AKS students work to a Grading Syllabus adhering to a Progressive Teaching Structure. This means that as a student progresses up through the belt grades they add to their previous knowledge and performance like building blocks, where each section is as important as the next. This results in all our advanced students being able to maintain the ability to perform the whole Syllabus from white to black belt and beyond with good form, speed, power and technical knowledge. Being advanced students is not just about us moving onto something new but being able do what we used to do, better.
The AKS Syllabus focuses on three core avenues of training – Traditional Karate, Sport Karate and Practical Self-Defence which are outlined below. The Syllabus is taught in conjunction with various forms of fitness training techniques specifically aimed at improving students’ Karate performance and helping prevent personal injury during practise.
The word ‘karate’ means ’empty hand’ indicating it is a fighting art without the use of weapons.
Between the year 502 and 550 it is said that the Indian monk Bodhidharma taught physical exercises with breathing techniques to his disciples in order to maintain their strength and well-being during their many years of meditation. The monks of the Shaolin Temple combined these exercise techniques with various forms of Chinese Boxing which then became the basis of many martial arts.
These arts were practised by the people of Okinawa, a small island situated south of Japan. Okinawa was invaded by the Japanese in the 17th century and fighting weapons prohibited and confiscated. The Okinawans adapted and refined a fighting system of ’empty hand’ techniques influenced by their knowledge of the Chinese martial arts, a system we now know as Karate.
Modern Karate, in the form that we recognise today, was demonstrated to the Japanese Ministers of National Education in 1922 by Master Gichin Funakoshi from Okinawa. The demonstration was a great success and the Keio University later founded Japan’s first Karate Dojo. By this time karate had become a well-structured teaching system of unarmed combat. Karate has different styles due to different teaching principles and influences of other martial arts on the founders and masters.
Today, the four main traditional Japanese styles recognised by the World Karate Federation are Wado-Ryu, Shotokan, Gojo-Ryu and Shito-Ryu. AKS students learn basics and kata (form) from two of those traditional styles – Wado-Ryu and Shito-Ryu. Working two different styles gives students variety of the principles and execution of techniques.
Over the years karate has meant many different things to many different students and influenced their lives in so many different ways. With today’s modern sometimes static consumer lifestyles, karate can play a major part in our lives essential to our physical and mental wellbeing.
Wado-Ryu founded 1934 by Master Hironori Ohtsuka (1892-1982)
Shito-Ryu founded 1931 by Master Kenwa Mabuni (1889-1952)
AKS Sport Karate is based on the rules and regulations of the World Karate Federation (WKF). This is the leading world style of competition karate and recognised by the IOC. We teach Sport Karate to all our students as it’s great fun and an excellent way to build confidence and develop speed and timing, both in Kumite (fighting) and Kata (forms). The sport is for all to enjoy, whatever your grade level or ability, and AKS holds regular event days throughout the year inviting students to come along, give it a go and compete for medals. These events, are not compulsory but they are a great outlet to put your new found skills to the test.
Advanced students can go on to represent the AKS Squad at outside tournaments, coached by Sensei Anthony, former England Squad Member, English, British and International medallist. Since 1995 Sensei Anthony has produced many outstanding competitors who have achieved National and International success!
AKS advanced students also have access to the English Karate Federation (EKF) Coach Accreditation, Referee courses, England Squad training and selection for International competition.
The Traditional Karate basics and Kata (forms) contain many self-defence techniques and the longer a student trains, the more they understand the application. In addition to these, a number of straight forward practical self-defence techniques are also worked into the Syllabus. This reminds students that Karate is not just a sport, a hobby or fun activity, it unfortunately sometimes in life is also a necessity.
For self-defence techniques to be effective they need to be executed with speed in an instinctive reaction to an attack. Unfortunately this cannot be attained by taking just a few self-defence classes. For this reason, we include practical self-defence in our regular weekly practise to build students’ confidence and reaction but always remaining mindful that no one is invincible and where possible avoidance is always best.