Will I get hurt?
Our training involves breaking down the elements of a full contact, Kyokushin style fight. We slow everything down and put techniques in a context where they can be practiced repetitively and safely.
A valuable element of Kyokushin training is conditioning ourselves to absorb (and deliver) increasing powerful techniques, however training intensity is carefully managed by our expert instructors, their aim being to extend you but not to a point you’re not comfortable.
What should I wear?
Shorts and a t-shirt or similar and barefeet. For your safety and others be prepared to remove your jewelry. If you decide traditional sessions are for you, you can purchase a uniform at reception. They range from $65-$100 depending on size and they last for years!
You’re likely to want your own gloves and shinpads within a couple of months. Our favorite varieties of these are available to purchase at reception along with a range of supplements, t-shirts etc.
What can I expect from a class?
We offer a raft of different classes which is why we offer 2 weeks free. Traditional classes involve a warm up, and then any combination of the following: repetition of basic techniques, moving basics (coordinating techniques with moving), kata (patterns/forms), pad work / fight training, self defence and sparring.
We have specific classes for kata, for fighters and for fitness… although ALL our classes are great for fitness!
Kids aren’t treated like small adults! Kids spend more time enjoying games and exercises designed to build the foundation skills needed to support increasingly technical training.
Is it okay if I have never done any martial arts before?
This is the norm. The majority of our adult members started as adults so they’ve been there! The dojo is not like a gym… we know each other’s names. Full contact training demands two way care and cooperation, so your needs/level will be respected just as there is an expectation that respect will be reciprocated.
What results can I expect?
Our training is… intense. We try to keep you so entertained and engrossed you won’t notice what a huge workout you’re getting! Expect to get toned, powerful, more agile and flexible. Kyokushin training is a well balanced, full body workout. You may even discover muscles you didn’t know you had! The benefits are highly transferable to other sports.
How often should I train?
The beauty of Poneke Dojo is it’s ‘member centric’. Welly is full of time poor students and professionals so there’s no pressure exerted on you to attend with any particular frequency. Most adults find a minimum of two sessions per week is most effective. Doing two sessions you will maintain a sufficient level of fitness/strength to enjoy classes. Obviously the more sessions you do the faster you will progress!
Sometimes we get busy and we can’t make training. Once you join Poneke Dojo you are part of the family. We love to see people drop in and out over the years as time and life permits!
Am I expected to fight?
If you do traditional Kyokushin… yes! Kyokushin rules make it possible to fight without doing ourselves or others an injury. It’s a pragmatic style. We don’t train the death touch or neck breaks so we encourage you to test the theory in our controlled environment so you know what works and what doesn’t!
Your instructor will generally ask you to spar at about 30% or less of full power. Sparring lightly means we can experiment and develop our repertoire without getting hurt. The more intense the sparring the more basic it becomes as we become more worried about defence. If you have an injury you aren’t expected to spar and we save our most intense fight training for optional fighting classes.
Is Kyokushin ‘real’ fighting?
No. Every style of martial art has a ruleset… even cage fighting has a long list of rules! Those things a style allow or prohibit determine the relative strengths and weaknesses of the students of the style.
There’s a lot of rhetoric around whether certain stylists would be effective ‘in a real fight’. The reality is proficiency in a combination of elements derived from many different styles would best prepare a person for all the scenarios that might occur in a real fight. Proficiency in virtually any style will improve your odds against an untrained fighter.
At Poneke Dojo we think it’s important any stylist can identify the relative strengths and weaknesses of their own style and others and understand the context in which they are training.
What relative strengths and weaknesses does Kyokushin have?
Kyokushin fighters don’t wear gloves or wraps. A strength is we’re always ready to go and we develop very strong hands and wrists! Because we don’t wear gloves we don’t punch to the head so our defence in that area can be weakness. At Poneke Dojo we’ve borrowed a simple strategy we liked from a specialist style to ensure our students learn to defend against punches to the head for their own self defence.
Kyokushin fighters aren’t allowed to grab or take a fight to the ground. A strength is, by not punching to the head or clinching, we spend relatively more time ‘engaged’. That’s great for spectators and our power and endurance is world renowned. A weakness is Kyokushin fighters don’t have a strategy should they be taken to the ground. At Poneke Dojo we’ve borrowed a few drills recommended by ground fighters to 1. increase our chances of not being taken down and 2. improve our protective instincts if we do find ourselves on the ground.
Kyokushin is not a points based style. Our full contact tournaments are won/lost on damage/effectiveness. A strength is we have no delusions about what hurts/stops someone and what doesn’t. A weakness is that bigger, stronger people have a natural advantage until a smaller person’s speed and technical ability is sufficiently developed to be effective. Poneke Dojo values and fosters technical prowess. Kyokushin offers strategies for developing speed and technique and we’ve established a pathway that enables smaller, technical fighters to develop the skills they need to engage effectively with bigger fighters.
Do I need to wear protective gear?
We wear shin pads, gloves and recommend knee pads at training so we can spar for longer periods without damage. We have some gear to borrow but once you join you will want your own. We sell everything you need at reception.
Can I just watch first?
Sure but after the first 10 minutes you’ll probably wish you’d joined in! We offer 2 weeks free so make the most of it and do as many classes as you can handle! There is a huge variety of classes and instructors.