The following are
common questions regarding karate. If you have a
question that is not listed here, please send us an
email and we will be glad to answer the question for
What is Karate?
"Karate", literally "empty hand", is a form of
self-defense developed over the last century or two in
Japan and many other Asian countries.
Today, the regular practice of Karate helps students
become healthy, well-coordinated individuals, both
physically and mentally.
Karate come from?
Very briefly, Karate has descended from very old
fighting systems which were developed by Buddhist monks
as a physical and mental discipline in China. Created by
observing and copying the natural fighting moves of
various animals, Karate then spread throughout Asia,
and, eventually, the world.
How does it
differ from Boxing or Judo?
Judo (gentle way) and boxing are primarily sports, with
self-defense, or "martial", applications. On the other
hand, Karate is a martial art with some sport
applications. Additionally, Karate utilizes both hands
and feet, as opposed to a boxer’s punches, and is not
primarily involved in "throwing" techniques as in Judo.
different kinds of Karate?
Yes. As Karate was traditionally taught from individual
to individual, many different "styles" have emerged over
the years. Further, many original types of Karate
developed differently as they spread to different
geographic regions; some coming to emphasize certain
fighting philosophies or basic techniques. To the
novice, these differences are unimportant.
what age is a good age to start Karate?
is no ideal age. The best age is when there is interest.
about the Religious aspect of Karate?
teach no religious part of Karate, we believe that is a personal choice.
Can women benefit from Karate?
Greatly, since proficiency in Karate is not dependent upon size or
muscular strength, and yet is a very practical form of personal
development and self-defense.
Can children benefit from Karate?
Certainly. Over the years, we have heard many parents describe positive
results with children who lack confidence, concentration, discipline or
even who are hyperactive.
I need to buy my child's uniform for the first class?
We believe that children should earn the uniform by doing extra things
around the house. We call it "Learn to Earn".
often should I come to Karate?
is no magic number. Some come once a week, others come three or more
times per week. The main thing is you are always learning, each time you
I have to attend tournaments?
We do encourage, about four hand chosen tournaments a year, but they
are not mandatory.
can I obtain a class schedule or belt test schedule?
Belt Test Schedules
are available here on the website or you can pick up a printed copy at
Can I special order gear from the Karate University?
with one of our Instructors, Karate representatives, or one of the staff
at the front desk about ordering uniforms or equipment. We will soon have
our ONLINE STORE available for you to make your purchases even more
What are the Classes like?
A typical class starts with an easy stretch and warm-up, followed by a
fun aerobic workout. While you are getting into shape firming, toning,
losing body fat and increasing endurance, you will learn basic martial
arts self defense techniques – kicks, punches, knees and elbows. We
complete with a relaxing stretch and cool down. Let the instructor know
before class if you have any sensitive areas (neck, back, knees, etc.)
Exercise can be modified to accommodate your needs. For your safety, the
workout is steady and at your own pace. No matter what your level of
intensity (beginner, intermediate, advanced) the focus is on using your
muscles (dynamic tension) to do the work, not momentum or speed.
How Long is the
The class is 40 minutes, which starts with a
8 –10 minute stretch and
warm-up, followed by 30-35 minutes full body workout and strength
training, ending with a relaxing 5 minute cool down. Because attendees
deserve the benefits of a complete workout, class starts promptly at
scheduled times. Arrive a few minutes early to start warming up and get
yourself ready for Karate.
What should I wear?
If you are just starting, wear comfortable exercise clothes. The Karate
GI is an excellent article of clothing for these exercises and training. Karate Fitness incorporates
traditional martial arts self-defense techniques and is conducted
barefoot. For added safety, for intermediate and advanced students,
complete sparring gear are highly recommended. Bring a towel and a
bottle of water, if you like.
Is Karate for Women and Children?
definitely! Karate is for all individuals -- small, tall, young or old.
The American Karate Black Belt Association's youngest students are 4 and
our oldest is 75.
