May I watch a class before I sign up?
in fact you are encouraged to observe at least part of a class
to make sure we are right for you. You may not, however,
participate in a "trial class" due to insurance and safety
||What type of style is
is a traditional style of karate that relies on natural stances,
repetition of practical self-defense techniques and the
performance of kata, ancient pre-arranged forms that simulate
defensive and offensive moves against multiple attackers.
||Does the school have locker room and shower facilities?
We utilize the locker rooms of the St. Bartís Athletic
should bring a combination lock to secure their valuables.
Items such as wallets, watches and laptops may be stored inside the karate studio.
Shower facilities are available. Please bring your own towel.
||Can I work out in sweats or do I need to buy a uniform
may train in loose-fitting workout clothes for your first few
classes, but a gi should be purchased within a month of joining
the dojo. A gi costs
about $45 and may be bought
online or at
local martial arts store.
||Iíve noticed some of the more traditional schools use a lot of Japanese terms in their classes. Will I be required to learn Japanese?
instructions are given in both Japanese and English.
However, beginner students usually pick up basic Japanese
within a few months.
||Do you practice
sparring in class?
While some styles promote free-style sparring, we believe
it detracts from the ďlife and deathĒ premise behind true
karate and reduces the art to a competitive sport.
Our training capitalizes on the element of surprise and
is designed to inflict serious or lethal injury in as few moves
as possible. Regular
sparring with protective equipment and rules limiting contact
undermines these goals. Techniques
become sloppy which may lead to injuries.
||If you donít practice
sparring, how do I know these techniques will work?
most effective form of self-defense is avoidance: the ability to
anticipate possible danger and remain calm and focused should a
confrontation escalate. In
terms of physical skills, we employ a variety of partner
exercises such as pre-arranged fighting (3-step sparring), arm
training and kata application (bunkai) to teach proper timing
and positioning for blocks and counter attacks.
Although we quickly learn that no one is invincible, we
gain confidence with each class as the speed and power of our
techniques improve. Knuckle
pushups and striking a makiwara board are no longer difficult.
Effectiveness is also seen at demonstrations and tests
where we surprise no one but ourselves with our sudden ability
to break boards or fend off three attackers.
||Are there any risks of injury associated with your training program? Will my age or physical condition limit my ability to do well?
karate has a long history of being safely practiced by people of
all ages and physical constitutions.
In Okinawa during the 1930's, it became the official
physical fitness program of public school children.
For centuries karate was taught by parents to their
children and grandchildren.
Okinawan karate is steeped in traditions of promoting
health, not injury. If
anything, students will tell you how their karate training has
helped them overcome old injuries and avoid new ones.
As often stated by Master Ueshiro, ďAnyone can learn
||How often do you hold promotions and will I be required to test?
for beginners are held every two months and new students are
permitted to test when they have demonstrated proficiency in
basics and the first one or two forms (kata).
Tests for green and brown belt are conducted twice a
year, although many students wait 12 months before testing for
the next rank. Students
are not required to test, but with regular attendance progress
is inevitable. Students
who are ready for more advanced training are encouraged to rise
to the challenge.
long will it take me to reach black belt?
this is a common question among beginners, the rank of black
belt can only be achieved once the student sets this goal aside,
and embraces karate training for its own sake.
For some, the opportunity to test for black belt may come
in as little as three years; for others, seven to eight years.
Regardless of rank, however, you will discover a sense of
progress with every class while also enjoying the satisfaction of
reaching your long-term goals.
about cross-training in other sports or martial arts
training program is a complete course in physical fitness.
It includes yoga stretches and breathing, warm-ups,
strength building (with and without free weights), endurance
training, balance, eye-hand-foot coordination, and conditioning
of lightning-fast reflexes.
This training complements any sport or activity requiring
precision, commitment and endurance.
However, we have found that cross-training in
other martial arts often leads to confusion or hesitancy in muscle memory
and fighting tactics. Most
students come to recognize that the wealth of training
opportunities inside Ueshiro Shorin-Ryu Karate take several
lifetimes to master and enjoy.
you have any books or DVDs that may answer other questions and help me
The Shorin-Ryu Okinawan Karate Question and Answer
by Hanshi Robert Scaglione and Sensei William Cummings, is a
clear, concise manual that covers every topic from how to tie a
belt to the ancient origins of each kata.
The book is available at the Ueshiro Midtown Dojo for $12
or through any online book store. See the Suggested
Reading and Suggested
DVDs pages for more helpful sources.