, the opponents would be expected to make a firm contact with a strike, punch or kick, but it would not be delivered with the intention of causing physical distress.

All fighting in the senior group is also bound by common sense. We do not encourage strikes and punches to the face or throat for instance.


Do children fight in the classes?

Yes, we have sparring in the junior classes and also hold an annual Kumite (fighting) tournament for the children. But we do not expect or encourage the juniors to spar as strongly as the senior students.During classes, the Senseis and senior class members keep a careful watch over the children during sparring sessions.Generally, the junior students keep a good distance between them and avoid too much contact instinctively.


Do you actually hit each other? Will I get hurt?

The instructors are committed to having class be an educational and safe experience for everyone. Beginning karate students are expected to make little or no contact with other students when practicing to ensure that no-one gets hurt. If ever you are uncomfortable with the level of contact in class, you can let your fellow student and/or an instructor know, and he or she will make adjustments. The level of physical contact you will make with other students will increase as you gain experience and greater levels of control over your strikes. Once you reach an intermediate level, you will be expected to make contact with fellow students in order to demonstrate that you can execute self defense techniques effectively and in a controlled manner.


Don’t I need to be super-fit to do Karate?

No student needs to be super-fit to join and train with us. Without a doubt Karate training itself is a great way to increase fitness levels and stamina.

As with any fitness regime, things take time and a lot of effort. A regular training schedule and 100% effort in each class will provide noticeable rewards a few months down the line.

Every class has a fairly intensive warm up during which the Senseis will encourage the students to work hard, but not push thing too far. No one expects a new joiner to equal the black belts for press ups or to have the flexibility of a ballerina!


How often should I train?

This decision is down to you and you alone. We have some students who train 3 times each week and others who train once or twice per month due to other commitments.

Being honest, your Karate and fitness will improve quicker the more regularly you train, but under no circumstances would we recommend that you train at every session if you are running the risk of injury. Training too much, too soon can be just damaging.

As a simple rule of thumb, we would expect a senior student of average fitness/build to be able to train twice each week and to progress at a good steady rate.

With the junior students, it is important that the classes and the training are seen as enjoyable and interactive. For this reason, unless the student is absolutely keen, 3 training sessions each week may begin to remove the fun element for them. Naturally, this is a decision for the parents, but we can advise that most junior students train either once or twice each week.


I won’t understand the Japanese terminology. Won’t that be a problem?

Not at all! Although the senior grades will be expected to fully understand what is being said in Japanese (it is pre-requisite of the higher level grading procedure), everything will be translated into English for new or lower grade students.

Actually, it will take a surprisingly short time for you to pick up what each of the terms mean, and it is quite a nice feeling when the Sensei rattles of a combination of moves in Japanese and you know exactly what to do!

Copyright Shotokan Indian Karate-do Association 2017