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nick003
White Belt
White Belt

Joined: 19 Aug 2014
Posts: 2


PostPosted: Tue Aug 19, 2014 8:56 pm    Post subject: Returning to Karate... Reply with quote

I studied karate at a local school many years ago.

I'm 50 and wish to return. I feel it will be a great way to stay in shape and get the exercise I need to keep my blood sugar in check.

Here is the thing: I'm looking for a traditional place to study. I am not interested in in some commercial school where they have 3-5 year olds, 6-10 year olds, teens, adults...

I want TRADITION.

When I studied in the past, we went to class in our street clothes and changed when we got to the DoJo. Today, you see all these kids jumping out of their parents car, dressed for class. That isn't tradition; is it? I was always taught that you NEVER dressed unless you were in class or competing.

And what about bowing to the Master when you enter the DoJo? Don't they do that anymore???

I want a school who teaches the tradition and respect as well as the skill set.

I'm in the NYC area.

Any recommendations?

Nick
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Wastelander
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 18 Oct 2010
Posts: 2412
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Styles: Shorin-Ryu, Shuri-Ryu, Judo, KishimotoDi

PostPosted: Tue Aug 19, 2014 9:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

First of all, welcome to the forum, Nick!

When it comes to "tradition," I'm afraid it depends on what you think of as "traditional." From what you describe, it sounds like you want traditional Japanese karate, as Okinawan traditions are much more relaxed. That would mean you will want to find styles like Shotokan, Shito-Ryu, or Goju-Kai.

That said, you will be VERY hard-pressed to find a dojo that doesn't have youth classes. Despite how you may feel about it, the only way for a dojo to make enough money to stay open, these days, is to teach children. It's also very difficult to get American children to follow Japanese traditions .

As far as finding a dojo in your area, I'm afraid "NYC" is very vague, considering the size of the city. A quick Google search shows hundreds of martial arts schools in the metro area.
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Kishimoto-Di | 2014-Present | Sensei: Ulf Karlsson
Shorin-Ryu | 2010-Present: Nidan | Sensei: Richard Poage, Jeff Allred
Shuri-Ryu | 2006-2010: Sankyu | Sensei: Joey Johnston, Joe Walker
Judo | 2007-2010: Gokyu | Sensei: Joe Walker, Adrian Rivera
My Blog: www.karateobsession.com
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nick003
White Belt
White Belt

Joined: 19 Aug 2014
Posts: 2


PostPosted: Wed Aug 20, 2014 1:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Firstly, thank you for taking the time to respond. I also appreciate your welcoming me to the forum.

You make a valid point; kiddie classes are a good way to bring in revenue. As I said, when I studied, "respect" was a common thread in many aspects of the art. Perhaps my training and "ways" are out of date.

I am downtown NYC. And yes, I have used Google to shop for a good DoJo. But everything is so commercialized; everything seems more about the money than the ART.

I was thinking that a "club" of some sort may be more appropriate. Does such a thing exist?

Again, thank you. I'm happy to be here.

Nick
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Wastelander
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 18 Oct 2010
Posts: 2412
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Styles: Shorin-Ryu, Shuri-Ryu, Judo, KishimotoDi

PostPosted: Wed Aug 20, 2014 2:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

nick003 wrote:
Firstly, thank you for taking the time to respond. I also appreciate your welcoming me to the forum.

You make a valid point; kiddie classes are a good way to bring in revenue. As I said, when I studied, "respect" was a common thread in many aspects of the art. Perhaps my training and "ways" are out of date.

I am downtown NYC. And yes, I have used Google to shop for a good DoJo. But everything is so commercialized; everything seems more about the money than the ART.

I was thinking that a "club" of some sort may be more appropriate. Does such a thing exist?

Again, thank you. I'm happy to be here.

Nick


One of the side-effects of running a commercial dojo is that it's easy for the "less fun" aspects of martial arts to fall by the wayside to keep students coming back. Not all instructors have done that, of course, and you can find many instructors running dojo as their sole source of income and keeping up high standards at the same time. As I briefly mentioned, many Okinawan styles of karate have a more relaxed, friendly approach to "respect" than the formal, almost militaristic approach that you may be more familiar with. It's important to remember that, as a dojo can be very good while using either approach, but if you are expecting one and get the other, you may be disappointed.

If you are looking for more of a "club" atmosphere, you're going to have a harder time of finding it, but it does exist. The trouble is that they aren't going to be advertising. If you check out your local YMCA, community centers, parks, and churches, you can sometimes find low-cost or non-profit clubs that aren't being run as businesses. You can also ask around at the commercial schools, because they will often know other instructors in the area, who might otherwise be difficult to find.

