Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is KIA Karate?

A: KIA (Kyushindo International Association) Karate is the group of Kyushindo Karate clubs based in UK, Italy, Australia and now the US, under the direction of chief instructor Ricky Giardina (9th Dan).

Q: What is “Kyushindo” Karate?

A: Kyushindo is a relatively modern, “freestyle” martial art which has 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 Bagua). It is not based on physical strength or bulk, but on technique, balance and speed. Learn more about Kyushindo in our Library.

Q: How do I join?

A: Just attend a class session and fill out a membership form. First session is free!

Q: What is the minimum age for children?

A: This depends on the child, but usually they can begin training at around four years old.

Q: What is the minimum age for the Teens and Adults Class?

A: Again, this depends on the person, but most people would make the switch around 13 or 14 years old.

Q: So I can train with my children?

A: Yes, family members can train in the Kids and Family Class. Our experience over the years is that many families find it particularly rewarding to spend quality time training and learning new skills together in a safe and structured environment.

Q: What should I wear…do I need I special uniform?

A: A white “gi” is required and can be purchased at discount through your class. Until you are ready to purchase a gi, you should wear something lose that doesn’t constrict movement.

Q: How often should I train?

A: For beginners, two or even three times per week is a good amount. As time goes on, most “Karate-ka” also find time each day to practice a little.

Q: How long will it take to achieve a black belt?

A: A black belt usually takes between 3 to 4 years.

Q: What is the ranking system?

A: Kyushindo follows the belt system of traditional Karate and Judo: white, yellow, orange, green, blue, brown, black.

In addition, there are intermediate and advanced levels worn as stripes at each belt to better reflect your level of accomplishment. Only at brown belt level is it mandatory to pass through both of these to achieve the next grade (i.e. One can’t go from brown to black, he/she must pass through intermediate and advanced). At blue belt level, it is mandatory to pass through one of these (i.e. One can’t go straight from blue to brown, he/she must be a blue intermediate or advanced before they can pass to brown).

Q: How/when do promotions happen?

A: Gradings are usually scheduled every 3 to 4 months. This is your opportunity to pass to the next belt.

Q: What is the meaning of the club badge?

A: The blue represents the universe. the sun represents the perfect circle of life. The dragon represents flexibility and power. Seeing the badge encourages us to seek out the truth, the essence of all things. Learn more about Kyushindo philosophy in the History of Kyushindo section.