Will I be able to defend myself
Students of American Karate, knowing that
they can handle themselves in a physical conflict, feel confident, and
thus are able to avoid most confrontations without resorting to a
physical fight. If there is no avoiding a fight, the student of Karate
learns to disable his or her opponent quickly.
Is Karate good for my health?
Yes. Because Karate involves both
stretching and cardiovascular exercise, it is extremely good for your
health. Furthermore, unlike many other activities, Karate uses almost
all muscle groups. This means that your body becomes very well balanced
rather than overworked in specific muscle groups.
What kind of Karate is
taught at American Karate University?
American Karate is a similar technique to TaeKwonDo,
however many efficiencies have been brought into the art.
How does one benefit from
Karate teaches practical self-defense skills, develops
confidence, promotes coordination, and positively
influences self-discipline. The physical and mental
benefits of Karate are earned through sincere and
Is Karate difficult
As in any worthwhile pursuit, discipline and hard work
are necessary for
total accomplishment. It would be false to describe
Karate as "easy", but there is nothing in Karate that
cannot be attained through effort, desire and practice.
How long does it
take to learn karate?
The Masters teach that karate is a continuing
learning and living experience. However, from the moment
you step on the training room floor and perform your
first technique, you are on the road to Black Belt, and
to the mastery of Karate.
How does one
progress in Karate?
At our facility, there are ten belt ranks which
one must earn before becoming eligible to test for Black
Belt. Each belt ranking has a specific skills assessment
and time requirement.
How long does it
take to receive a Black Belt?
Each rank has prerequisites that must be satisfied both
in terms of number of classes required and subject
matter learned. As a rough average, a regularly
practicing student could earn his or her Black Belt in
about four years.
How does a student
get a Black Belt?
After having satisfied all the requirements of the ten
belt ranks and received his or her recommendation from
instructor, a student may be tested formally by the association
test board or through specific testing by a quarum
of certified AKBBA Black Belt instructors. The TEST
board consists of a number of high ranking Black Belt
instructors who evaluate candidates’ performance during
the testing procedure. Upon receiving his or her Black
Belt, the student is then registered with the American
Karate Black Belt Association as a certified Black Belt.
How can I get
The way that we integrate every new student into our
school is through our Free Two Week Introductory
Program. The program consists of four lessons with a Black Belt
instructor. Each lesson is approximately 40 minutes
long, giving you a great opportunity to try the training
and see if Karate is something you would like to pursue. Any member of our professional
staff would be happy to set up a time for you to see our
facility and speak to you about the possibility of your taking
advantage of both our Introductory Program, and all that
The Karate University has to offer!
How early should you start your child in the martial
While the martial arts are an enjoyable and very
worthwhile activity for children, it should be
recognized that progress will take consistent class
attendance, some practice and support from the family
(kids can't drive themselves to class).
How early to start a child really depends on the
individual child and their level of interest and
maturity. Many professional schools have age specific
classes and curriculum programs for children as young
four, five or six years old. These programs are very
popular and can be a great way for a child to learn
concentration, self-control and start to develop more
Programs for children of this age usually are less
demanding than mainstream martial arts programs and
bypass much of the serious self-defense training in
favor of more age appropriate and fun activities.
What style should I choose?
The only style that really matters is the teaching style
of the instructor. Yes, styles vary and you may prefer
one style over another, but style should be a secondary
consideration. The first priority is finding an
instructor that you feel comfortable with and who can
motivate you to come to class twice a week.
All styles have their strengths and weaknesses. While it
would be nice to say that your body type or flexibility
should match up with a certain style, it's more
important to match up with the right instructor and
The most popular martial arts in the United States are
comprised from a number of basic systems. These systems
are generally referred to by their geographic origins.
Again, you can see how much more impact the style of the
instructor will have rather than the style of martial
arts being taught.
What kind of facility should I look for?