Regardless of which route you choose to take, you will need to visit any schools you are interested in--websites aren't necessarily accurate representations of what goes on at the dojo. Make a list of the schools you are interested in, contact them to come in and watch a class that you would potentially be in, and talk to the instructor about your expectations. You'll be able to make a better decision if you've done this at several schools, and can compare them.
_________________
Kishimoto-Di | 2014-Present | Sensei: Ulf Karlsson
Shorin-Ryu | 2010-Present: Nidan | Sensei: Richard Poage, Jeff Allred
Shuri-Ryu | 2006-2010: Sankyu | Sensei: Joey Johnston, Joe Walker
Judo | 2007-2010: Gokyu | Sensei: Joe Walker, Adrian Rivera
My Blog: www.karateobsession.com
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Titanium
Blue Belt
Blue Belt

Joined: 08 Aug 2015
Posts: 259
Location: Chesterfield, UK
Styles: Wado-Kai & Shotokan

PostPosted: Tue Sep 08, 2015 8:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Welcome, however delayed (I'm new, that's my excuse).

Shotokan is certainly like this from experience, however my Wado school is like this too as it is an old Dojo (traditional teaching).

I always get changed at the Dojo as I don't like advertising that I do karate - well, apart from my bag which says KARATE in massive font.

A lot of Dojo's cater for kids as it is revenue and its not worth turning them down - some come and go, this is fact.

Nowadays karate schools are more relaxed as people don't like the strict, traditional styles (in my opinion this is personal preference).

I live in the UK so I cannot help with Dojo locations near you.
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sensei8
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 23 Feb 2008
Posts: 14329
Location: Houston, TX
Styles: Shindokan Saitou-ryu [Shuri-te/Okinawa-te based]

PostPosted: Tue Sep 08, 2015 11:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Welcome to KF; glad that you're here!!

Seeing that you're in NYC, you should have no problem locating a many different Karate styles with many reputable CI's. As far as the traditional parameter, that won't be known UNLESS you visit each dojo to see for yourself if what they do matches with what YOU'RE searching for.

Within NYC, I suppose that the 4 major Karate styles would be available to you!! Good luck in your search, and please let us know when you find what you're looking for.



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JR 137
KF Sempai
KF Sempai

Joined: 10 May 2015
Posts: 2359
Location: In the dojo
Styles: Seido Juku

PostPosted: Tue Sep 08, 2015 12:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

NYC is like the Mecca of karate in the U.S. Yes, I'm very biased, but please check out the Seido Karate honbu dojo. Tadashi Nakamura is a legend in karate (there are others in NYC too) and may very well have what you're looking for. Yes, there are kids' classes, but everywhere has them. Yes, there will most likely be the soccer (err karate) moms, but where there's children, they'll be there. There is a group of people there that concentrate on sport karate/point fighting, but they make up a small contingency, relatively speaking. Seido isn't a sport karate style, but the honbu does have an annual tournament, and a lot of the proceeds are donated to charity.

Respect and tradition are of utmost importance, but they're not shoved down people's throats. Kaicho Nakamura also regularly holds meditation classes for adults. Not required, but strongly recommended.

Kaicho Nakamura and his son regularly teach classes from white belt all the way through the highest rank black belts. Not many large school owners do that.

http://www.seido.com

There's also the Oyama Karate Honbu, if you're looking for full contact. The U.S. Kyokushin honbu, and on and on. So many good dojos in NYC and Manhattan. The only way to know which is right for you is to visit.


Last edited by JR 137 on Tue Sep 08, 2015 12:51 pm; edited 2 times in total
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sensei8
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 23 Feb 2008
Posts: 14329
Location: Houston, TX
Styles: Shindokan Saitou-ryu [Shuri-te/Okinawa-te based]

PostPosted: Tue Sep 08, 2015 12:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

JR 137 wrote:
NYC is like the Mecca of karate in the U.S. Yes, I'm very biased, but please check out the Seido Karate honbu dojo. Tadashi Nakamura is a legend in karate (there are others in NYC too) and may very well have what you're looking for. Yes, there are kids' classes, but everywhere has them. Yes, there will most likely be the soccer (err karate) moms, but where there's children, they'll be there. There is a group of people there that concentrate on sport karate/point fighting, but they make up a small contingency, relatively speaking. Seido isn't a sport karate style, but the honbu does have an annual tournament, and a lot of the proceeds are donated to charity.

There's also the Oyama Karate Honbu, if you're looking for full contact. The U.S. Kyokushin honbu, and on and on. So many good dojos in NYC and Manhattan. The only way to know which is right for you is to visit.

I agree wholeheartedly!! You want tradition...Tadashi Nakamura is THAT tradition I believe that you're looking for. Visit him; I see this as a win-win all the way around!!



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muttley
Blue Belt
Blue Belt

Joined: 05 Sep 2012
Posts: 264
Location: United Kingdom
Styles: Shotokan

PostPosted: Tue Sep 08, 2015 1:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi and welcome!

