Kenshinkan Martial Arts

& Sports Therapy Centre


Welcome to Kenshinkan
Welcome to Kenshinkan Martial Arts. Thanks for visiting our club - this information booklet tells what you need to know to get started. KMA is Otley’s Premier Martial Arts School of Excellence and prides itself on delivering excellent standards of instruction to its members whatever the age of the student, along with providing a safe and friendly environment which they believe promotes positive personal development.

KMA are predominantly a Ju-jitsu club and the style of Ju-Jitsu is called Goshin Ryu which is a combat style with hard contact. It’s a very diverse discipline and includes but not limited to throwing, striking & punching, kicking, hold-downs and ground work.

What is unique about KMA is its instructors. Mike & Clare deliver expertise from different aspects of the discipline which gives a fantastic insight to what techniques will work for men and women independently plus collaboratively.

Because of the multiplicity of the this style it predisposes itself and the students the opportunity to focus on developing and determining the effectiveness of new and old techniques which can be used for real self-defence and personal protection, plus giving the player a vast array of arsenal to use and make them a good all rounded practitioner. This adaptability of techniques is what makes Goshin Ryu Ju-Jitsu special and offers great diversity to its practitioners.

KMA is a school with a difference; it not only teaches self-defence in the form of Ju-jitsu but it also promotes personal protection. Due to the schools’ wealth of knowledge and expertise it is able to focus on developing and determining the effectiveness of new and old techniques which can be used for real self-defence and personal protection giving you the skills and strategies to use in any situation.

The ethos of KMA is one of respect and courtesy to you and others plus developing self-discipline. The club is closely regulated to ensure that everyone stays safe, and installing self-discipline in its members is one of the key enablers when developing the standards of behaviour which KMA strive for. However we always want training to be enjoyable and fun, we have a laugh where appropriate and like to see & hear students encouraging each other. Most of all you should enjoy your training; it should be fun as well as rewarding.

Who are the instructors? The club has two main instructors – Sensei’s Mike and Clare Hooker (husband & wife) who both hold the grades of 5th Dan Black belts in Ju-jitsu as well as being 3rd Dan Black belts in Karate. Both Mike and Clare have great experience in teaching gathered over years of training in many different Martial arts.

What does Kenshinkan mean?  Kenshinkan means – “the development of the spirit by the means of the fist”.

How much is it? We try to keep the costs down for students as far as we can to make taking up training as easy and cheap as possible.
· The first training lesson is always free!!
· We don't charge a massive joining fee
· We don't insist you buy loads of equipment straight away
· You don't have to become a club member or an association member until you need to.
See the Price Page for more information - At present membership of Kenshinkan Martial Arts costs only £30 single, £80 family (three or more) per year (reviewed annually) and covers membership and licence. Members receive a newsletter periodically and fees go towards use of all the club training aids (Focus mitts, impact pads, mats etc) and towards the costs of producing the newsletters and the web site. We ask people to become members when they commit to training - usually after 1 month, we don't ask for you to pay training fees in advance, pay on arrival at the club.

Are the classes mixed ages? No, we have separate classes for adults and children as we are very conscious that children learn very differently form adults so shouldn’t in our opinion be trained as a group. Plus we are aware of the obvious weight discrepancy between children and adults and it would not portray a reasonable duty of care to the young ones by placing them in danger by training with people a lot bigger and heavier than they are.

Are the classes mixed ability? Yes the classes are of mixed ability and the reason for this is that beginners have always got a role model to look to when they need reassurance that they are training correctly and following the proper etiquette. The higher grades have the responsibility to show the newer members how to behave in the Dojo.

Training with those that already have some experience can be a bit daunting but don’t let this put you off giving ju-jitsu a go. You will be treated as a newcomer and be brought in to full training gradually, you will not be expected to things correctly at first or at the same pace and level of the others.

Do I need to have previous experience? Definitely not! You will be taught the very basics from how to break fall, how to train safely and how to look after the person you are training with. If you do have previous experience then it will put you in good stead for the new techniques you will learn. Sometimes if you have previous martial arts experience you will have been shown one way of doing something and we could show you a different way, either is not wrong just different.

It is good to bear in mind that you are not going to another club to teach the instructors or other students what you know rather you are there to learn something new which will most definitely compliment what you already know. It is also important to understand that although our club is not totally traditional we do have etiquette that insists you respect the grade of the person you are training with.

