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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) for McMaster Karate Dojo students

The McMaster University Goju Ryu Karate dojo began in 1969 with Sensei Philip McColl as the head of the dojo since 1984. Training karate at Mac is a great way to learn some new physical skills, meet some new friends with common interests and have fun while doing it all! The dojo is an awesome place to find opportunities to challenge yourself and to grow!

This FAQ has been developed for the novice student who is approaching karate for the first time. Newcomers to Mac but not to martial arts may find some hints here to help them out too. Pose new questions to mac@gojuryukarate.ca.

Many thanks to Marcy who developed these questions, and to Bryanne, Chris, Heather, Meg and Patricia who answered them.

Frequently Asked Questions List - click on a question to find out the answer!

What is Karate?
The club is called McMaster 'Goju Ryu' Karate - what is the 'Goju Ryu' stand for?
Where did Karate originate?

I'm interested in taking karate at Mac. Where do I register for class?
Okay, I'm all registered. Now to find class - where the heck is the Smith Gym? Where is the Activity Center?
Do I have to be a McMaster student to join?

What is a dojo?
What is/does karateka mean?
What is a Sensei? Does McMaster have a Sensei?

What do you do when you enter the dojo? Why?
What do you do when you're late?
What happens if I miss a class?
Can you attend either class (beginner's or advance)?
Who should we ask for help?

Do I have to wear a gi?
Where do I sew the fist and the Mac crests?
How do I do up my belt?
Can I wear jewellery?

What is a kia?
What do you yell when you kia?
Tell me more about katas.

What is a kyu belt?
How do we get to the next colour?
What is a grading?
How many belts are there before I reach black?
How long will it take to get a black belt?
How many levels are there at the black belt level?

What is said by the head black belt when we line up?
Does everyone train with weapons?
What weapons do we use?

What do we do at extra training sessions?
Who runs extra training sessions?

What is an 'end of term get-together'? Am I invited?
It's summer and I return home until September. What should I be doing?