KCL Karate was founded in the 1990s and was the first Martial Arts club at King’s College London. This then formed the heart of a wider University of London squad, initially affiliated with the KUGB (Karate Union of Great Britain). Throughout the club’s development, it has seen multiple national and international competitors, demonstrating a high standard of competition. In addition to this, the club has always been a fantastic place for introducing karate to beginners, and developing students in both traditional karate and self-defence, as well as the competition aspects.
Over the years, KCL Karate and its mother organisation have performed at major London venues, including the Hammersmith Apollo, Kensington Olympia and the Royal Albert Hall, as well as contributing to culture conventions such as Festival Asia and Hyper Japan – major London festivals celebrating Japanese and Asian culture.
Nikolay, 3rd Year Biomedical Sciences, 1st dan, Instructor
I joined Kings College karate club during my first year at university. I’d had previous experience in karate but this club was something different. Upon joining Kings, I doubted whether or not I wanted to carry on as karateka, but after attending the first trial session, I made up my mind that karate is more just martial art, and this club embodies that. In addition I’ve met people who inspired true ambition and determination, not just in karate, but in life. This club offers many fields of interest including traditional karate, ground work, competition karate and self-defence fitness sessions as well as participation in cultural festivals and the summer camp. It is a very diverse club having students and postgraduates from various backgrounds forming a vibrant and encouraging atmosphere. During my time with the club I have progressed and achieved first Dan. It was difficult journey of pain and sweat but my self-confidence has never been higher. I truly believe that no matter what situation I’m placed in I’ll be able to “survive”. I still don’t think I can kick like Bruce Lee but I now have a much deeper understanding of what it means to be a martial artist and black belt. It means that you must give your absolute best in everything you do and something that looked impossible becomes you. The regular socials allows club to bond not just inside the dojo but in more relaxed atmosphere, my personal highlights include the Halloween and Christmas celebrations. This club not only made me stronger physically and mentally but also helped me to develop personally
Adam, Physics Masters, 6th Kyu, Club Treasurer
After two years of doing karate as an undergrad, I came to London as a postgrad and joined KCL karate. Since then I’ve really enjoyed the experience of training and socialising with the club. Coming over to London from Ireland and not knowing anyone, I initially found it difficult to meet people as the city can be a bit overwhelming but joining the karate club was a huge help as there is a real sense of community and camaraderie amongst the club members. The coaches were friendly and very dedicated towards helping me improve. The range of classes on offer at different locations made it very convenient to fit it in to my schedule. All in all, joining the club made a big difference in my settling in to life in London and making new friends.
Roberta, Biomedical Sciences Graduate 2015, 3rd Kyu
I did karate as a kid for a year, which then got interrupted for health reasons (scoliosis + back brace 24/7); I did my first year at another uni but I have no excuse about why I didn’t join in my 2nd year… I ended up deciding to join because in my 2nd year the “do nothing but study” strategy didn’t work that well. I remember my first lesson, it was a Friday morning K-Fit and I enjoyed it! For some reason I wasn’t sore the day after (yet) so I decided to go to karate… it was October/November so not exactly a Fresher’s trial; I remember it was very self-defence based and I loved it – the drill we learned that day is still my favourite move, almost two years later. The day after I was supposed to try the swimming club but I was too sore, so I guess that’s how I joined…. I’m pretty sure I owe part of my degree to karate (so dramatic) – I remember almost wanting to quit after my second year because I hadn’t done so well, and in my third year I became so motivated my personal tutor couldn’t believe it when I got my results. Other than academic achievements, if we can call them that, I am somehow more confident (such a cliche), both with people and with whatever situation I get stuck into – I know that there’s a solution (or rather, that David will find a way to make a warm-up harder than whatever I’m doing). On the practical side of things, I found out that I can run a 5k in a pretty good time without properly training for it, I had a few interesting things to add to my CV and to talk about in interviews, and I had (and I’m still having) fun, which is the whole point. Oh, and I learnt how to iron…
Lizzie, 2nd Year Medicine, K-fit
K Fit is the best workout class you’ll ever go to, in fact it becomes more of an addiction. The high intensity interval sets make it possible to really push yourself all the way through, despite it being difficult you can set it at your own level. I have really enjoyed every class I’ve been to and the music could almost convince you you’re at a party. Would recommend it to anyone and everyone!
Anicka, 2nd Year Medicine, K-fit
I heard about K Fit through one of my good friends at university and I am so glad I did! I love the fact that the class includes different components to give you a full body workout overall. The constant variation in exercises means each session is as challenging as the previous one. I really enjoy meeting associate members from outside the university and as everyone is so positive and motivating, I always leave the K Fit session feeling like I’ve got as much as I can out of my workout and cannot wait until the next session!