What To Expect Your
Starting martial arts can be an intimidating experience, but we strive to make you comfortable
as soon as you walk in the front door. Read our guide below to get an understanding
of what you will experience during your first class.
Arriving At The School
Welcome to Kushindokai!
When coming for your first class make sure you arrive
at the school with plenty of time to spare before your
scheduled class time (punctuality is important when
training in the martial arts). This will give you plenty
of time to get familiar with the school and to meet
Waiting for Your Class
After you remove your shoes you can head down the hall to the dojo. If there is a class in progress when you arrive, please have a seat in the viewing area and wait quietly for your class to begin (we show respect to students training by not disrupting their time on the floor). Before stepping on the dojo stop and perform a bow to show respect to the training area and everyone who trains there.
Participating in Class
When your class is called to line up, students line up at the back of the dojo from highest rank to lowest rank, and instructors line up at the front. As a new student, you will be at the end of the line. Once you find your place you should wait patiently in ready position.
Once the head instructor calls attention the entire class will knell in formal kneeling position and you will be instructed to close your eyes and meditate for a short amount of time. At the command of the head instructor the entire class will then bow to the front of the dojo. Both instructors and students come up from their bow from highest rank to lowest rank, in a wave.
The instructors will then turn and face the students and the command will be given to bow to each other. Again, both instructors and students come up from their bow from highest rank to lowest rank, in a wave.
Once class begins your job as a new student is to
find a spot where you can easily see the instructor
leading the class and follow along to the best of your
abilities. We begin with a general segment of dynamic
movement exercises to loosen up, followed by a
workout and some training in basic technique. After
the stretch the a short break for a drink the serious
instruction segment of the class will begin.
As a new student in your first class you will spend the second part of the class with Sensei Michael for a one-on-one introductory session. All we expect during your first class is that you listen and follow instructions, try your best, and make sure you have fun!
At the end of class students will be called to line up and repeat the same bowing formalities as the beginning of class.
Once you are excused from class please leave the dojo, remembering to bow, and respect the next class by not disturbing them with excess noise.
Terminology You Will Hear
While training at Kushindokai you will hear some instructions given in Japanese. Here are some of the common words you should know:
Come to attention. Feet together, hands at sides.
Formal kneeling position. Hands on thighs, shoulders relaxed.
Meditate. Eyes, closed, empty mind, focus on breathing.
Stop. Open eyes, re-focus.
Shomen ni rei (shoh-men-ni-ray)
Bow to the front, showing respect to Sensei Funakoshi. Hands in triangle on floor, bend at waist, head down.
Otagai ni rei (ohh-tah-guy-nee-ray)
Bow to each other, showing respect to fellow classmates and instructors. Hands in triangle on floor, bend at waist, head down.