The first one is vital and is best answered by watching a class or participating in a trial class. If the instructors at a dojo don’t listen to their students, behave in ways you wouldn’t want your child to emulate, or abuse and demean their students, that’s a school to avoid.
The second one is trickier because every dojo is different, and you might not clearly know what you want in a school. Sun Dragon began as an all-women school—we now allow people of all genders, but that original desire to be a safe place for women to train is still a fundamental element of our approach. We want Sun Dragon and Seido Karate to be accessible to anyone who walks in our door. We are a traditional school, not a sport or tournament oriented one, that puts a big emphasis on our students becoming better people as they learn with us. We emphasize training with kata, working with partners, sparring, developing verbal, non-verbal, and physical self-defense skills, and enhancing mindfulness through our karate and meditation practice.