It’s a little confusing. How do I address everyone politely?
“Kyoshi” means “Master Teacher.” We have one in our school: Kyoshi John.
“Sifu” means “One-in-Charge” or “School Principal,” and she is Sifu Elyse.
“Sensei” means “Teacher,” and we have a few. They will let you know who they are.
“Sempai” means “Teacher-in-Training.” We have a few of those too.
“Coach” means “Coach.”
If you have trouble remembering these terms, no problem. We’ll help you learn the proper names of everyone. When in doubt, it is always polite to address an instructor as “Sensei.”
What do I wear to my first class?
You can wear the uniform that is included in your Kickstart Program.
How many days a week can I come to class?
Recreational Program: We really like to see our students for a minimum of two days a week, but we understand life can be very busy. So, one day is better than no days; that’s why we offer the Recreational Program. Students participate in one class per week. If you miss your class, let us know and we’ll find you another class for you that week.
Traditional Program (two days): Students in our Traditional Program are required to sign up for two classes per week.
Traditional Unlimited Program: You can customize your own schedule; the Dojo is open six days a week. Take two or more classes per week. You choose the days. The schedule is available to view on our website.
How do I enter the floor? Why do I need to bow?
We bow long enough to say “thank-you.” When we bow, we are showing respect for the school, our classmates, our teachers, and the martial arts. You must always bow facing towards the classroom before you step onto the floor. The same holds true when you are ready to leave the classroom floor (remember to turn and face the classroom). When you bow to a partner, you let them know that you are not there to hurt them but are there to have fun while learning the martial arts. Running late? That’s ok—just wait at the Dojo entrance until an instructor gives you permission to enter.
What do we do in class? How long are classes?
Classes are 45 minutes. It’s important to have a strong body when you’re doing the martial arts. We warm up for 15 minutes in all different kinds of ways, from regular calisthenics to strength and conditioning exercises. We may even play a fitness game. Then, we work on our weekly curriculum.
I haven’t worked out in forever. What if I can’t keep up?
That’s totally fine; we’re not here to hurt you. We just push your limits to get you to the next level. When you first start your program, it’s personal best and we go from there. Don’t wait to “get into shape” in order to start your martial arts journey; personal fitness is a part of the journey.
I’m kind of worried about sparring. Will I get punched or kicked in Karate class?
That’s okay! We understand. We do light touch continuous sparring with full padding. It’s important to learn how to deal with contact, as it’s a part of learning self-defense. But don’t worry, we’ll go at your pace.
It’s important for me to know I’m in a place where I’m safe if I sustain an injury.
All of our head instructors are CPR and First Aid trained and certified.
Do you do competitions?
We do, but it’s not our focus. When the focus is on competition, we get distracted from why we are learning the martial arts: to build character, learn fundamental life skills, and become peaceful warriors. Competitions are fun, but we do our kicks and punches to learn how to defend ourselves—not to win trophies. That being said, we do know that having fun needs to be a part of your martial arts journey. So if competition is your thing, we have an annual gathering and in-house, inter-school competition opportunities throughout the year.
I think my child would like to go to your summer camp. What do you do all day?
The theme of camp varies from year to year and it’s always action packed! We do two Karate classes per day, but that’s not all. We go outside for lots of activities like Ninja challenges, nature walks, soccer in the park, and water play. We also do arts and crafts (if that’s not your thing, we’ll find something else for you to do). Camp usually runs the second last week of summer, so we do lots of talking about bullying and going back to school. Pizza, ice cream, art, bully-proofing, and self-defense. Can’t get much better than that!
Are there any other camps you do?
Yes! We do P.A. Day Camps and March Break Camps.
What are “Movie Nights?”
How about watching a movie in your very own dojo AND getting to have pizza and popcorn? We hold various movie nights throughout the year. Wear your pyjamas, bring your pillows, and settle down for a fun time. Parents, you get the night to yourself (note: we do not do sleep-over parties for safety reasons).
I’ve seen you out, performing at various events. Do you have a Demo Team?
We do! Once you’ve trained with us for a few months, you may be invited to join our team. We have weekly practices and love to participate in various community events. We like to support our town.
I require a barrier-free Karate school to watch my child. I would love to learn Karate, but I require a barrier-free school?
We are a fully-accessible, barrier-free facility. Nothing should get in the way of you wanting to learn Karate. We also offer personal training sessions for friends who may need some accommodations made to insure they’re in a safe and comfortable environment.
My child has ASD and ADD/ADHD. I guess they can’t do Karate?
Yes, they can! With Sifu Elyse’s Psychology degree and Social Work experience, and Kyoshi John’s vast experience in the martial arts, we tailor a program for your child. Karate is extremely beneficial for children with ASD or with attention deficits. The best thing about our school is that our education is used to make sure your child’s martial arts experience is a positive one.
I’ve heard there are other schools in the area?
If you’ve ever come across a martial artist, they love to shout from the mountaintop about their instructors and martial arts experience. So yes, you’ve probably heard about other schools in the area. That’s why it is very important to be educated when choosing the right school for you. What is your martial arts goal? Is it Black Belt? If so, make sure the school you choose is invested in getting you there. Maybe your goal has nothing to do with Black Belt but is more about learning discipline and self-defense. In that case, it’s important to check out the head instructor’s experience. Maybe you just want “fun” and fitness. That’s important in the martial arts as well. The best thing to do is to personally meet with the Directors/Instructors of any prospective school, bring along a list, and ask as many questions as you can. We truly believe that the hand needs to fit the glove when it comes to your martial arts training. If we’re the right school for you, we’ll both know it when we meet. The next step is for you to call, we’d love to meet you!