FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Kaizen Karate & Self-Defense teaches traditional Japanese Shotokan Karate. We call it a Shotokan "Blend." The majority of our katas, or forms, are Shotokan, such as the Tiakyoku and Pinan (or Heian) katas. However, we also have several Kokondo katas (Nikhaku, Sankaku, and Shihaku), and Chon Ji kata, which is a traditional Tae Kwon Do form, in our curriculum.
As a general rule, yes. If you are coming to us from another martial arts school and you earned a Blue Belt in a similar martial art, such as a different style of Karate or Tae Kwon Do, for example, we will honor your rank.
However, you will need to learn the all the forms, techniques, self-defense, etc., from our school up to the rank you enter our school at, and also the requirements to advance to the next rank at our school.
So, for example, if you come in as a Blue Belt, you will first learn everything to meet the requirements of a Blue Belt at our school. Then you'll learn what you need to advance to Purple Belt, the next rank.
But if you came to our school as a Blue Belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, you would begin your Karate training as a White Belt. These two martial arts, while both awesome, are completely different.
Our Karate curriculum is primarily self-defense based. Shotokan Karate is an excellent martial art for self-protection, as noted in the Black Belt Magazine article "For Street Self-Defense, There Is No Better Martial Art Than Shotokan Karate."
A new student (White Belt) at our school, for example, will learn verbal self-defense for anti-bullying, how to escape an attempted abduction, and how to fall and roll safely if they are knocked over. When the student starts sparring (typically at Blue Belt), they will learn self-protection skills such as "stacking" multiple attackers.
When our students reach Black Belt Club level (Blue Belt for 5-8 year-olds and Orange Belt for 9-12 year-olds), they can participate in tournaments, where they compete in forms and sparring competition, which we highly recommend. Since joining the Colorado Karate Association (CKA) in 2016, we have discovered that our students who compete see vast improvement in confidence, concentration, character and skill level.
So, while traditional Karate's main focus is always on self-defense, the competition aspect is also important on the student's journey to earn a Black Belt.
Our style of Karate at Kaizen Karate & Self-Defense is primarily a "stand-up" martial art, where the student learns striking, blocking, and kicking. In that realm, our style is more "strike-heavy" compared to some other Karate or Tae Kwon Do styles, which may involve a lot of jump and acrobatic kicks, and are more "kick-heavy."
While our students do a lot of kicking and learn many different types of kicks (front kick, side kick, roundhouse kick, hook kick, etc.), our katas (forms) have a bigger focus on blocking, stances, and striking with hand speed.
Those new to martial arts training will often ask about the difference between Karate and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, which is another awesome martial art. These two martial arts are very different. While Karate is primarily "stand-up," Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is primarily "ground" and more similar to wrestling and grappling.
In our style of Karate, students will learn some ground survival techniques, such as how to keep a bully/bad guy from getting on top of them, and how to fight off an attacker choking them on the ground, for example. However, the majority of our Karate training is "stand-up," where the student is on his or her feet, not on the ground.
We require auto pay for your student's tuition, however, and per the auto-pay agreement, we need a 30-day notice to cancel or suspend your auto pay.
Tuition is non-refundable, but we will credit you tuition paid towards future classes. So, if you are taking your student out of class for a month-long family vacation in July, for example, and you notify us at the end of June, you will be billed for July. But then, when you return in August, we will credit you the July payment to your August classes. Then your auto pay would start back up again in September.