The world of martial arts can seem strange and daunting if you are coming for the first time – what’s it all about? Here is some general information on what to expect, what some of the etiquette and rules mean, and what you need to get started.


You don’t need much to get started in karate – name translates as ’empty hands’ – but here’s a guide to what you will need if you decide to take up training regularly.

Dojo Rules

The etiquette of the training hall, or dojo, is important concept in karate for maintaining safety and a good training atmosphere. This is a short list of ‘good practice’ rules.


A (very) short guide to some of the Japanese terms used in karate, and what they mean. In Norwegian and English.


A brief explanation of the coloured belt system used in karate, and the process of grading through the ranks.

Niju Kun

A translation and brief discussion of the niju kun, the twenty guiding principles as created by the founder of shotokan karate.

Dojo Kun

A translation and brief discussion of the dojo kun, the ‘five principles’ often adopted by shotokan karate dojos.

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