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Karate is a great way to get fit, learn self-defence, compete for your university and make great friends! The discipline is a martial art originating in Japan, and features two distinct aspects: kata, and kumite. Katas are a series of interwoven moves, such as punches, kicks and turns, performed against an imaginary opponent for demonstration purposes; kumite, or sparring, is a more dynamic one-on-one bout in which competitors throw punches and kicks at one another to score points. At UCL, our instructors will teach both strands of karate, allowing members to improve both technique and fitness, all in a welcoming, friendly environment - more than half of our committee started as total beginners here. We are a mixed styles club: most of our karateka follow Shotokan, but we also have members from Goju-ryu, Shito-ryu, Wado-ryu and Go-Kan-ryu backgrounds.

We also compete regularly, going to the annual BUCS and LUSL championships, which offers both kata and kumite sections for members of all genders, sizes and experience. We are also planning a Varsity event with King's College later in the year, and will train with competitions and gradings - the exams through which beginners earn their belts - in mind throughout the year. We also offer a bustling social scene, with weekly socials and collabs with other clubs and societies.

We have several types of sessions coming up in the 2020/21 year:

  • Monday, 19:00-20:20 - kumite with Brandon - entirely online, on MS Teams
  • Tuesday, 20:10-21:05 AND 21:25-22:00 - kihon with Tony - Bloomsbury Fitness, Mandela Studio + broadcast online
  • Thursday, 18:55-19:50 - kata with Catinca - Bloomsbury Fitness, Mandela Studio + broadcast online
  • Saturday, 10:00-11:30 - strength & conditioning with Ben - entirely online, on MS Teams

All sessions will be broadcast live, so members will be able to participate in all sessions through the club's MS Teams group. We are currently looking to arrange in-person participation for full members in line with government, SU and EKF regulations, and we will keep you updated in this regard.

There are three different membership types available this year:

  • FREE online membership: includes access to our WhatsApp group and all online content we upload
  • £10 online membership: also includes live participation in online socials, and recordings of sessions
  • £20 full membership: also includes access to live participation in sessions and in-person socials, BUCS and any other competitions/trips throughout the year

Furthermore, due to issues we have had with coaching fees, we have introduced session fees as well. There is a £3 session fee for online participants of sessions, while in-person sessions will cost £5. During term 1, session fees will be collected online ahead of time, through a dedicated ticket page on the Students' Union website. For those who plan on attending most sessions, we also have a monthly ticket, which will cost £15 and grants access to all sessions for 4 weeks.

Due to government regulations and the Students' Union's guidance, in-person attendance at sessions will be restricted. We will compile a list of in-person attendees ahead of time for each session, so make sure to be on the lookout for news on this!

Otherwise, feel free to get in touch with any of the committee if you have any questions, and we hope to see you at a training session or social!


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This Club is Pride in Sport Accredited

UCL Karate Club have signed the Zero Tolerance to Sexual Harassment Pledge.