On this webpage you can find details on Iain Abernethy’s home dojo in Cockermouth, Cumbria. This information is aimed at those new to karate / martial arts and who are potentially interested in starting to train at Iain’s dojo on a regular basis.

Note for experienced martial artists: This is a private dojo that is not open to visitors without first gaining permission to train from Iain. The dojo exists to take beginners from white belt onwards. It does not cater to experienced martial arts looking for one off training. Experienced martial artists looking to train with Iain should see the seminars page of this website.

What is karate?

Karate is an Okinawan martial art that spread to mainland Japan in the early 1900s and from there to the rest of the world. Originally karate was a civilian system designed for use in self-defence. As time has passed, many different forms of karate have developed such that much of modern karate no longer focuses on the original objectives but instead focuses on “physical art” and sport. We at the AJK focus on the original objectives of karate.

What kind of karate is practised by AJK?

The term we use for the type of karate practised by us is “Jissen Karate-Do”. In English this could be loosely taken to mean “Karate for use in self-defence and for personal development”. The objective of our group is to develop motivated students to a level of individual excellence in the physical, theoretical and technical aspects of pragmatic karate. We practise the traditional art of karate combined with the best of modern western training methods. Our syllabus provides training in realistic self-defence, situational awareness, escape skills, punching, kicking, close-range striking, throwing, joint-locking, takedowns, ground-fighting, power generation, practical applications to all the traditional forms (kata), etc. We believe that our approach is great way to develop a high level of physical fitness, confidence, discipline and mental strength. We also think it’s a lot of fun!

Who will be teaching me?

The main instructor at the club is Iain Abernethy 6th Dan. Iain is a professional martial artist who is globally known within the martial arts. Iain has written four books on the martial arts and one book on personal development. Iain has also written and presented over twenty instructional martial arts DVDs. The approach to karate practiced at the club has attracted interest from all over the globe and Iain has been invited to teach these methods throughout the UK, USA, Germany, Norway, Denmark, Canada, Australia, etc.

Murray Denwood 5th dan is the club’s other senior instructor. Murray has decades of training and teaching experience and has been instrumental in developing the methodology taught. Fred Moore 4th dan is another one of the club’s instructors who has also contributed significantly to the club’s approach and who been training for over twenty years. Both Fred and Murray have assisted Iain with the demonstrations in all his books and DVDs. Tim Kendal 2nd dan is also a vital part of the club’s team of instructors and these days he is Iain’s main uke (assistant for demonstrations). Beginners will work in very small groups with the instructors so that they can develop a sound foundation in a low pressure environment.

Is the group recognised?

The group is affiliated to both the British Combat Association and the British Karate Association. The British Combat Association is recognised throughout the world as the leading body for self-protection, close quarter combat and practical martial arts. The British Karate Association is one of the UK’s leading and longest established karate groups. Iain Abernethy is senior grading officer with both groups and hence all students will receive certificates from both the BCA and the BKA every time they pass a grading exam.

Who can start training?

Anyone can start training with us so long as they are healthy. We also don’t teach younger children (secondary school and above only). You don’t need to be fit as we will help you develop your fitness. We have a number of students in their late fifties so age is most certainly not a barrier to joining us. We pride ourselves on being a friendly and welcoming group. Whilst everyone is welcome to come along and try out what we do, we are a private group and we reserve the right to refuse membership to anyone whose attitude or manner is felt to be inappropriate. This ensures that the club retains its good reputation and will always be a safe, enjoyable and productive place to train.

It takes time to develop real skill and we do not give false promises about “invincibility” in a matter of weeks. We instead focus on gradually developing true competence in such away that people don’t feel “out of their depth”. Potential students therefore need not worry if they have no previous martial arts experience.

How do I find out more and get started?

Places on our beginners’ courses are limited and those interested in joining the next course should contact Iain Abernethy on 01900829406 or iain@iainabernethy.com. Iain will then be able give you further details (times, locations, clothing, costs, beginners’ course details, etc.) and answer any questions you may have. Our classes are held in Cockermouth twice weekly. The beginners’ course is aimed to get students ready for their first grading; after which they will join the main group to continue their training. Training will be free of all charge of the first few weeks so that you can try out what we do and see if it is for you.

Call (01900) 829406 / email iain@iainabernethy.com for more details.