Frequently Asked Questions

General inquiries

Do I need to be fit to learn Karate?

No, If your health is generally good your fitness will improve as you progress in your karate training. Speak to the club instructor if there are any concerns you may have. If you have any medical concerns discuss it with your doctor.

What are the benefits of learning Karate?

Practitioners of Matsubayashi Ryu karate are taught relaxed and natural movements where understanding concepts and fundamentals can be applied not only to dojo but life in general. Overall karate has many benefits including, self defence, confidence, self-discipline and fitness.

Do I need to learn Japanese words?

All our training is conducted in both English and Japanese. You will pick up the Japanese words used in our dojo as you progress. Have a look at our Japanese words page it list the words we use in our dojo and how to pronounce them.

Where are your clubs located?

There are dojo (training halls) in Stanmore Bay Whangaparaoa, Helensville and Kaukapakapa. Our Contact & Locations page has more information.


How much do lessons cost?

This question can be best answered by looking at our Contact & Locations page which has this information listed. If more information required regarding family concessions etc please contact one of our club instructors.

Do I need a uniform to start?

No, Loose, long, comfortable clothing is more than adequate when first starting out.

What time do your classes start?

This varies between dojo and day of the week our Contact & Locations page has this information.

Can I come and watch some classes?

Yes, contact the club instructor first then feel free to come and watch some classes at any time.

Can I go to the same classes as my children?

Yes, we recommend this. Show support for your kids by “having a go ” yourself.

How much training do I need to do?

Initially, this is completely up to the individual. But as with any other sporting code progression and development should become a focus. In saying this, senior kyu grades are asked to attend no less than two classes per week.

Can I speak to someone if I need more information about classes?

Yes, we will be more than happy to answer any questions you may have. Please go to our Contact & Locations page for contact details.


What governing body is the club affiliated to?

Okinawa Shorin Ryu New Zealand (Matsubayashi Ryu NZ) is a member of the World Matsubayashi Ryu (Shorin Ryu) Karate-do Association WMKA; founded by O’Sensei Shoshin Nagamine.

We are a registered member of Karate New Zealand (UNZKO). Karate New Zealand is the official representative body of karate in New Zealand and is recognised by Sport and Recreation New Zealand, The New Zealand Academy of Sport, and the World Karate Federation (WKF). The World Karate Federation, is the largest international governing body of sport karate with over 130 member countries. It is the only karate organisation recognised by the International Olympic Committee and has more than ten million members.

Why do you have weapons training?

Okinawan martial arts is synonymous with both karate (empty hands) and kobudo ( weapons ). Matsubayashi Ryu is no different, kobudo is an integral part of this organisation and share’s a long and rich history along side karate.

Do children learn kobudo?

No, it is important for children to first understand the concepts of karate. Weapons training can be dangerous so only experienced senior members of the dojo are allowed to participate in kobudo training.

Is your karate style full contact?

No, health and safety are paramount within our clubs. Beginners to karate wishing to participate in kumite ( fighting ) sessions will adhere to ” non-contact ” criteria set by dojo instructors. However, seniors do participate in controlled contact during basic training and conditioning.

How long does it take to get a black belt?

Matsubayashi Ryu New Zealand has a minimum period of three years’ training before Shodan ( 1st degree ) black belt can be obtained.

Does your style of karate participate in tournaments?

Yes, as a registered member with Karate New Zealand the opportunity to participate in WKF style tournaments is available to members who meet competition criteria.