Frequently Asked Questions

General Questions

How young can my child begin training?

We cater for children as young as five years in our ‘Little Ninjas‘ junior activity sessions, then from 7-12 years in our junior martial arts class ‘Little Dragons‘.

My child isn’t quite seven yet, do they have to start in Little Ninjas?

No, that’s really up to you. If they are 6½ or nearly 7 we are happy enough for those to come straight into the junior beginners rather than starting in Little Ninjas.

If you do have children in that age bracket I would suggest popping into see us for a chat on a Tuesday night where you can see both little ninjas and junior beginners classes running and see which you think would work best for you.

Will martial arts encourage my child to be violent?

Absolutely not!  Quite the opposite in fact.  

Training in the martial arts begin with the two foundations of discipline and respect, both for yourself and towards others.  

In our classes we always teach the ideal that we should always seek a non-violent resolution whenever possible.  In fact our junior student creed which the children recite at the beginning of every class includes the line “I will use common sense before self defence, and never be abusive or offensive”

Am I too old?

Theres really no upper age limit on martial arts training.  Our beginners classes are suitable for all. Our programmes are enjoyed by adults of all ages, indeed some of our members have reached retirement age before they even began training and they are now enjoying the exercise and energy as a fantastic way to enjoy their newfound free time in retirement!

The nature of our training syllabus is based on developing principles and techniques which are suitable for the

We do our best to ensure that all exercises and techniques are suitable for the student practicing them. Everyone trains at their own level regardless of physical age. This allows everyone to make progress safely on our programme.

Am I likely to get hurt?

No!  Martial Arts training is a very safe activity, and because of the very focused and disciplined nature of the training injuries are very rare.  You are far more likely to get injured playing football or squash than training in the martial arts!

In fact, because the practise of martial arts improves your balance, flexibility and coordinations it generally leads to far less injury and stress in people’s lives, not the other way around!

Do I have to be fit to begin training?

No you really don’t.  We have beginner members of all ages, and all levels of fitness.  The beginners classes are designed as a very gentle introduction to the training which will help you to develop a good level of fitness at a pace which is right for you.

Many people come to our classes to get improve their fitness and they quickly find that it really helps them to lose weight, feel fit and improve their energy and motivation levels at the same time.

Will I get ‘thrown in at the deep end’

Not at all.  We understand the need to start at a pace which is right for you and have a class which is dedicated for beginners only.

Can we try the program before we commit?

Yes, absolutely!

We believe it is very important that new members get a proper chance to evaluate the school and to get a real feel for training in the martial arts.

We offer all new members 30 days FREE membership, which enables you to try all classes appropriate to your age group.

We also give you 2 FREE Private Lessons to work one on one with an Internationally Certified Instructor before you ever begin.

I have some prior experience. Do I have to start as a white belt?

Not usually.  If you’ve got some past experience in a roughly equivalent area (i.e. some karate/taekwondo etc.) then we’ll usually invite you to take a few classes and discuss where you would benefit most.  If you’ve got a reasonable grounding in basic martial arts technique (equivalent to typical TKD or Karate green belt) then you may be able to join our experienced class right away.

If I’m really keen can I learn more / faster

Yes indeed!  We recognise that different people may have differing interest levels, and some may wish to do more training. We’ve got a couple of options available to beginners which allow you to do some additional training with the more experienced members if you wish.

Give us a call if you’d like some more information on that.

Will the class be full of kids?

No, we don’t mix age groups in the same class. It’s totally inappropriate to do so.

We recognise the very different needs of adults and children and have classes for three main age ranges:

  • 5-6 years – “Little Ninjas” junior activity class
  • 7-12 years – “Little Dragons” Junior Martial Arts
  • Teens & Adults – Traditional Martial Arts and Principles-based Self Defence

Will my children have to train with the adults?

No, we realise that children are not simply 4ft high adults! They have very different needs and we feel it’s totally inappropriate to teach them alongside the adults.  Our children’s programmes are focused on valuable character development and life-skills first, with the emphasis on developing confidence, respect and self discipline above all else.

We have two separate children’s classes

  • 5-6 years – “Little Ninjas”, a martial arts themed activity class
  • 7-12 years – “Little Dragons” Junior Martial Arts with beginner and experienced classes.

If I take a 30-day trial, do I have to sign up first and then cancel after the month if I don’t want to continue?

No, absolutely not! It’s a genuine offer of 30 days to try our classes as our guests. No obligation means just that. We feel really strongly about this as we know that many places will try to hard-sell you after one free lesson. We hate that, and really feel you should have a proper chance to see if martial arts are for you.
So, you don’t need to pay for anything or give us any financial details unless you decide to enrol. You simply need to complete a registration form for health & safety purposes. We’ll supply you with a uniform, a free intro session and you can come to as many classes as you like for the next month. If you’re then interested in joining us as a member, we’ll be happy to sign you up, but otherwise if you get to the end of that trial and don’t fancy carrying on we’ll be happy to simply thank you for your interest and hopefully see you again at some point in the future. You can even keep the uniform with our compliments.

Why don’t you just put all the membership prices etc. on the website?

Simply because we don’t want to confuse people with loads of options, especially when they’re not always sure which would be the right class for them etc.

Experience has shown it’s much better to give you a basic overview of the benefits on the classes on here then have a quick chat to talk about which class is right for you and ensure you’re given the right information.

About the Training

Who teaches the classes?

We have an excellent team of instructors, including male, female and junior blackbelts. Each with many years of teaching and training experience.  They are all directly under the supervision of our Master Instructor Richard Olpin, who is a sixth degree black belt with over 30 years training and 25 years teaching experience.

What style of Martial Arts do you teach?

The origin of our school is traditional Chang-Hon style Taekwondo, which is essentially the Korean version of Karate.  However, our instructor Master Olpin has expensive training in other styles and for many years now we’ve promoted a cross-training approach based on learning principles rather than simply copying parrot fashion.  Taekwondo still forms a substantial part of our training syllabus (we teach the full chang hon syllabus to Black Belt level), but also so much more including elements of Kickboxing, Hapkido / Ju Jitsu, Kali and very practical self defence skills suitable for everyone.

If there’s something you’d like to know that’s not covered on here already, please send us a question. We’ll get back to you right away with the answer, and if we feel it will benefit others we’ll include it on the site here too.

Ask us a question!