What we teach
What is Kyushindo?
Kyushindo is a ‘freestyle’ martial art, created in the UK during the mid 20th century. We have taken influence from traditional Japanese styles of martial arts (such as Shotokan karate and Judo), but also from the flowing forms of Chinese 'soft style' arts, (principally Tai Chi and Baguazhang). Our classes cover both judo and karate techniques, which are taught to different degrees in each club.
It is not based on physical strength or bulk, but on technique, balance and speed. It uses circular movement harnessing an opponent’s force and using it against them. Unlike some traditional schools, we do not perform techniques that use unnatural movements or body-hardening conditioning. We appreciate that this form of training can lead to long term joint damage. Consequently, it is eminently safer, particularly for children, than some other styles of martial arts.
Our martial art is taught not for competitions but for self-protection purposes, fitness, fun and mastering a martial discipline. Unlike some traditional martial arts our classes are taught in English and aim to teach self-protection whilst improving fitness, coordination and flexibility. Martial Arts training is suitable for any age, gender and disability.
We practise a wide range of techniques including punches, kicks, blocks, footwork and avoidance. We also practise falls and rolls, joint locks and general self-defence techniques. Generally classes will start with a short warm up and exercises to improve general fitness. Following this classes will practice a number of the basic techniques, partnered or group practise, striking foam pads and punchbags and kata (pre-defined forms). Whilst most classes will also practice sparring this is done in a controlled and cooperative manner avoiding full contact so that nobody gets hurt.
There is a set syllabus for each grade (like most styles we use a belt grading system - with 7 grades before attaining black belt following which 'dan' grades can be achieved). Each new grade will learn and practise new techniques, but everyone is also expected to continually build on the ones they already know. This means that even higher Dan grades will still practise the techniques they learned for yellow belt, but will just be expected to perform them to a higher standard.
Judo means "gentle way", and like our karate, it is about technique, movement, balance and timing without using force. We aim to use an opponent's natural movement in a circular manner rather than using any strength.
We have a full syllabus for each grade, with a variety of throws, breakfalls, rolls and groundholds. Students are expected to be reasonably proficient at all of them in order to attain the next belt. As with the karate, grades progress through a series of coloured belts from white to black, and thereafter, Dan grades.
Whilst we mainly focus on the self-defence aspects through the karate and judo techniques we also ensure that we cover the more general aspects of self protection.
These include such things as personal security, threat awareness, the law, escaping to safety, de-escalation, and a host of other things all of which are way more important than “fighting skills” when it comes to real self-protection.
Part of our self-protection training is also learning more about the human body; how it works, how to keep it fit and health and how to perform basic first aid. These are essential life skills that we believe are as important as the martial arts skills.