How do I get started?
The first step is to call us at 415 221 KICK(5425) or email us us so we can set up your free introductory lesson. This class is a great way to become familiar with our program, and is designed to help you start your formal training with confidence and optimism.
How much does it cost?
If you like what you see after your intro, the first 2 months of unlimited classes at both locations includes a free uniform and a T- shirt for $149.00.
Do I need to be in shape to start Karate?
Absolutely not! Karate is a gradual process. You go at your own pace – over the course of time your flexibility and fitness will improve. The structure of the group class also brings more motivation and better results, as opposed to training by yourself at a gym, for instance.
How long does it take to develop self-defense skills?
If you train consistently, within six months you will have some solid basic self-defense skills (confidence in basic blocks, kicks & punching combinations).
How often should I come to class?
Learning Karate is like anything else, the more you put into it the more you get out. As a rule if you come to class once a week you will feel like you are playing catch up every time you come. If you come twice a week you will see moderate improvement. Three times a week and you’ll start making steady, noticeable progress.
Does your school offer classes for beginners?
Classes for beginners are offered two or three times a week. Other mixed level classes are also available. We advise limiting attendance to a couple of times a week in the early stages, as there’s a danger of burn out if new students come every day.
How do I choose a school?
Watch a class:
All schools should first let you watch a class or take a free introductory lesson. Avoid schools that want some sort of payment straight away.
Talk to the instructor:
See what sort of person they are, and what the staff and students are like. Feel free to ask them for their teaching credentials: whom they trained with; where they obtained their black belt; do they still have a teacher, etc. Any legitimate instructor should have no problem answering these questions.
Observe the environment:
When watching a class, look at the attitude of the students and the overall atmosphere. Does it seem cooperative, or competitive? Encouraging, or egotistical? Talk to some of the students before or after class to find out what they think of the school.
Find out if the school belongs to a larger organization:
A school that is governed by national organization usually has a structured and well-rounded program which is consistent with other schools – this is good if you travel or move. Students from schools like this also receive internationally recognized belt certification.
Who takes Karate?
Everyone! Men and women of all ages. Classes are divided by experience. When you first start you will come in to a beginner’s class. As you progress you will move up to the intermediate level. The abilities and ranks or students in these classes are mixed but you are generally partnered up with some one of the same sex or build, as it’s easier to practice karate with some one your size.
How big are the classes?
Classes 10 to 15 people per class, some times a little bigger or smaller.
How long will it take me to earn a black belt?
In any legitimate school the very least should be around 4 to 5 years and no more than 5 or 6 years, if you are training on a regular basis and fulfill all of the required criteria. Avoid schools that promise 2-year special black belt programs or, at the other extreme, won’t even give you a basic time frame.
What do all the different colored belts mean?
Most martial arts schools worldwide use the standard of 10 levels leading up to black belt. These levels are called kyu grades: 10th kyu being a beginner and 1st kyu being the level just before black belt. The colors of the belts vary from school to school, but the number of levels should always be right around ten.
How often are belt tests held?
Belt tests, or “gradings” as we call them, are held every four months. So if you are training consistently you can expect to test 3 times a year.
What type of training does your school emphasize?
Training at our school is for everyone. If you just want to get in shape, and don’t want to participate in contact aspects like sparring, you can do so. Like wise if you just want to learn some self defense skills but aren’t interested in other aspects of training it’s also up to you. However, most students at our school like to engage in the full range of techniques and training we offer.
What are the benefits of learning Karate?
This is a long list, which includes: increased strength, tone and flexibility; improved health; natural and consistent weight control; improved cardiovascular health; stronger confidence and self-esteem. These benefits and others all contribute to slowing the body’s ageing process.
At what age can children start Karate?
Children can start in the Pee-Wee program from about the age 4. There are some who start slightly younger, based on an assessment of their attention span and motor skills.
Am I too old to start Karate?
Absolutely not. Anyone can benefit from starting karate at any age. Training is an individual pursuit and a gradual process based on your own abilities. In an average adult class the ages range from 15 to 50 years old.
Are girls welcome?
Yes. Even today, some girls may view contact sports as not feminine. If they are in the confusing middle school years it can be harder for them to participate in a sport like karate. Girls are rarely taught to fight, outside of tussles with older siblings. This is not self-defense. Learning how punch, block and kick creates a positive mental attitude, engenders confidence, and helps one realize that one has a self-defense option in dangerous situations.
What equipment will I need?
You will need a loose fitting karate uniform called a “ Gi”. This is supplied free when you sign up for our introductory program. The only other expense you will incur is for protective sparring gear, if you decide that is something you wish to participate in. A set of sparring gear includes a head guard, gloves and boots and costs about $70.00.
How long is a class?
Pee-wee classes run from 30 to 45 minutes. Children’s classes run 45 minutes to one hour. Adult classes run from one hour for beginners to two hours for advanced students.
Are private lessons available?
Yes. These are good for those who want to advance faster or can’t attend group lessons due to scheduling conflicts. These lessons are available to children and adults.
Does your school offer other activities?
Our school participates in public martial arts demonstrations, tournaments, special workshops, leadership clubs, seminars with guest instructors, and special training camps around the world offered through our parent organization the “ I.O.G.K.F.”. We sometimes also hold outdoor training sessions at the park or beach and specialized skills classes. And there are occasional social functions as well, such as holiday and birthday parties and group dinners.
What facilities does your school offer?
Our training area consists of a large room with a wooden floor and mirrors on two walls that allow students to check their form during class. There is a sitting area for those wishing to observe classes. Separate changing rooms for men and women are downstairs in the lower level, as is a stretching area. A shower is also available. The school also sells martial arts related merchandise, including sparring and protective gear, t-shirts, books and videos. This saves students from having to hunt around for these supplies, which can otherwise be difficult to find.
What is parking like?
Although we are in San Francisco parking really isn’t that bad in the Richmond district, where our school is located.
I only want to take Yoga / Pilates or Core fitness classes is that OK?
Yes. many students take only one program at our schools there are also lots who do a combination of classes you are welcome to do either.
I want to only study grappling or kickboxing or MMA can i do that?
The beauty of our facilitys is that you can mix and match any program, if you are not interested in traditional martial arts programs you are welcome to take any of our mixed martial arts classes.
I can only come now and again, can i just pay per class?
Yes. Many of our classes have a drop in fee. You may also wish to purchase a discounted 10 class pass (each time you come to pass is marked of and can be used in many of our programs).
Do you offer summer camps?
Yes, every summer, feel free to contact us for details and a brochure.