What is a martial art?
Simply put it is an art of combat. For whatever reason (self-defense, law enforcement, military, etc.) to be a martial artist is to be one who has studied combat.
How do I benefit from a martial art?
Martial arts let you build confidence, get good exercise, develop character, become self-disciplined, be able to use self-defense, obtain coordination, aquire timing, gain precission, add to your control, increase your respect, create kinesthetic skill, improve overall health, decrease stress, ramp up your power, add flexibility, better your balance, and bring more dexterity. It has quite diverse benefits, but the benefits are for everyone!
What style do we do?
Ryukyu Academy does Ryukyu Kempo and Small Circle Jujitsu.
Ryukyu Kempo is a style that has come from Okinawa (the Ryukyu islands). Kempo means fist. So translated, Ryukyu Kempo is Okinawain boxing.
Small Circle Jujitsu is a style that comes from a fusion of classical Jujitsu from Japan and wrist action of Judo all through Hawaii. It focuses on grappling for maximum control with minimum effort.
Can parents assist the students?
No. It is best to allow the instructors to work with the children, sometimes they will be working on their own and we will still be watching them. It is important that we know what they can do by themselves. If the parents are interested in participating, we have classes for parents and children.
How can karate help parents?
Ryukyu Academy offers citizenship checklists during testings and graduations. The checklists must pass by teacher and parent approval before students can earn their next belt. Ask more about the citizenship checklist in the dojo.
How long will it take to become proficient?
That largely depends on the student, but after 6 months you should at least have a feel for the motions and start to get it.
How long will it take to become a black belt?
In our school it will take about 3 years to become a black belt. There is no way to speed up that process. It is the minimum and most people are able to follow that. Remember black belt is the master of basics.
How often should I attend class?
As much as possible! This coming from a person obsessed with the martial arts. Two days a week is often enough to ensure good consistent education and practice with a qualified instructor. Anything less than that and we cannot guarantee proper development in one's martial art education.
How often should I practice?
Yes. Daily practice is a sure way to make sure what you are learning turns into a foundation for more material. It doesn't have to be long everyday, 10 or 15 minutes can be ample for most people.
Will my child want to fight?
Absolutely not. We instill that martial arts are for SELF-DEFENSE only! They should not be used on friends, family, teachers, aquantances, or ANYONE unless the student is in great peril. In fact, many students become calmer because they have an outlet for their energy where before they had none.
What age can kids begin learning?
Kids can start learning martial arts as young as 2 years old. This time is used for fun exercise activities and socialization more than it is for self-defense. However, the motions they go through still develop coordination and balance and will be the foundation of their self-defense later in life.
What are the chances of getting injured?
Very low! No one can claim to have no risk at all, life is itself, dangerous. Here at Ryukyu Academy we take steps to ensure that there are as few injuries as possible. With any contact sport there is a chance of injury, but training under qualified instructors with protective gear in a friendly manner ensures the chances for injury are very low.
Why do people bow?
Bowing in japan was a sign of respect and a sanitary greeting. When you bow to a room when you have entered it shows respect for the room and it greets those in the room. Bowing into a dojo is also a sign of respect for what that place is used for and the art that is practiced there.
What are patterns or forms?
See kata link
How do I tie my belt?
Starting with the center of the belt at your midline, circle the belt behind you and around each side to the front again. The right side will go over the top of the left behind you and continue around to meet in the front. The belt should make 2 loops around you at this point. From here the right side goes over the left and wraps around the left side and the center together. Pull tight and adjust so that the belt is even. Then, the current left side goes over the right side only and pulls tight. You should be able to fit your left pinkey into a small hole left in the belt knot. For those looking for the type of knot can find it here.
How do I get sparring gear or other equipment?
Sparring gear and other equipment can be ordered from the forms in the rack by the door or you can always ask a chief instructor.
Can I purchase my own sparring gear and equipment from anywhere else?
No. For insurance reasons All equipment used in the Dojo must be purchased from the school. This will ensure that the equipment meets our safety standards and fits the student properly. To spar, students must have a full set of gear including a mouth guard and a cup.
