Within our training we like to include many different aspects of martial arts. Ranging from self defence training through to freestyle competition training. For those who choose to, full contact knockdown karate training and conditioning on to judo style grappling.
Padwork will include the use of focus mits and heavy pads, training for stamina and power.
Although we have moved away from traditional karate kata, we have a set syllabus of movements, both for karate technique and self defence which we practice regularly within training. We organise courses and trips to external seminars to keep are training fresh and vibrant.
The most important aspect of our training is that we are open minded and have close ties with other clubs, ranging from Knockdown karate clubs and Kickboxing through to Judo and Thai Boxing, often taking part in joint events for charity and training.

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At shuko-freestyle we look upon sparring as an important part of training. It can not be done in isolation, as techniques, combination work, power, balance and stamina all need to be worked on individually. However as a tool to build up timing, movement and body awareness it is essential. To some it is daunting and to others it is the most enjoyable part of the class, but everybody understands the principles of safety and everybody maintains the uppermost care to protect their friends and colleagues. We have to remember that facing an violent attacker is scary, but it surely helps to face a fellow student in practice first.

is a great way to build up power and stamina, but is also a way to increase balance and skill as well. We at Shuko-Freestyle practice heavy
kicks and punches during padwork, but also combination techniques, multiple kicks to improve balance and timed sessions. These may take the form of five left leading hand punches ( left jabs ) repeated for two minutes. The techniques feel strong for around a minute, but then the strength starts to drain from your arm as the anaerobic exercise drains the muscles of oxygen and it becomes a mental battle to maintain good form and control to keep punching the left arm out. This is training the mind as well as the body, to fight through discomfort rather than give in. It will help build up muscular fitness as well as power, which is important to any sports person. As with sparring, padwork can never be practiced in isolation, if a martial artist hopes to become an accomplished fighter, however it is an important part of training to build up skill as well as power.

Although we have dropped the emphasis on katas within Shuko Freestyle Karate, we have a set routine of grading combinations which are practiced regularly throughout a students period of training.
The combinations become more technically difficult as the grades advance, until for a dan grade, a Shuko Freestyle student will be required to do up to ten kicks and punches, including spinning techniques. Although we include the more acrobatic techniques within combinations such as spinning techniques we also include self defence based kicks as well, such as knee and groin strikes.

We also practice self defence in kata form with a partner, with set routines being repeated regularly throughout our training.

Self defence is a probably the most importat part of our training, it emphasises the total importance of good blocks and movement. If we do not get out of the way when training against a rubber knife in practice, we must look at the reasons why and change our avoidance techniques.
As an Instructor I do not see myself as a self defence guru, who is invunerable to attack. In fact quite the reverse I question every technique I suggest and expect our students to look at the techniques with the same critical eye. With this outlook, our self defence system is evolving, some techniques are dropped whilst other ones are proven to be effective 99% of the time.
There is no hype during self defence training, no dropping on one knee, or pressure points or double handed wrist locks, as these will only serve to get us in trouble. Just simple, effective techniques.
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