Q - Why do we need to wear a special suit?
A - You  don’t really have to.  Karate can  be  practised in a  track suit or other ordinary clothes, but  the wearing  of  a white  cotton  Gi  as  it  is  called, is traditional, and gives one a sense of identity and is very functional.

Q - Why are there different colour belts?
A - A colour system belt is used to denote the skill-level of the wearer.

Q - How many times a week should I practise?
A - As often as you are able but at least twice a week.

Q - I suffer from Asthma, should I still practice?
A - Oh yes, most certainly! In fact, as long as you make sure that who ever is taking class knows that you suffer from Asthma, and as long as you are sensible and rest when you feel an attack coming on, then your training will do you good. Many types of physical disability in young students can be helped by karate training, however  it  is important  that  you inform your instructor of any problems

Q - Do I have to go to Japan to get the best Instruction?
A - No, although there  are of course good teachers in Japan, there are teachers outside Japan who  are more able to teach in a scientific and safe manner.

Q - Is there anything to look for to show whether the club I want to join is a good or a bad one?
A - That is a good question? First, ask your parents to try and find out about the instructor:  What  are his/her qualifications? What do other members of his/her class think? Do they enjoy the classes? Does he/she seem to be “into” his/her classes or does he/she merely stand in front  issuing directions?

Q - Instructor, why do we call you “Senpai” (Sensei)?
A - It simply means “teacher” in Japanese and it is a sign of respect.

Q - What does Karate mean?
A - Simply translated it means “empty hand”.  Karate is a method of training the  human body for fighting and self defence purposes.

Q - I keep hearing people saying “Uss” or “Oss”. What does it mean?
A - “Osu” is a special word in Karate and it can mean many things. From a simple greeting to acknowledgement  of  a command  as  well  as  being a  sign of determination before you start practising any particular technique.

Q - Why do we bow as we enter the practice hall and when we meet another teacher or student?
A - The  bow,  or  REI in Japanese is a sign of respectful greeting, much as the handshake in the West.

Q - Why do we meditate?
A - To begin with, meditation has nothing to do with religion. Basically we do it  as a way of calming the mind so as to prepare ourselves for training or to relax after training.

Q - What is Ashihara Karate and how does it differ?
A - Ashihara is a  school  of  Karate  named after  its chief  instructor, Hideyuki  Ashihara.  Initially his school was referred to as Ashihara’s Karate school, but after a while people started calling it Ashihara Karate. This system differs from other styles in that it is taught with pleasant vestiges of traditionalism and a broken down number of techniques to make the learning go quicker. Currently, the Swazi Organisation is led  by  Shibucho Victor Gwebu with the International Headquarters of the school being in South Africa. We have member branches in over 30 countries.

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