Sparring develops a great many skills. Coordination, timing, precission, and self-control are just to name a few. These skills help kids develop the kinetic skills that will help with other sports, not to mention make their martial arts better! The adult sparring is less sport based with emphasis on movement, endurance, stress, and trading blows. Adult sparring may NOT be suitable for viewing by all age groups due to the contact nature of the activity. Ask a cheif instructor if you are unsure if a person or persons should watch.
Why do weapons?
Weapons build a phenominal amount of coordination, dexterity, and power. Doing weapons adds an extra dimension to the martial art that will not only look cool, but will help your open hand martial arts several fold.
Do you attend tournaments?
Yes. We regularly attend tournaments. For the tournaments we attend, please see our calendar page or ask Sensei Brincat or Sensei Ling for more information.
What are the ranks/belts?
We have a 15 belt system to black and then from there, there are 10 ranks of black. Getting to black is only the beginning, that's when you're master of the basics and are able to start really learning!
When is testing?
Belt testing is during the 2 weeks prior to belt graduation. During this time you are testing! Regardless of if it is mentioned.
When is belt graduation?
Belt graduations are scheduled on a regular basis approximately every 10 weeks. The schedule will be posted on the bulletin board by the Dojo door and on the calendar page.
What is the testing based on?
Testing is based on everything you have ever learned in Ryukyu Academy! Testing is primarily based off of the following
Attendance-2 days per week recommended, and time spent overall
Effort-Students give 100% 100% of the time
Discipline-Students must respect others at home and at school
Students are also responsible for bringing their own equipment to class
Focus-Students must pay attention and not disrupt class
Knowledge-Students must be proficient for their rank
Attire-Students must wear the academy gi and patches to all classes
Are there costs for Belt Graduation?
Yes. The cost for belt graduations is $25; this cost includes the student's new belt, a board to break and a certificate.
When am I ready to test?
You are ready to test when your instructor says you're ready to test. Very rarely will we have a student who is not ready to test. In the case of this happening an instructor will let you know ahead of time. For one to proclaim they are ready to test says that the person does not respect their instructor and believes that they are more capable of telling what level they should be at than the instructor.
Does size matter when in a fight?
Yes, it does. If you've ever been the kid that uncle jake decided to sit on when you were wrestling around you'll realize very quickly that there is nothing you can do about size, or is there? While size does matter it doesn't mean that it's impossible to deal with. If a person is too quick, then size means nothing. Size is only one part of the equation. It is not negligible, but when you have all the tools of a balanced martial art then size, regardless of who's size it is, it will be useable to your advantage.
Are there belief systems in martial arts?
There are belief systems in a few martial arts, but there need not be. Most schools you come across will NOT have a belief system incorperated with the system, regardless of the instructor's beliefs. We here at Ryukyu Academy strive to teach serious traditional martial arts, no more no less. Belief systems will be honored for holidays or for descrepencies when training, but we do not teach any belief systems.
Who do I go to if I have a question, comment, or concern?
The chief instructor, Gary Brincat, will ALWAYS be happy to address any questions, comments, or concerns from student and parent alike. For any questions or concerns while class is not being held you may visit our contact page for more contact information.
Is it true you have to register your hands as legal weapons?
No. If this were true then martial artists would need a concealed weapon permit (ccw) for them!
Can something make me the deadliest killer in 3 months?
No. If you think that the Navy Seals got to where they are in 3 months, then you're sorely mistaken! To become proficient in something takes time. There is no way around that. Even a talented genius cannot write bethoveen's 5th on the first try. Time is something you will have to commit to this or anything else you'd like to become good at.
My sensei is better than your sensei!
Of course he is! He's MY sensei!
No sensei is better than any other sensei. The style and methods in which they teach are different. Some methods would be better suited to your needs as a student, some would not. The trick is finding a good instructor that works for you and how you need to learn. If you don't like the personality of the instructor then you will probably have a hard time learning from them. Find a nice, friendly, understanding instructor who's teaching style matches the best ways you learn.
My school is better than your school!
Of course as well!
Schools are composed of many different elements: instructors, students, training area, business, and community. You have to find a school that best fits your needs and wants. Again there is no ultimate school or everyone would be there!
What is the best martial arts style?
It's not about style. It's about who is practicing. A fellow martial artist wrote this blog article I think would be worth reading.