Here it's important to trust your first impressions. The
modern martial arts school is clean, well lit, spacious
and has a good family atmosphere. The mirrors are
polished, the floor is clean and the dressing rooms in
good order. On the wall you might see photographs of
recent school events and outings and there should
definitely be an area for parents or family to sit and
watch the classes.
Beware of any school that doesn't allow you to watch the
class. Particularity if you are a parent looking for
a school for your kids, You should have real concerns
about a school that doesn't allow you to watch them work
with your child. An instructor might say that they don't
want the child to be distracted by the parents, but the
truth usually is that the instructor doesn't want to be
accountable to the parent.
Conversely, professional instructors will always
insist that you stay and watch. They know that once you
see the positive lessons they are teaching your child,
that you'll be even more supportive of the training. The
truth is that the instructor who encourages you to take
the time to watch your child in class is doing you and
your child a great service. In today's busy world, the
tendency to drop off a child and not take the time to
share the experience of learning a new skill is all to
We have always found that the kids whose parents were in
class and supportive seemed to do much better and be
more well adjusted than the drop off kids. Children,
more than anything else, want their parents to take an
interest in them and be proud of their accomplishments. Martial arts, taught by a
professional, has a series of "victories" for each child
ranging from a new belt or stripe on their belt to other
forms of recognition for the child. That recognition is
greatly enhanced when the parent is there to share in
Consider a professional martial arts instructor as a
part of the team whose goal is to instill a strong sense
of self-pride and confidence in your child. As a parent,
your presence in that classroom is critical to the
success of the team.
What should I do if my child wants to quit?
There will come a time when your child says, "I'm too
tired to go to class today." This is a critical point in
a child's training. This is when you help teach them
about follow through and the never-quit attitude.
Don't be concerned about "pushing it on your child." Children wouldn't go to school, brush
their teeth or clean their room if you didn't "push it
on them." There's a big difference between helping a
child follow through on a goal they agreed to and
force-feeding something on a child.
When you begin Karate classes, agree with your child on some
short-term goals such as green belt or brown belt with
the understanding that there will be no quitting until
the goal is achieved. The real goal in the training
should be black belt, but until you've had a chance to
really understand what it takes to earn a black belt,
it's best to set a more reachable initial goal. Once
you've determined that black belt is your goal, commit
to it with full enthusiasm.
Remember, it's unrealistic to expect a child not to, at
some point, rebel against the effort. This is natural
and should not lead to quitting. Quitting can quickly
become a bad habit. Facing these types of challenges is
part of the training inherent in the martial arts.
How can I motivate my
child to continue?
Staying with a goal without quitting is an integral
skill that has to be instilled by the parent. This is
the very foundation of goalsetting and achievement.
Quitting is the very foundation of under-performance and
failure. The world is full of great starters. Teach your
child that its the ability to set goals and see them
through to their completion that's most important.
When you've been attending with the child and know
exactly what's been happening in class, you can help
re-motivate the child into getting to class by reminding
them of how much they enjoy the last class and that they
can look forward to seeing their friends in class.
How can I provide
additional support to my child?
The best way to support your child in Karate is to take
the discipline and respect taught in the classroom and
employ these rules at home. Respect for others
from your child is accomplished by appropriately
responding with "Yes, Ma'am", "No, Ma'a", "Yes, Sir",
"No, Sir", instead of "YEAH" - and other disciplines
taught in class provide children with positive
Setting aside short
practice sessions where you and your child work on the
self-defense, kicking, blocking, and kata's techniques
taught in class. These practice sessions should
only take about 15 to 20 minutes and go a long way in
helping them do better when they return to class.
What are testing fees?
We charge an additional fee when you take an
exam to move up to another belt. These testing fees are
published in the student manual and are based on the
belt rank test being taken. Typical fees are between $30
A black belt test is a much
more involved exam and often has a number of expenses
tied to it for the school. For that reason you can
expect to pay $100 for a black belt exam. This
money offsets the additional preparation the school has
to make in order to promote someone to black belt and is
a fair charge.
