General FAQ’s

How old do I have to be to train?

We take students from the age of 5 years old, and we have students in their 70's. Below is a list of the style with the age group alongside:

  • Junior Anshin Ryu Karate from 5 years to 15 years old
  • Senior Anshin Ryu Karate from 15 years old and up (some of our students are above 70 years)
  • Matayoshi Kobudo from 14 years old.
What are the Benefits of Training

The benefits in training in the martial arts are vast. Some are:

  • improving physical fitness,
  • giving personal improvement in character,
  • self-discipline,
  • confidence,
  • motivation,
  • respect and
  • self-esteem.

In addition to those above you will learn how to defend yourself in today's society, and having a network of martial art friends

Can I start right away or do I have to wait to start the course?

Yes you can start right away!

We don't have start dates for students. Also we give the first 2 lessons Free of charge so that you can try the style before becoming a member. So if you are wanting to do Karate and Kobudo you will get 2 free lessons in both systems.

What are the differences between the styles?

Anshin Ryu Karate is an empty hand martial art, whereby students learn how to defend themselves through their regular training.

Matayoshi Kobudo is a traditional weapons system, whereby students learn different types of weapons based upon mainly Okinawan farming tools. This art provides the student additional and supportive knowledge to their empty hand system.

Where are the classes held?

We are located around Darlington, depending upon the class. This information can be found under the following headings of the web site:

  1. Anshin Ryu Karate - on the Anshin Ryu Page
  2. Kobudo - on the Matayoshi Kobudo Page

and on the dojo location page of the site.

What do you need to wear?

Students of Karate wear a white Gi (Karate Suit), those of Kobudo a Black Gi Jacket and White Trousers.
However, beginners can wear anything that is loose and flexible, such as T-shirt and track suit or jogging bottoms. They then have up to their first grade to get a suit. We do not wear anything on our feet.

Who are the Instructors?

There are 2 main Sensei who are Nationally and Internationally recognised, and all have coaching qualifications. There are also two Shidoin (assistant Instructors) in Karate and Kobudo.  In addition their are a number of Sempai (senior grades) that help the students in the various aspects of their training. Go to the Yudansha menu at the top of the page for more information. Our chief Instructor has a wealth of experience in martial arts, has competed at national levels ad also trained and graded in Okinawa, Japan. Furthermore, he is still training and expanding his knowledge!

Are you qualified to instruct?

As a new student it is always important to ask this question, because we are teachers and coaches, and therefore we should have the respective qualifications. The Chief Instructors and Assistant Instructor have the appropriate recognised certification for the black belt grade they hold in their Martial Art. They have also have coaching qualifications. Our Chief Instructor is also regularly checked with DBS. In addition they have licence and insurances in place to teach their martial arts. More information about the instructors can be found on the Yudansha Page. Furthermore, the Chief Instructor is regularly expanding his knowledge from his Sensei, thus his knowledge is constantly being improved and passed down to the students.

How Long are the lessons?

Most Lessons are 1 hour long but on the Thursday night they are 1.5 hrs long. This then provides longer warmups and the instructor can spend more time on detail, especially in advance techniques.

What do you teach in the lessons?
  1. The Anshin Karate classes are broken down into a lesson curriculum, whereby the class is arranged into warm-ups, followed by syllabus from the student's next belt, then a featured topic, then finally either free style fighting or Bunkai (partner drills). They also learn theory, philosophy and history to the art.
  2. The Matayoshi Kobudo is based around syllabus work and featured weapons, such as Bo (Staff), Nunchaku (Flail), Tunkua (Side Handle Baton), Sai (Trident Dagger), Nunti Bo (Gavel) and Ueku (Oar) etc. They also learn theory, philosophy and history to the art.
Where do I get the Gi (suit) and other Equipment?

All martial art equipment can be purchased at various retail outlets, such as Biltz Sport, or Cimac. The student can also look on the internet, such as Amazon or Ebay. However, please ask Sensei before purchasing just incase the incorrect item is obtained.

How long do I need to be training before I can take a grade?

Grading times are every 3 months for Anshin Ryu until the student reaches a certain level, then it becomes every 6 months. The grading day is held in Darlington 4 times per year. However, the student needs to be of a certain standard before they can grade. With Matayoshi Kobudo Kodokan it is based on the times as set down by MKKI Honbu dojo. We believe that standards should always come first before grading, which makes you a good martial artist. It's not about obtaining the next belt! Sensei says:
"it is always better to have a high standard yellow belt than a poor standard green belt."

How much does it cost to train?

This depends upon the school you wish to train in, that is either Anshin Ryu Karate, or Matayoshi Kobudo. Also some members train across the disciplines, for example they may train in Karate and Kobudo, or if they are a family then the parents could train in Karate and Kobudo, while the children in Anshin Ryu Karate. So it depends on the members preference. However, if it is a family then we do have extremely good discounts for training.

On top of this subscription is the annual Association Fees to either UKASK (for Karate) and MKKI (for Kobudo). These are set by the respective Organisation. Because these prices may change prior to the up dating of the web site, it is best to enquire for current cost, so please contact:

Fred Bateman on Tel - 07807827978; or email -