Initially, beginners are given a few private or semi-private lessons to learn the basic techniques. Then they join in with the regular class which covers basic techniques as well as combinations or advanced techniques. Beginners are able to follow the rest of the class with feedback from the instructor. Sometimes, during part of a training session, beginners are separated into a small group so that instruction can be specifically targeted to their level.
During your training as white belt, you will be exposed to a balance of kihon fundamentals, kata forms, and kumite sparring. You will learn basic stances, strikes, blocks, and kicks, and you will begin to learn the Japanese commands for these techniques. You will also be introduced to the culture and manners we practice. You will receive some individual feedback, but you will also benefit from the feedback that instructors direct to the class as a whole. Usually, after a few months of training, a student is prepared for the first ranking exam.
Trainings are physically demanding. Each person should try his/her best, but also monitor his/her own physical condition and adapt their pace of training as needed.
At times, new students feel exhilarated from learning new skills and pushing themselves physically. Other times they may feel confused or frustrated. Those who are patient with themselves enjoy training more. Whatever their reaction, everyone who continues training will see their fitness, flexibility, coordination, and karate skills improve over time.
Our Tuesday/Thursday classes typically include 20 to 30 students. One may notice that classes tend to comprise a large number of black and brown belt students. This is simply an indication that students progress over time and that many black belts continue to train to reach even higher skill levels. Students may train as much or as little as fits their life. However, the more they can train, the more they will progress.
New students are encouraged to ask upper belt students questions and to request help before or after class. It is an honor to help other students and a compliment to be asked to do so.