What is karate?
Karate is a martial arts system developed in Japan. The word karate is actually two Japanese words combined. Kara, meaning empty and te meaning hand. You may see many martial arts schools with a sign that says karate. However unless the school teaches a Japanese or Okinawan style, this is untrue.
What are the funny uniforms worn while practicing karate?
The uniform is called a gi (pronounced gee with a hard "g"). It is the traditional uniform of the dojo.
How long does it take to get a black belt?
Well, for one thing, you don’t just get a black belt. They aren’t given out. You can’t buy one. They’re earned! And it all depends on the person and their dedication and hard work. It can be a little as four years or as long as a lifetime.
How old do I, or my child, have to be to take classes?
A lot of it doesn’t depend on age. A lot of it depends on attention span. Different people have different attention spans. Usually if a child can sit and pay attention to a thirty minute television show, they can maintain their attentions long enough to train.
What is the difference between a traditional karate school and the other schools?
A traditional karate school will focus a lot more on applying karate to all aspects of a person’s life. It’s not all about kicking and punching or winning trophies. Karate has deep lessons that go far beyond the surface. You also have to remember something; The karate we teach is traditional Japanese karate - do. It is not Tae Kwon Do. It is not Kung Fu. As such, neither of these styles are karate. I think Kevin Hammond Shihan, Head Instructor of the Ronin Dojo in Washington State said it best "‘Ronin Dojo teaches traditional’ Japanese Karate-do, not Taekwondo or Kung Fu. These are NOT Karate. To call them such is not only misleading but takes away from their own specific history. The word ‘traditional’ itself is so ambiguous that it’s used as a catchword to validate or to show substance. Let me clarify ‘traditional’ for you. Ronin Dojo teaches Shito Ryu, one of the four major styles of Karate-do in Japan. A ‘traditional’ Karate school teaches the three ‘K’s’ of Kihon (basics), Kata (forms), and Kumite (sparring). Other aspects of martial arts and self-defense are taught, but they all revolve around these three. Karate-do, or ‘way of Karate’ encompasses not just the physical, but deals with the well being of the individuals, including bravery, compassion, and civil and moral duty within the framework of the century old martial art. I hope the website peaks your interest in Karate-do and you will join us, or some school like us, and start on the path which is full of some very big and some very small surprises which can only be gotten through this kind of training."
I’ve never done this before and I’m kind of afraid I’ll be embarrassed. What should I do?
Relax. We all had just started sometime. We’re a really friendly group of people and there is a nice family atmosphere at the dojo. No need to be nervous. Everyone there has been right where you are at one time and are more than willing to help you along.
Will I get hurt a lot doing karate?
Although there is always the possibility of accidents we are very careful while practicing our art. Any time you spar there will always be a qualified instructor there to supervise you. You may get a bruise or bump occasionally but it is usually very minimum.
Will I get to learn how to use weapons?
Yes. After you reach a certain level of proficiency training in traditional karate weapons will be offered to you.
What other benefits will I get from karate?
The benefits one gets from practicing karate are many. Karate is a great cardio workout. Ths first twenty to thirty minutes of class will really get your heart pumping! This will greatly help in weight loss and general physical fitness. Self confidence is another great benefit. Focus and concentration are greatly improved. This can lead to better grades in school and a better performance at your job. Stress levels are greatly reduced with regular training. Attending regular classes can also help improve social skills. Karate also gives one a sense of belonging and self worth. In a society where gang involvement and the use of illegal drugs is so predominant karate provides a healthy and productive activity for youth. Many parents become involved and take classes to support their children in the beginning. They soon begin to reap the benefits and remain in classes. The self defense aspects of Shito-Ryu are second to none. Shito-Ryu is a solid and well rounded style with strong accents on self defense.
What do I need to start?
Well, the most important thing you will need is a desire to train and a willingness to learn. As you progress a gi will be required. These are relatively inexpensive. Later you may wish to purchase sparring equipment or your own weapons. Your Sensei will be able to assist you with these purchases.
Why should I choose Rocky Mountain Shito-Ryu Karate-Do?
There are a number of reasons why Rocky Mountain Shito-Ryu Karate-Do is a great choice for your martial arts school.
Most importantly, we teach Seito Shito-Ryu. Seito means pure form or pure style. The karate we teach was created by Mabuni Kenwa Sensei. The lineage was passed down to his son, Mabuni Kenzo. John Bartholomay Shihan was a direct student of Mabuni Kenzo. J. White Sensi is one of John Bartholomay's students. The karate we teach is in direct line with the creator of the system. Therefore we strive to retain the pure essence of the style.
Considering our dojo is in the direct lineage of Mabuni Kenwa, all black belt ranks are approved and registered through the International Shito-Ryu Karate-Do Kai headquartered in Osaka, Japan. Your rank will be recognized and honored wherever you go.
When you choose Rocky Mountain Shito-Ryu Karate-Do, you may rest assured that you will receive the highest quality training availiable in traditional Japanese karate in this area.
The Bottom Line: How much will it cost me?
When White Sensei opened Rocky Mountain Shito-Ryu Karate-Do he purposely set the prices to be competitive with other schools in the area. Yet he intentionally set the costs a bit lower than most of the other schools. Why? To be totally honest, White Sensei has a job. That’s what pays his bills. He teaches karate because he loves it and has made it a permanent part of his life. The dojo is not his primary source of income, nor does he ever intend it to be. He is very honored by the tradition behind Seito Shito-Ryu and is dedicated to preserve that tradition and pass it on to the next generation.
White Sensei realizes that times are tough on a lot of people financially. Sensei himself grew up in a humble family with little or no means to pay for such luxuries as karate lessons. Yet he firmly believes in the positive results in people’s lives resulting from the study of karate.
With those things in mind, Rocky Mountain Shito-Ryu Karate-Do offers classes in traditional karate at a price that is very affordable. Law Enforcement and Correctional Officer receive a 20% discount on tuition. There are numerous sign up specials throughout the year and there are NO CONTRACTS to sign.
Quality training at an affordable price. That’s not just an advertising gimmick, it’s fact.