How old do you need to be?  Anyone from 6 upwards– there is no upper age limit, come along and try it! - it’s always free for the first lesson so you can come in see if you like the club and us with no obligation—the hardest step is the first !

Do I have to be physically fit to do ju-jitsu? You certainly don’t have to be super fit especially to begin with, we believe that people should be able to progress at their own speed and level, so whilst some training is intensive you are never pressurised to exceed you limitations. However as with any activity you will improve your fitness greatly, many of our students change shape, especially those who work hard!

How often do I need to train? Students can train once or twice a week, whichever suits, however we would recommend training twice a week as this helps you progress at a reasonable pace. 

Do I need lots of equipment? You do not need lots of equipment but you will need some such as sparring mitts. Other protective equipment is advisory such as groin guards, gum shield, shin and instep protectors and for ladies, chest protectors but students make their own mind up about these. You will also need a Gi (suit). We would appreciate it if all equipment was bought through the club.

Do I have to spar? Sparring and training with a partner is vital to gain techniques and to properly master the concepts of Ju-Jitsu. Training with partners is introduced step by step to allow students to gain experience gradually and safely in a non-threatening manner.  Many students do not relish sparring but with correct and gradual teaching often come to find that it is one of the most rewarding elements of the martial arts.  

Measuring your progress!  The taking of grading’s is the normal way of assessing your progress. Grading’s are held approx. every two months and students grade every four months (coloured belts only), but we are all different and this may vary especially if training only once per week.  It is not compulsory to grade, but in order to achieve the Black Belt there has to be some bench mark of technical expertise and grading’s are the traditional way. Grading can be stressful, but overcoming this is also part of a student’s progression and shows how the student can operate when under pressure.

Student Awards! At intervals through-out the year the club provides an award to the student who has shown the qualities looked for in martial arts and who has shown great improvement in their training. This award is only given out to the kids..that’s the little kids not the big onesJ

SAFETY IS VITAL!  We train hard but safely, everyone is encouraged to push themselves as far as possible - but to remain within their own limits. Only carry out techniques for which you have been trained, and NEVER show the things you have been taught outside the Dojo. Safety of yourself and your partners during training should be at the forefront of your mind at ALL times.  
Is it very strict?  We are very disciplined within the club to ensure that everyone stays safe, and self-discipline is one of the key enablers when developing the standards we strive for. However we always want training to be enjoyable and fun, we have a laugh where appropriate and like to see & hear students encouraging each other. Most of all you should enjoy your training; it should be fun as well as rewarding.

Bullying or inappropriate dangerous behaviour will not be tolerated – students who use the techniques taught inappropriately inside or outside the club will not remain a member of Kenshinkan.

When do we meet? Kenshinkan Martial Arts meets at the Otley Health & Martial Arts Centre on Saturdays at 9.30am - 10.30am beginners, 10.30am - 11.30am intermediate and 11.30am - 1.00pm for adults. Tuesdays and Thursdays at 6.00pm - 7.00pm beginners, 7.00pm - 8.00pm intermediates and 8.00pm - 9.30pm for adults.  Wednesdays 4pm to 5pm for 3-6year “kidjitsu” classes

Note: during the summer holidays (end of July to beg. Sept.), the children’s classes are reduced to one which starts at 7pm – 8pm Thursdays and 10.30am – 11.30am Saturdays

If you have any more questions or concerns then please feel free to ask. We look forward to welcoming you to our club.
Club Charges;

Club Membership & licence fee £30 single
Paid annually     £80.00 for family of 3 or more   

Mat Fees;    £5.00

Colour belt grading fee;  £15.00

Black belt grading fee;   £70.00 (adult)
    £35.00 (junior)

A full range of martial arts equipment and clothing is available at discounted rates via the instructors. Please ask for full details. Most students will require the following basic personal equipment; gi, fighting mitts, gum shield, shin guards, groin guards. We recommend you have a fitted gum shield from your dentist.

Clare & Mike Hooker
5th Dan Goshin Ryu JuJitsu, 3rd Dan Shukokai Karate
Clare on 07971 127788
Mike on 07967 739232
This page answers many of the common questions about training at Kenshinkan, there are many links to other pages of our site and of course come down and experience it for yourself - for free!!
Hiring the Dojo
Hiring the Dojo