About

Wantage Karate Club was formed in 1987 and Stanford in the Vale Karate Club was formed in 2012. They were combined in 2013 by the current chief instructor, Dave Paine. The style of karate we practise is called “Shotokan” and is the most popular style of karate in the UK.

The purpose of the clubs is to teach traditional, high quality karate to any student willing to learn. Both clubs are open, friendly and family oriented. The chief instructor, Dave, has been practising karate for over 35 years and teaching it for over 25 years.

If you are reading this then you are probably thinking about learning Karate or maybe returning to Karate if you have trained before. When you first come to our dojo you will meet with Dave and he will provide you with some information and guidance to make life a little easier for you in your first weeks at our club. If you have any other questions at all, please don’t hesitate to ask Dave or one of the senior black belts, and we’ll do our very best to help you.

Questions to Ask

Karate isn’t for everyone and there are other excellent martial arts clubs out there. If you decide to study at a different club then we genuinely wish you well: but please pick a quality club teaching a martial art in a quality way. Unfortunately there are many “McDojos” out there who will happily take your money and award you belts. When looking for a good club, make sure the training is about the art and not the money. Here are some questions you might want to consider:

  • How much does training cost? If you must pay up front and per month then be happy there are valid reasons for this and not simply because the club wants your money. [Of course, clubs need money to pay their bills. Only you can decide if what they ask for is reasonable].
  • Do they charge a “membership fee”? (We don’t).
  • How much does the license cost? All martial arts clubs require you to have a license that is renewed annually, but if that cost is more than about £25 it is worth understanding why.
  • How frequently can you grade and how much does a grading cost? Of course, everyone wants to grade regularly and progress through the ranks – that is only natural –  but you need to be honest with yourself: if you are able to grade every 6 weeks, how good can that grading be? How much can you really improve in such a short space of time? At our club we insist on a minimum number of sessions between grades depending on your grade, and this really does maintain high standards. If you must pay more than £25 for a grading, then ask yourself why the cost is so high (Note: Black belt gradings are typically more expensive than colour belt gradings).
  • What is the club’s lineage? Anybody can set up a club, award themselves grand master 10th dan black belt (or whatever) and call themselves expert. And anyone can hold a competition in their local squash court, win a medal and call themselves a world champion. Check the credentials of those you will be training with.

Starting (or continuing) a martial art is a large investment in your time and money. Make sure you do it right!