Two weeks free? What's the catch?
Yes, it's really two weeks free and there's no catch. The free trial period is a good opportunity to see whether Karate training is a good fit for both teacher and student. Most instructors will not accept fees from a student who has not participated in at least one free class. If you decide to continue after the free trial, you will be asked to commit to a minimum period of training (usually about 4 months). If you decide not to continue, you aren't out any money and there's no hard feelings.
How much does it cost?
Fees differ depending on the dojo facility, the experience of the instructor and size of the class. Most dojos offer a sliding scale of fees, depending on the length of your commitment. CNGK dojo fees range from $60 - $95 per month, not including HST. Please see Mapleton Martial Arts Payment Schedule for specifics and the payment plan that is right for you.
Are there other costs?
As a beginner, you may be eligible for a discounted beginners’ package that includes a new uniform. Once you've paid your membership dues, you won't be expected to shell out for anything else until your first belt test.
Belt tests? How much are those?
Students who meet the testing requirements will be invited to grade at the next available testing day. Belts are awarded once or twice per year. Your first belt test (yellow belt) cost about $25.
What does CNGK mean?
Canadian Naha-te Goju Karate. We are an organization of karate school founded by Kyoshi J Purdy, a Canadian Karate student who has dedicated over 50 years to the development of goju karate in Canada. His extensive travel to the birthplace of karate (Naha, Okinawa, Japan) inspired him to name this organization in respect for the history and tradition of martial arts that he experienced in this region.
Why do I have to wear a uniform?
When we train in the dojo, we want to focus on our technique. By wearing the same uniform, we leave behind our differences in style and train together as equals. This isn't meant to stifle your personal expression, we just ask that, at least while you are in the dojo, your personal expression is focused on what you are doing - not on what you are wearing.
What other equipment do I need to buy?
CNGK dojos do not wear protective gear during sparring - we build our sparring skills progressively, so that we can focus on respect and control.
Why is there all that bowing?
Bowing is a cultural practice from Asia that acknowledges respect for another person, similar to a handshake in the West. When we bow in karate class, it represents our intent to train seriously and to be respectful of our classmates. There are a variety of different types of bowing that are used in different circumstances. The formal bowing at the beginning and end of a karate class allows us to reflect on the history and tradition of karate. The less formal bows that are shared between training partners demonstrate our respect for each other and allow us to mentally prepare for the exercise.
Twice a week seems like an awful lot, can I come out once per week?
The benefits of karate, like all things, are dependent on the energy that you put into it. Students who only attend one class per week often find it difficult to keep up with the rest of the class and can become frustrated when they fall behind the other students. When you try out two weeks free, see how the schedule works for you. If your lifestyle can't accommodate 2 classes per week, you might want to assess your priorities before signing up for training.
What's with all the weapons? Are you turning my kid into a killing machine?
The weapons are actually farming tools that were used for personal protection. We do not use bladed weapons, nor do we use them for sparring/fighting. They are a way to build strength and develop coordination and deepen our understanding of empty-handed techniques.
My child has problem with focus and self-control, but people keep recommending martial arts - isn't that a bit counter-intuitive?
Not really. A lot of professional type people are starting to notice that kids benefit from the structure of our programs.
Studies show that a complex physical activity, like martial arts, strengthens neural networks in the brain, and enables ADD/ADHD kids to practice self-control. Exercise helps to develop coordination while building strength.
Not only do we set attainable goals for students, we closely monitor their progress and make corrections as needed. This provides a chance for students to prove themselves and be rewarded publicly. Students are given challenges that must be met before moving on to the next level and are not permitted to "drift" or "escalate" negative behaviours in class.
Am I too old to do karate?
There is no age limit to training. We've had students start training as late as their 60s! As long as you a physically fit enough to participate in a regular excessive program, you can do karate. If you have any medical concerns, please speak with your Sensei about whether you are suitable for a modified program.
What's a Sensei?
Sensei means "teacher" in Japanese. Literally, Sensei means "one who has come before". You should always refer to your karate teacher as "Sensei" in class to acknowledge his or her experience in the art. It is considered disrespectful to refer to your Sensei by his or her first name in the dojo. If you have any other questions, or would like to make an addition to this list, please contact Sensei Christina at mapleton@CNGK.ca