Our classes are running throughout the school summer holiday period, and with lots of people taking a break, now is a really good time for beginners to start karate!

Shiranamikai is part of one of the largest and most prestigious karate organisations in the world, The Japan Karate Association (JKA). So important is the heritage of The JKA, with its budo principles and scientific training methods based on the study of body mechanics, that the Government of Japan has awarded them special status unique amongst martial arts organisations.

In conjunction with the Japan Karate Association in England, we offer regular structured classes and opportunities for members to attend instructional training camps, courses, gradings, competitions, plus access to world class instructors visiting from Japan and around the world.

If you are considering an activity for self-defence, fitness, confidence or to retain your connection with Japan through traditional budo martial arts, Shiranamikai has been teaching authentic JKA Shotokan karate for more than 10 years and we have a great track record of developing motivated and enthusiastic students in a positive environment.

We look forward to welcoming you to our dojos.

Lesson details
Classes run four times each week throughout the year including school holidays and cost £9.
Saturdays, 4pm at Swiss Cottage Leisure Centre
Sundays, 10am at North London Collegiate School, Stanmore
Tuesdays, 6.30pm at the O2 Centre, Finchley Road
Wednesdays, 7pm at Harrow School, Harrow-on-the-Hill (we’re back at Harrow School Wednesday 19th June. Until then we have an alternative venue – message for details).
More details and how to find us…

Classes are taught by Austin Biesty 3rd Dan JKA, a registered instructor with The Japan Karate Association in England who has more than 20 years experience. Personal introduction…

Perhaps you are new to martial arts and thinking about trying karate, have had a break from training for a few years, or just looking to join a new club. Whatever your motivation, if you find your way to a Shiranamikai dojo, you’ll be most welcome
Austin Biesty, Instructor

Karate suit
All you need to wear for your first few lessons is comfortable clothing that will allow free movement but once you have attended a few lessons you should start thinking about purchasing a karate suit. Speak to your instructor who can advise you on the most appropriate choice. The price of an entry-level suit starts at around £35 for children or £45 for teens and adults. Read more about the different suit options…

Beginners are welcome to join at any time. There is no need to pre-book, just arrive in good time before the lesson is due to begin. Comfortable clothing that will allow a free-range of movement, such as tracksuit bottoms and a t-shirt, is recommended for the first few lessons. We train barefoot and all jewellery must be removed before the class starts. Our sessions are suitable for both children (age 7 years and above) and adults.

Lessons always start with warm-up exercises and stretching. JKA karate comprises kihon (basic techniques), kata (forms) and kumite (partner work) taught in equal measure. A typical session may incorporate one or all of these elements, as well as other exercises designed to increase overall fitness. Read more about what we do in class…

Association membership
After you have attended three lessons, if you wish to continue training with us you will need to join The Japan Karate Association in England. Membership costs £25 per year and is something we all pay. You can register easily online…

Levels, gradings and belts
JKA karate has a grading system whereby different coloured belts are used to denote progress. Practical exams are held every 3 months but your instructor will advise you of when you are ready to grade. Gradings cost £30. Details of the different belt colours we use to indicate progress can be found here…

Please read our safeguarding statement…