Frequently Asked Questions
What is Karate?
Karate is a Japanese martial art whose physical aspects seek the development of defensive and counterattacking body movements. The themes of traditional karate training are fighting and self-defense, though its mental and moral aspects target the overall improvement of the individual. This is facilitated by the discipline and persistent effort required in training.
I've heard there are different "styles" of karate, which one do you do?
We teach traditional Shotokan Karate
Who founded Shotokan Karate?
Shotokan was founded by Gichin Funakoshi (1868-1957). He brought karate from Okinawa to Japan in 1922, and is accepted as the father of modern karate.
Why did he call is Shotokan?
He actually didn't. Shotokan is made up of two words, Shoto (pine breeze) and kan (the place). Shotokan was actually the name of his dojo and taken from his pen name that he used to write poetry. He himself never referred to the style as Shotokan.
Thats cool, but what are the benefits of karate?
Improved reflexes and coordination.
Increased performance in all physical activities.
Increased strength and stamina so you feel great all day.
Increased flexibility and weight control for better overall fitness.
Cardiovascular workouts ( heart and lungs ) to keep you in top shape.
Greatly improved balance.
Ability to defend yourself.
Improved concentration for better work and study habits.
Stress reduction and the ability to relax.
Confidence in knowing you can defend yourself and your family.
Confidence in knowing how to deal with bullies and other confrontations.
A positive attitude toward life through self-confidence and self-discipline.
Self-esteem and your outlook on life.
Respect for yourself and those around you.
Motivation and an 'I Can Do It' attitude.
Wow! Sounds good but with all the kicking and punching will I get hurt?
Like all contact activities there is an inherent risk of injury, but safety and self control are of top priority for us and major injuries are extremely rare.
Great! How often is testing and when will I get my black belt?
We hold testing once a month usually on the last thursday.
Every student progresses differently, karate is very individualistic and everyone progresses at a different rate. Acquiring a black belt can take anywhere from 5-7 years.
Once I have my black belt will I be a karate master?
Ah sorry no, a black belt merely symbolizes that you have good proficiency in the basics of karate. There is a ton more to learn once you receive you black belt, remember karate is a life long pursuit.
Do I get a uniform?
Yes, you will be issued a gi (uniform) when you sign up for membership.
How old does my child have to be?
We run two classes for children. Our Tiny Tigers program is for children ages 5-7 and our general kids program is 8+.
Is karate safe for my child?
Safety is top priority for us. Class are held in a controlled, well supervised manner. Karate is a contact activity though so there is of course the same amount of risk of injury as any other contact activity / sport.
Won't karate just provide a more efficient way for my child to hit their sibling(s) and/or friends?
No, we emphasize that karate should only be used for self defense outside the dojo. A large aspect of karate involves self discipline and control, we do not tolerate the use of karate in an unethical manner outside of the dojo.
I've see friends of mine children have karate medals and trophies, can my child participate in tournaments?
Absolutely! We encourage all of our students to compete. Tournaments are an excellent way to test their karate skills under pressure. There are several tournaments a year around the Rochester area that our students regularly participate in.
I'm __ years old, am I too old to start karate?
Absolutely not! Karate is great to start at any age.
I'm nervous about looking bad in front of the other students / instructors.
We run a no pressure all inclusive program. Remember all the other students in the class were in your position at one point, even the instructors.
I'm worried I won't be able to keep up.
No worries. Classes are structured in a way were beginners are under no pressure to keep up with the advanced students. Often the class instructor will assign an upper rank to help you out in the beginning.
I have a health issue that makes it difficult to do exercise for an extended session.
We always suggest that everybody should consult their physician before starting any fitness program. If you need to take frequent breaks we have no problems letting you do so during class.
I've trained in a martial art before, does my rank carry over? Can I wear my belt from my previous training?
It depends. We handle this on a case by case basis.