Regular training is conducted 3 times a week throughout the year, including summer holiday. We practice for 2 hours on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

Thinking about joining?

If you are a student of UCD, alumni, or staff, you are very welcome you to join our club. Everyone can join in and try out one class and make up your mind whether this is for you. We are very open to beginners, most of our members have never tried any martial arts before stepping into our club so you won’t be alone.

UCD Students
All UCD students practice for free. We collect €20 annual registration fee which avails members with UCD Sports insurance plan as well as JKA Shotokan Ireland membership.

You can pay for your UCD Karate Club membership through our website or in person with any of our club officers.

UCD Alumni
If you have graduated from UCD previously, you can pay €100 for the year and show up in any class, as many times as you want.
UCD Staff
If you currently work in UCD, you can pay €100 for the year and show up in any class, as many times as you want.

What to expect

On your first class, we will have someone with experience shadowing you and showing you the ropes. Don’t worry about falling behind, we’ve all been there before. As long as you’re not afraid to try out new things and take time getting there, you will succeed. After all, “a black belt is a white belt that never gave up”.

What do I need on the first day?

Traditional white Karate uniform is called the “Karate Gi” or “Dogi”, but we don’t expect all new members to have it. If you don’t have one, just bring exercise clothes, something you can move and sweat in. No special footwear is needed as we always train barefoot in the hall. Also bring a water bottle as we will have frequent water breaks during the 2-hour training sessions. You can purchase a beginner’s Dogi yourself for about €20-30. Check our Members’ Benefits page to find discount deals available for UCD Karate members.

It would be helpful if you could send us a message on our social media to let us know you’re coming down.

Lastly, bring a good “spirit” and an open mind, ready to learn a new sport that will strengthen you physically and mentally.

6:15pm 8:00pm 6:15pm
Hall A Hall B Hall A

Our weekly classes are taken by different Karate instructors: Darragh, Bill and Donal – each with their own unique style of teaching, so you will have to come and try out for yourself.

Better yet, come regularly for all 3 classes and you will be surprised how fast you can progress!

When to join

Most of our members join at the start of Semester 1 or Semester 2, majority of which would have never tried any martial arts before. But this is what college is for! For those members we will have a dedicated training session for newcomers (check our Facebook for schedule). That being said, there’s no better time to join than right now. We train 3 times a week, chances are there could be a training today. Pop in, say hi!

Remember, Karate training always starts and ends with courtesy and respect.

If I have trained before?

Even better. Our syllabus is aligned with JKA association, so if you have trained in Shotokan style before, there should be no problem. That being said, we have many members joining from other Karate styles and are not forced to adhere to our syllabus.

For Shodan level black belts and above, this can be exciting opportunity for you. UCD Karate is known for its illustrious history in competitive Karate, claiming the Intervarsity Cup more than any other clubs in Ireland. We are always on the lookout for more members to join the competition squad to build up our strengths – so come talk to us. For some members, we will cover the cost of competition entry and travel cost to international tournaments if selected.


We train at the biggest sports venue in UCD Sports Centre, Hall A and Hall B. Among the amenities near the training halls, you can find water coolers, changing rooms, lockers and shower facilities.

Training Etiquette

  • Karateka should treat their Art and Dojo with respect.
  • Karateka should observe the training schedule and should not be late for training.
  • Upon entering the Dojo, show respect by bowing and saying ‘Oss’.
  • If you are late and the class has begun, stop at the door, kneel in the seiza position and await acknowledgement from the Sensei.
  • When the Sensei enters the Dojo, karateka should face him / her and bow.
  • There should be no idle talking in the Dojo – it is disrespectful.
  • When the class begins, line up smartly, with juniors to the left, in straight lines looking to your right and to your front.
  • When a Sempai gives you some advice listen carefully and sincerely. Do not forget to show that you have heard and understood the advice. Bow & say ‘Oss’.
  • Always bow with appreciation and respect.
  • When you observe the training in the Dojo, kneel in seiza or stand quietly.
  • Never lean against walls or slouch as this shows disrespect.
  • When the Sensei calls for ‘Mokuso’ (meditation), close your eyes, breathe deeply from the lower stomach and try to achieve concentration.
  • Always try to keep your training clothes clean and tidy.
  • Keep your nails short to prevent injury to other karateka.
  • Jewellery and makeup should not be worn in the Dojo.
  • Any rings that cannot be removed must be taped up to prevent injury.
  • If beginners and coloured belts have any questions they should ask the senior Karateka.
  • Bow upon leaving the Dojo. Remember that Shotokan always begins and ends with courtesy.
  • Do not think that Shotokan training is only in the Dojo