Frequently Asked Questions
What are the benefits of Martial Arts Training?
The world-wide popularity of the martial arts and the endurance over the centuries is due to the tangible benefits it has given countless students. In today’s competitive, results oriented, demanding and hectic world there is a great need to prepare oneself for the daily pressures of life. Karate develops both the physical and mental aspect of one’s self. The mental aspects of training cover concepts such as self-discipline, self-control, confidence, conquering fear, and focus. The physical aspects of training cover elements such as stamina building, strength training, reaction time, movement, balance, and the ability to defend one’s self unarmed.
What is the attendance policy at Martial Arts International?
Students are expected to attend class twice a week on a regular basis. It is every student’s responsibility to scan their finger before class. This is very important so that we may track your attendance. Steady attendance is required in order to advance in ranks. Our system is structured so the requirements are evenly split across the week. Monday and Tuesday classes, half of the material is being taught. Wednesdays and Thursdays, the other half of the material is taught. So students are encouraged to attend Monday and Wednesday or Tuesday and Thursday.
Saturday morning classes offer an opportunity to make up for missed classes or get some extra practice on the material learned. In addition, from 10:30 am until 11:30 am on Saturdays we hold open mat practice. This is an informal period of time where students can ask questions to the instructors or get some practice time for anything they wish to work on. If you are unable to attend your regular class, inform an instructor as soon as possible so that you may get caught up quickly. Please check the dojo calendar for scheduled class times.
Is one-on-one personal instruction available?
Yes. Private lessons are available with any teaching black belt. They are available outside of normal class hours and must be scheduled with the Sensei you wish to get help from. Please see the front desk to purchase a private lesson ticket, which represents a half hour lesson. These allow for intense individual attention and offer a great opportunity to receive help with anything you are struggling with.
What is the dress code at the dojo?
The student uniform consists of a gi (traditional uniform) and (obi) belt. Your belt must be treated with proper respect. Under no circumstances are belts to be dragged or played with! If disrespected, they will be taken away by a sensei. Students are expected to attend class with a clean and crisp uniform. Students who are members of the Little Dragons program wear a white-purple uniform. Students who are members of the Black Belt Elite program wear a red uniform. Black Belt students wear a black uniform. All other Karate students wear a white uniform. During the summer months and every Saturday, you are allowed to wear a MAI t-shirt tucked into your uniform pants with your belt. If you are having difficulty learning how to tie your belt, there is both a video and printable sheet to assist you on our member page of the website.
What is the code of conduct at the dojo?
There is to be no misuse of the art by unjustified physical or verbal aggression. We do not teach bullies, the discipline of one’s temper must prevail. Students must not be boastful or egotistical about their abilities; belittling of fellow students is not tolerated. Please be mindful of other student’s size and ability. We are all on our own journey through the martial arts; by helping your partner learn and master the techniques, you grow as well. Any partner work, weapons training, or sparring must be supervised by an instructor. Protective equipment (pads) must be worn during any kumite (free fighting) practice. In order to keep the dojo a safe and clean environment, personal hygiene must be observed and finger nails/toe nails must be kept clean and trimmed. There is no gum chewing or eating inside the dojo. Members and their families are welcome to attend any dojo event, we only ask that family members please avoid any distracting behavior at the dojo (such as maintaining a loud volume on mobile devices).
What is the belt testing process at Martial Arts International?
The purpose of stripe and belt testing is to make sure each student is progressing on schedule. At the end of every month, we have stripe testing. A red bar is awarded for the first month’s requirements, a yellow bar for the second month’s requirements, and a blue bar for the third month’s requirements. The first two months (red and yellow bars) represent a student’s understanding of the mechanics and the ability to perform the taught techniques. The third month (blue bar) represents the application of said techniques. This final stripe allows a student to test for their next rank. In addition, during the week of blue bar testing, all students will receive a pre-testing paper. You can think of this as a “report card”. This is an evaluation of strengths and weaknesses with notation by the instructors. It is the student’s responsibility to NOT lose this paper and use it to fix any mistakes that they have made. It is very important that students make progress every month towards their next belt rank. If you miss a stripe test, please see an instructor as soon as possible to get caught up.
How long will it take for me to get my black belt?
Every student is on their own journey to success. It requires a minimum of four years of thorough and diligent training in order to achieve this rank. Remember that it is the journey and not the destination that is important. In addition, upon reaching the rank of brown-black belt with the intermediate thick stripe (the rank before black belt), you will be assigned a “red sheet”. This paper covers all the requirements you have learned up to that point in your training. All this material must be signed off as worthy of the rank by a head instructor. In essence, this step represents a “pre-test” that must be completed before being allowed to take the actual black belt test.
What are the Black Belt Excellence sheets?
Every month a homework is assigned for the kids’ karate program. These Excellence sheets cover topics such as responsibility, respect, honesty and other important values that a martial artist must possess to obtain his or her black belt. While a limited number of printed copies are available at the front of the dojo, students are encouraged to visit the member page of our website and print them at home (as a reward for printing them at home, students will be awarded 20 karate bucks). Please check your dojo calendar to see when these papers are due. Upon turning this in, a student will be awarded a black stripe on their belt. It is mandatory for child students to complete all homework assignments in order to be eligible to test for their next belt rank.
What are karate bucks?
Where push-ups represent a punishment for misbehavior, karate bucks signify an award for excelling. Students may be awarded karate bucks for greatness in class or answering certain questions posed by the instructors. Students may also be rewarded for excelling outside of the karate dojo. They are encouraged to achieve outstanding grades in school and bring in report cards, progress reports and tests demonstrating that. In addition, helping out at home (above and beyond required chores) may earn students further rewards. There is a karate buck store held roughly every three to four months at the dojo (check your calendars for exact dates). At the store, students may spend karate bucks on a variety of prizes such as candy, toys and videogames.
What other events are held at Martial Arts International?
At MAI, we have a dynamic and active dojo community. Throughout the year there are many possible extra activities that students may participate in.
There are three tournaments held every year at our dojo. These are great opportunities for students to compete, have fun and put their karate training into a “real” context. Kata (form) emphasizes skills such as focus, concentration and goal setting. Kumite (sparring) allows students to discover a fighting perspective. Upper rank students are also eligible to attend outside tournaments and compete against other karate schools.
In the spring, we hold an annual day of outdoor training at Peralta Park. In honor of Mother’s Day, moms are welcome to join us for a special free women’s self-defense class. Afterwards we host a barbeque potluck. Weather permitting, we even have a water gun fight and pie eating contest!
During the summer, we travel to Huntington State Beach to do some traditional training in the sun, surf and sand. We even get a chance to head out into the waves and practice some of our stances and techniques against the force of the ocean. Then students are encouraged to have an enjoyable day with their friends and family seaside.
We have several Ninja Nights throughout the year. This is a special evening of fun for our students and friends. It is also a great time for parents to have a night out. There are a variety of these to choose from including an outing to Scooter’s Jungle bounce playroom, a videogame truck, lightsaber training and a movie night.
What about problems or complaints?
At MAI, we have prided ourselves in fostering a wonderful community of martial artists for over 30 years. Our door is always open to you. If you ever have any concerns or problems, please feel free to talk to us. We are always open to any suggestions that you may have.