F.A.Q.

– Frequently Asked Questions –

If my child has problems focusing can he/she still enroll in your karate program?

Martial arts classes teach focus as a skill, so they are highly appropriate for children with focus problems. The same is true of young people who exhibit some difficulty with self-discipline.

Won’t karate training make my child aggressive?

Quite the contrary. By increasing your child’s self-confidence, and providing guidance in conflict avoidance and safety, martial arts training will decrease the likelihood that your son or daughter will feel the need to assert themselves in an aggressive manner.

Will my child have to compete in tournaments?

Not unless s/he wants to. Champions are made on the practice floor, not just in tournaments. We believe in “creative competition” in which everyone leads everyone else to do their best. If your child does want the added learning experience of formal competition, we will make certain that s/he enters the tournament with a positive attitude and is prepared for competing through our Competition Team program.

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What style of martial arts do you teach?

Black Belt Leadership Academy teaches a form of Martial Arts based on a combination of Okinawan Karate and Korean Tae Kwon Do modified by recent discoveries about learning styles.

From Karate we have taken our focus on balance and muscle control, on posture and sharp stances, and on power through breathing, timing, accuracy, and speed. Karate emphasizes the use of the hips and abdominal muscles to develop a center of power and focus. Humility and rootedness are attitudes it promotes through practice. From Tae Kwon Do we have taken our high kicking techniques, jumping and spinning moves, and breaking practices. Like TKD, our style emphasizes speed, agility, and control. We use sparring to promote these skills as well as co-ordination, concentration, and responsiveness. Courage and leadership are important attitudes. Both systems emphasize community service, character development, and respect of self and others.

Black Belt Leadership Academy is proud of the tradition of the martial arts, and we are happy to maintain the discipline that connects us with our past. At the same time we focus on character, leadership, and life skills of students here and now. As we learn more about how to best use martial arts to help develop positive attitudes and productive behaviors in our students, we will continue to grow and change, keeping traditions alive and meaningful.

What kind of sparring do you do?

Our students practice their skills through “point sparring.” Strikes in point sparring are more akin to tag than to fighting. Students do not begin sparring until they have been training for six months or more so that they and every one they partner with has good control of their techniques. While only light contact is permitted, all students wear protective gear to ensure safety and to maximize learning and enjoyment. THERE IS NEVER ANY HARD HITTING AT ANY AGE OR BELT LEVEL at Black Belt Leadership Academy.

What is the best age to start karate?

Almost any! Our LITTLE NINJA program teaches martial arts techniques at a pace appropriate to younger students through activities which are designed to maximize the potential of 4-5 year olds. At the same time, these activities promote the development of leadership and life skills such as balance, fitness, teamwork, safety awareness, listening, focus, perseverance, self-confidence, and self-discipline. We start students in our BASIC PROGRAM at 6 years old, and have several students over 40 in our Teen and Adult program.

Classes are divided by age and experience level. New students will train with beginners close to their own age.

I am out of shape. Will karate classes help me get fit?

Most definitely! Classes are physically demanding. We expect everyone to train at his or her personal best, so you will be able to progress as your fitness and stamina improve. The progression in our curriculum and the advancement from belt to belt encourages effort and gives every student the opportunity to succeed.

How long does it take to earn a Black Belt?

Most students earn their Black Belts after approximately 4 years of training. Every student moves through our program at the pace appropriate for them, so actual time will depend on individual effort and development.

How often do students attend class?

Our tuition is for unlimited classes, but we suggest that children begin taking at least two classes each week so that they can develop physical and mental skills while they continue to look forward to classes each week. Adults can attend as often as they like. Students in our Black Belt Team program often take 3 or more classes per week.

My child has been bullied in school. Will your karate program help him/her deal with this problem?

The keys to self-defense include self-confidence, strength without violence, and knowing how and where to seek appropriate help. Through Black Belt Leadership Academy training, your child will develop these skills so that physical self-defense is rarely necessary. Your child will also learn physical self-defense techniques that will enable him/her to protect themselves and discourage any physical threat.

What time are your classes?

Classes are scheduled at various times in the evenings and on Saturday to accommodate most families. Please check our class schedule on this site for specific times and days.

Does everyone train together?

Classes are divided by age and experience. 4 and 5 year olds train in activity-based Little Ninja classes. Children 6-12 train with other students of their own age and belt levels in our Basic, Intermediate, and Advanced classes. Youth sparring classes are further divided by age. Teens and adults of all levels work together in some classes, but advanced students get additional training. Our Masters Team program allows Black Belts to train together at a very advanced level.

Who teaches the classes?

All classes are taught by Black Belt instructors, each of whom has gone through our Instructor Training Program. During all classes there are multiple instructors in the academy at all times. See the About Us section to find out more about our teachers.

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