We are dedicated to helping you improve your physical and emotional health through the practice of karate, tai chi, hsing-i, bagua zhang and chi kung.
Learning karate is like learning a language. You start by learning basic “terminology” (punches, kicks, blocks, stances) and then you learn to put them together into forms (kata). Each level builds on what was learned in prior levels, and through repetition, strives to refine and improve existing skills. You are never “finished” with a level! Even black belts practice their basic punches and kicks EVERY DAY!
In our academy, there are 4 levels for Minis (age 4-5) and 9 levels for Pee Wees (ages 6-7); at Pee Wee Level 1 belts begin to be awarded. There are 8 belt ranks (kyu) for Juniors and Adults prior to attaining black belt status. Junior belts are awarded in two steps: upon completing the first half of a belt test the Junior is awarded the stripe for the next level. When he/she completes the second half of the test the Junior is given a certificate of rank and the actual rank belt.
Each Mini and Pee Wee level typically requires between 6 and 12 weeks for the student to master the necessary skills, and may take longer if they require additional work in listening and maintaining self-control.
Each kyu rank (below black belt rank) takes between 3 and 6 months.
Each student progresses at his/her own pace, however, and though we encourage progression from one level or rank to the next, we have many students who simply enjoy taking the classes without feeling the need to increase in rank. Similarly, if a student is not ready for the next level (either physically or emotionally) we will encourage them to continue practicing rather than allowing them to advance too quickly. Unlike many more commercialized martial arts programs, our level promotions are EARNED, not given or “bought” by the parents through high testing fees. Though our instructors and examiners will do everything possible to assist your child with test preparation and overcoming testing day “jitters,” if your child does not pass a test he/she will not be promoted.
We hope you enjoy our classes and decide to make karate a part of your life. Learning karate (or any martial art) is intended to be a life-long enterprise. Typically, the highest ranks are attained only with many years of dedicated practice.