Frequently Asked Questions


Our Style of Karate

SMKS teaches a style of karate known as Goju-ryu (literal translation Hard Soft school). 

Training involves a combination of hard external and soft internal techniques. The style was heavy influenced by Chinese kung fu systems from the Fukien province such as Tiger and Crane forms, where soft circular motions and powerful close range fighting applications are embedded across the system. IOGKF Goju-ryu does involve sporting competitions with annual regional and national events in the UK and a world championships held in Canada every 4 years. 

The association's main emphasis is on teaching traditional karate with a focus on developing a strong healthy mind and body and effective martial arts. Goju-ryu is renowned for it's powerful and explosive short range fighting techniques that make it well-suited to practical self-defence situations.

Starting with Southport Karate

Who can join? 

Anyone over the age of 5 years with a genuine interest in training is more than welcome to join regardless of your level of experience, whether a complete beginner, returning student or you just fancy having a go at something different.

Do I need to book or can I come and watch?

No need to book, just call in and you will be welcome to watch or take a taster lesson.

What do I need to wear?

If you don't have a karate suit (called a Gi) then loose jogging bottoms and a t-shirt are ideal.

I’ve trained before, is this ok?

Yes, we welcome all students old and new from whatever background. So long as you have a genuine interest in learning traditional karate you will always be welcome.

Who can answer my questions?

If you still can’t find the answer here, either call in at one of our classes, email us at or contact us via Facebook 

How much does it cost?

Taster lessons are £5 for adults and £3 for children. If you then want to start you’ll find all of the information on our Classes page see

Fitness for Karate

Do I need to be strong and fit to start karate?

No, many people start karate as a great way to get strong and fit.

Can I train with ill-health, injuries or disabilities? 

Yes, depending on the advice from your G.P. You will be surprised just how many train with ill health, injuries or disabilities, you will also be impressed with just how good they are.

I have poor balance and flexibility can I still do Karate

Karate is a great way to improve balance, coordination and flexibility, if we were all perfect we wouldn’t need to train.

Is karate good for my health?

Yes, like all forms of exercise, karate will improve your cardiovascular fitness. Though traditional karate has further health benefits, as it will improve your posture, breathing and circulation.

Am I too old to train? 

Traditional Karate is about getting the best out of what you have got, therefore you are never too old to start training, the IOGKF has many people actively training in their 60's, 70's and 80's.

What about medication?

If you are on medication consult your G.P., and inform your instructor of any safety precautions.

Hidden Benefits of Karate

Develop Skills

• Co-ordination (physical and mental)

• Balance

• Concentration

• Physical dexterity 

Gain Knowledge

• Languages

• Geography

• History

• Biology

• Healthy diet

Improve Attitude

• Respect

• Behaviour

• Determination

Goju Ryu Training Methods

Junbi Undo

Preparation exercises to warm up, build flexibility and prevent injury.

Hojo Undo

Strengthening and conditioning training to build power and endurance. This includes training implements for power, endurance and striking.


Pre-set forms developed by karate masters to develop timing and control of fighting movements with dynamic movement & fluidity. 


Basic routines to build strength, co-ordination, power, speed and timing to a high level of performance.


Application of the self-defence techniques hidden in the Goju Ryu kata, ranging from basic to advanced level.