What belt rank should my instructor be?
In most styles of martial arts, there are ten degrees of
black belt. A new black belt earns a first degree and
then it works up from there to tenth. The problem is
that with the lack standardization in the arts, what
defines a fifth degree black belt or a seventh degree
black belt varies so drastically, that the rank doesn't
really convey a meaning to the general public.
There is a saying by Joe Lewis, one of the legends of
American martial arts. Lewis, when asked what degree
black belt he was, would answer, "There are two types of
black belts. Good ones and bad ones. I'm one of the good
ones." The point of the statement is that beyond earning
a black belt, rank has little if anything to do with
quality of instruction.
This is a critical point to understand. Just because
someone has received a high rank within an art doesn't
make them a good teacher. Indeed, sometimes the opposite
is true. Some black belts are more focused on their own
achievements instead of helping the student achieve.
It's very hard to say what rank beyond black belt a
professional martial artist should be. Clearly, a school
owner or chief instructor should be a black belt or the
equivalent depending on the art. Also, if your goal is
to earn a black belt, then you have to have an
instructor that is at least a second or third degree, so
they promote you to first-degree black belt. A
first-degree black belt cannot promote someone to first
degree black belt. In most systems you have to be one or
two degrees higher to promote someone. For instance, an
instructor would have to be a third degree or fourth
degree to promote a student to second-degree black belt.
Beyond that, the rank of the instructor will actually
mean very little to your classroom experience or the
quality of your classes. In fact, when choosing a
school, you should probably avoid schools that use their
ads to tell you all about the ranks the instructor has.
What he has accomplished is not as important as what he
can do for you, so don't be mislead by claims of grand
master or 10th degree black belt. That's not as
important as finding an instructor who cares about his
students and makes that his focus instead of seeking all
the attention himself.
Occasionally, a Beginner
Adult or Youth/Child class will be led by a High-Brown
or Red Belt student, under the direction of a Black Belt
Instructor. These training requirements are
mandatory Teaching and Assisting assignments are a
requirement for all students who are at the advanced
belt levels. These training requirements allow a
student to learn and develop teaching techniques
established by our facility.
Should I find a "champion" instructor?
Looking at the phone-book ads, it's almost impossible
not to find a champion. It seems harder to find an
instructor that doesn't claim to be a champion of some
sort. Like rank, tournament titles mean very little if
anything to your experience. Just because someone has
won an event, doesn't mean they can teach you or your
In fact, the hard-core competitor often has a difficult
time toning the training down for the novice or for
kids. For instance, John McEnroe is a great tennis
champion, but I don't know if I would want him as my
child's tennis coach. That's not to say titles are a bad
thing. It's just not an important aspect to look for or
be concerned with. Since just about everyone in the
phone book is a champion of some sort, simply ignore the
claims and focus on what they can do for you.
How long will it take me to achieve a particular
While there are minimum wait time limits
associated with each belt level for testing, it does not take into
consideration your ability to perform specific skills-based tasks in
order to pass the exams. Lets assume that you practice daily,
attend all classes, are able to accomplish all the skills as instructed,
showing proper attitude, technique, power, form, and abilities, here is
a schedule that estimates how one might progress and the time taken to
accomplish the belt rankings:
Minimum Wait Time
1 yr 4 mo
1 yr 10 mo
2 yr 4 mo
3yr 9 mo
5 yr 9 mo
8 yr 9 mo
12 yr 9 mo
17 yr 9 mo
23 yr 9 mo
30 yr 9 mo
Missing some questions and answers??
Thank you for taking
the time to read and review the questions and answers posted here. I
hope these answers to commonly posed questions has been beneficial to you
and have helped you make a more educated decision on how Karate can be
of benefit to you and your family. If you have further questions,
you may either call our facility or simply send an email to us. We will
respond quickly and if your question is one that we have overlooked, we
will add it.
Thank you, again.
The Karate University............