“There is absolutely no substitute for repetition”

Our dojo offers ongoing classes, and what that means to you is that we do not offer separate classes designated specifically for beginners.  However, when a beginner joins our “All Ranks Class” we shift the class pace and training routine, making it beginner-friendly over the first several weeks.  We then gradually up the class speed and routine, mixing in more challenging drills as the beginner progresses. 

This refers to the first and second segments of the class, of which there are four:  First - Warm up / Second - Basics and Conditioning / Third - Drills specific to each rank / Fourth - Demonstrating or Sparring 

*Sparring/Kumite is introduced after completing a test and receiving 7 Kyu rank (yellow with a white stripe belt).

Back to Basics - As repetition is at the very core of our journey in the dojo life, whenever a new student joins, it is an opportunity for everyone in the dojo to refocus on the effectiveness of their own single movements for the next few weeks.  

When we go back to the single-movement training, you should be aware that the upper belt students focus on more defined speed and power as well as different interpretations of the same single movement compared to the lower belts and the beginners.  In other words, though not all beginners are able to see the level differences, there are layers and layers of distinct level differences that exist between those who have repeated a move 10 times versus those who have repeated the same move 10,000 times or more with full power and focus.  "It looks the same but it is not the same."  This is same for those who observe our class.  

A thousand punches, a thousand kicks, and a thousand blocks are applied over the course of a few weeks in rotation, though it should be done daily, and actually was in our dojo prior to the 1980s.  Over the years, we have redesigned our class structure to disguise the repetitions and conditioning of the core training so that you are much less aware of repeating the same routine.  As in any discipline, however, the answer to progression is the same, “repetition.”  

Our basic progression begins with a single hand or leg movement in a stationary stance. Next, single hand & leg moves are combined while moving forward and backward in line.  Thereafter, double & triple hand techniques are applied while moving diagonally, and then multiple movements in four and eight directions.  Subsequently, this process is repeated with a partner or partners.         

Some of our new students have previous martial arts experience, and others are totally new.  If this is completely new to you, then what you can expect is not to feel comfortable for a while.  It is just like going to school where you will learn more only if you pay more attention, review on your own and attend class regularly.  Three times per week is better than a twice-a-week routine, but not as good as five times per week.  We do still accept once-a-week students, but you will need to fully understand that once a week is not much better than doing nothing.  You will feel as though you are participating, but you will not progress as well as others, and the skill gained through this once-a-week routine is like carrying a decoration: it only looks like something.  We highly recommend three times per week routine but at very minimum, twice a week.

SoShihan