I can't give you any advice on dojo's in your area I am afraid as I am UK based. HOWEVER I can understand exactly how you feel and what you are going through.

I have recently returned to training (pretty much for the exact reasons you state) after a good 15-20 year hiatus. I had trained in Shotokan when I trained before and was eager to return to this style due to the level I got to, however on looking for a good Dojo in my area, I found that I just couldn't find a Dojo that I wanted to train at. There were too many "young black belts" which the CI's seemed to use and abuse, they were using 15 year olds as uke's and as co-instructors with no qualifications. This disturbed me, a lot! I too was annoyed with the high proportion of kids turning up in their gi's already, again, I used to change at the Dojo.

There was too much messing about in lesson time, kids were not respecting the Sensei which to me was just unheard of.

Anyway, after taking more time to find a Dojo, I literally stumbled upon one that was local to me, different style (Kyokushin) but had everything. As a new Dojo, it is small with often only myself and the Sensei there (there are other students). I love my new Dojo, it is a fantastic place for me to go and get lost in Karate for a few hours a week which is really helping me to unwind from my rather stressful work life.

There are childrens sessions, yes they are more relaxed than the adult sessions, but they still are very much based upon "tradition", students bow when entering and exiting the Dojo, all students partake in reflection for a few moments at the end of the lesson and bow to the Sensei etc.

In my new Dojo, I am seeing a lot of what I saw in my old Dojo's and it is fantastic.

My advice, take your time, visit many Dojo's train in them for a couple of lessons, speak to the CI and see how you feel. But the most important thing is something that you have already done, you have made that decision to get back into Karate/Martial Arts and trust me, the feeling when you step foot back into a Dojo for the first time is just fantastic, memories will come flooding back and, if you are like me, all of a sudden everything just feels right again.

Sorry for a long reply, I just started and couldn't stop.
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JR 137
KF Sempai
KF Sempai

Joined: 10 May 2015
Posts: 2359
Location: In the dojo
Styles: Seido Juku

PostPosted: Wed Sep 09, 2015 4:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

muttley wrote:
Hi and welcome!

I can't give you any advice on dojo's in your area I am afraid as I am UK based. HOWEVER I can understand exactly how you feel and what you are going through.

I have recently returned to training (pretty much for the exact reasons you state) after a good 15-20 year hiatus. I had trained in Shotokan when I trained before and was eager to return to this style due to the level I got to, however on looking for a good Dojo in my area, I found that I just couldn't find a Dojo that I wanted to train at. There were too many "young black belts" which the CI's seemed to use and abuse, they were using 15 year olds as uke's and as co-instructors with no qualifications. This disturbed me, a lot! I too was annoyed with the high proportion of kids turning up in their gi's already, again, I used to change at the Dojo.

There was too much messing about in lesson time, kids were not respecting the Sensei which to me was just unheard of.

Anyway, after taking more time to find a Dojo, I literally stumbled upon one that was local to me, different style (Kyokushin) but had everything. As a new Dojo, it is small with often only myself and the Sensei there (there are other students). I love my new Dojo, it is a fantastic place for me to go and get lost in Karate for a few hours a week which is really helping me to unwind from my rather stressful work life.

There are childrens sessions, yes they are more relaxed than the adult sessions, but they still are very much based upon "tradition", students bow when entering and exiting the Dojo, all students partake in reflection for a few moments at the end of the lesson and bow to the Sensei etc.

In my new Dojo, I am seeing a lot of what I saw in my old Dojo's and it is fantastic.

My advice, take your time, visit many Dojo's train in them for a couple of lessons, speak to the CI and see how you feel. But the most important thing is something that you have already done, you have made that decision to get back into Karate/Martial Arts and trust me, the feeling when you step foot back into a Dojo for the first time is just fantastic, memories will come flooding back and, if you are like me, all of a sudden everything just feels right again.

Sorry for a long reply, I just started and couldn't stop.


You could be my UK twin, except that I didn't study Shotokan my first time around. Way too many dojos here that I pass on my way to mine for many reasons. The similarities between my old system and current one got me to visit my current dojo. What was going on in there made me stay.

I don't know if it's just me getting old (I'm 39), if I got lucky my first time around, or if the state of MA in general is taking a turn for the worse in regards to what is expected from students from a respect/protocol/tradition standpoint. Most schools out there are very, very different than I remember them being 20 years ago. Kids (and adults) have much less respect nowadays than when I was growing up; society seems to have changed, perhaps therefore reflected in dojos. Then again, my parents and grandparents said this when I was growing up too. Growing up, I guess.

I like to think of choosing a dojo like choosing a pair of shoes - no matter how "good" or pretty they are, if they don't fit right, none of that is relevant. Find a dojo that fits you.
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