Become part of something special!
Getting started is easy. Just drop by or call to talk with Kim. She will go over the schedule, costs, uniform options and answer any questions that you may have.
If you call ahead we can cover most of this over the phone and let you know when class times are so you can join and jump in on the same visit. You'll just want to come 15 or 20 minutes early on your first day to get things in order before class starts.
How big are the classes?
They run from 8 to 15 people, on average.
Will I look stupid on my first day?
Nope. You will be well cared for and will be shown everything that you need. You will meet some of the other students who will be eager to help you. We are all in this together!
Do I have to wear a uniform?
Yes. We offer a traditional white karate uniform or a more relaxed T-shirt and pants uniform. Uniforms insure that we are not wearing things with zippers or other objects that could cut someone. We don't want people to train in street clothes (and street grime). We all like a clean, safe training partner.
Are there fee's for belt tests?
Not for the first promotion (yellow belt). We don't have a ton of crazy colors and we don't do stripes on belts so test fees are minimal and fees are less than you will pay at most every other school.
How often should I attend class?
You should aim for twice a week at a minimum. More is better!
Do "traditional' martial arts work?
Many people think that tae kwon do, karate, aikido, kenpo, judo, etc...are 'traditional' when, in fact, they are modern creations. Old arts, like Palace Hand, are self-defense oriented. Modern arts are more focused on competition or self-development and are not optimized for self-protection.
Do I have to learn to use weapons?
No. Many of our students don't, but some really like weapons.
Will I be doing a lot of 'forms'?
No, unless you'd like too. Palace Hand classes are not based on forms, while karate classes offer practice in traditional forms from Okinawa.
How fast will I advance?
It depends on how often you come and how you learn. We don't advance people by a schedule. We advance people by the skills they can demonstrate.
How long before I can defend myself?
Palace hand is straightforward and our classes are focused on specific skills that are very useful. Some people can make these skills work very quickly ...within a month or so. Others take longer.
What style will I be learning?
You will be learning Palace Hand (Motobu Udundi). We also offer classes in karate.
How come I've never heard of Palace Hand?
Palace Hand has little reliable information available in the English language. There is quite a bit of information online in the Japanese language. In Okinawa, there are only about 7 or 8 dojo's practicing Palace Hand and they are not interested in spreading the art.
Are you affiliated with schools in Japan?
We are affiliated with schools in Okinawa- not Japan! Karate and Motobu Udundi (Palace Hand) don't come from Japan. They were practiced on the island of Okinawa way before Okinawa became part of Japan. These arts were exported to mainland Japan (and modified) and the rest of the world relatively recently. Our martial arts come from straight from the source- not Japan!
What's with the octopus?
The octopus is a great example of something Taira sensei told me many times, "Watch animals, especially predators."
The octopus employs many of the strategies that we use for defense and offense- protecting yourself isn't about size or strength!. Even the tiny blue-ringed octopus of Okinawa, just the size of a golf ball, can be deadly to humans.
Here are are some of our strategies, when you begin you'll see how we do this and how effective they can be!
Move with fluidity.
Use stealth, camouflage your intents.
Use all limbs simultaneously.
Use strategy and intelligence to enhance your techniques.
Size doesn't matter.
Flexibility and softness defeat strength and rigidity.
Once you make contact there should be no escape for your attacker.
See you soon!