Sun Dragon Martial Arts and Self Defense, NFP
Frequently Asked Questions

The following are answers to questions parents frequently ask. If you have any additional questions regarding your child’s training, please contact us. We appreciate very much the opportunity to teach your child and look forward to talking with you.

How often should my child come to class?

We recommend your child come to class twice a week. Because of the skill-building nature of our program, students do best when they have a regular training schedule and maintain consistent attendance.

How can I help my child practice Karate between classes?

By supporting and supervising your child’s independent practice. We very much appreciate parents’ desire to help their children’s training. Even though you may be totally unfamiliar with the skills your child is learning in karate, there are a number of things you can do, including:

  • Being an “audience” for your child performing material they have learned.
  • Helping your child study the Japanese terms. (A study guide is available in the dojo.)
  • Supervising any practice of Karate that your child does at home.
  • Making sure your child does not engage in any Karate activities involving physical contact with another person when they are not in the dojo.
  • You don’t need to correct your child or give feedback—that’s what we do in class, and we applaud any child’s efforts to practice at home. Any practice is good practice!

What should I do if my child appears discouraged or bored with Karate?

Please encourage your child to talk to us about it! As teachers with decades of martial arts training experience, we know that everyone experiences training lags. If your child experiences difficulties with Karate and/or complains about it, we would like to talk to her or him about it as soon as possible. Often we can help them sort out some of the issues that interfere with happy training.

Should my child train if he/she is injured or sick?

Please consult with us, and follow the same guidelines you would about sending your child to school. If your child is unable to attend school, they should not train until feeling better. To best maintain everyone’s health, students who may be contagious should not train. If they are recovering from an illness or injury, and your pediatrician has advised returning to physical activities, please talk with us regarding how we might modify your child’s training so that it can be safe.

Is it a good idea for siblings to train together?

It most certainly can be. Siblings can enjoy the shared experience and camaraderie of training together. We also know that all children inevitably learn at different rates, and this goes for the martial arts as well. At some point, children compare themselves to peers and/or siblings. We encourage all students to concentrate on their own training, rather than comparing themselves to others. We would appreciate you reinforcing this message if any competitive issues arise.

It is very important that children not practice contact training (sparring, partner work) at home; and we more even strongly caution against this with siblings.

What if my child is doing well in Karate but having problems at home or school?

Please talk with us about any behavior or academic problems your child is having. We generally present Karate as a reward for good behavior and performance at home and school. When they feel that their parents and Karate teachers are working together, and that continuing to get to do Karate depends upon being helpful and disciplined at home and school, Karate can be an important leverage tool!

The following are answers to questions adult students frequently ask. If you have any additional questions regarding your training, please contact us. We appreciate very much the opportunity to teach you and look forward to talking with you.

How often should I train?

We recommend taking class at least twice a week to maintain your material and build your physical fitness. Adults that have a set training schedule each week are more likely to progress consistently.

How can I study at home?

Manuals are available to purchase in the office in either printed or PDF form. These study guides are meant to help you stay on top of your training outside of the dojo. While you’re allowed to “look ahead” and get excited about your upcoming material, we ask that you do not attempt to teach yourself material from the manual before you’ve been taught it in class.

As your progress through the ranks, practicing your art outside of the dojo is strongly recommended to keep your material fresh.

What happens if I’m late for class?

Being late for class is inevitable and not a big deal! We understand that if you’re late, it was probably stressful to try and get in the dojo door. If you’ve missed bows, that’s okay. Change and prepare for class, and give yourself a moment to compose yourself and mentally prepare to train. Sit in seiza position at the black line by the changing room door or the sign-in tablet, take a breath, close your eyes, and say “Osu!” loud enough for the instructor to hear you. They will welcome you to class.

Can I still train with an injury, or should I take a break?

Sometimes life has a way of surprising you! You may sprain your ankle after work, or pull a back muscle working in the yard – regardless, ask your doctor what they think is best for you and your training. If they advise that you can exercise with certain restrictions, tell your instructors directly before class (or during warm-ups if you don’t have time before class). They will work with you to modify drills, techniques, and their class plan to make your experience safe.

Listen to your body – if you have a sensitive joint or an injury that needs to rest, get some rest! Learning martial arts can be invigorating, and it’s easy to overtrain in our enthusiasm. We must pay careful attention to our bodies’ needs (even if we’re excited to get back on the dojo floor after an injury).

When do I start sparring?

Sparring, or “kumite”, is the sport of fighting in the spirit of karate. At our school, we focus on the safety and communication aspects of sparring as much as we focus on sparring itself!

We introduce sparring in two phases. Once you earn your blue belt, you are invited to join our Sparring Basics class, where you are introduced to the fundamentals of kumite: movement, targeting, agility, and the rules of sparring.

Once you are a green belt and have taken at least 25 Sparring Basics classes, you are invited to Sparring Class, which involves more advanced drills, conditioning, and open sparring with partners.