Our dojo
 
Meeting information

Currently, we have meetings for adults only. We meet on Tuesday and Thursday evenings, beginning at 6 pm, and Saturday mornings, beginning at 10 am. Workouts are typically one- to two-hours long.

There is no age limit to karate, and it's never too late to start. The meetings are conducted in Okinawan style, meaning that beginning, intermediate, and advanced practioners work out together. This approach allows the participants to help each other make progress. As sensei, I merely facilitate this process.

Below we have put together some frequently asked questions concerning karate.

Why should I study karate?
Karate is one of the few activities that will work on many improvements all at the same time — your body, your mind, your spirit. You will be able to handle stressful situations better, able to make quicker decisions, able to tune into your deeper spirit, and able to sharpen your reaction time to defend yourself.
 

Adult group, doing kata
Isn't it really hard to do when I've never done martial arts before?
It's only hard in the beginning, and it's the same for everybody. It gets easier as you become adjusted to it, the same way it works for someone learning any new activity from surfing to skydiving to aerobics.
Do I need to be in excellent shape already?
Karate is for everybody regardless of stamina or strength. Osensei Shoshin Nagamine, who founded Matsubayashi in 1947, was brought to karate due to a weak constitution and life threatening illnesses.
If I'm not in shape, how will karate help me get in shape?
Besides good stretches and strength training, it gets your heart rate up and gives you a good workout.
How is a meeting constructed?
The first ten minutes is zen sitting, then next fifteen minutes is for stretches, then typically basics — blocking, striking, kicking — then 30 minutes is dedicated to kata, we usually end with application techniques, then a moment of sitting and closing bows.
How often do I need to go?
It really varies person to person, for some once a week is fine, and for others 3 times a weeks is good.
How often *can* I go?
Three times a week.
After how long will I be able to beat up my boss?
Well...the neat thing about karate is it works on your ability to handle stress and conflict in a more productive manner rather than resorting to fighting. It also works on inner fear, that is why studying karate can be difficult...because we are creating opportunities for you to confront your fears. Physical ability is only the beginning, it's the psychology of the person that must be conditioned. Fear and aggression attract trouble, karate tempers the person, makes them balanced. In the streets if it is a truly real attack, the key to success is response, karate brings back the instincts for self preservation.
Doesn't all that kicking and hitting hurt?
The movements of karate are very natural to the body, the only area of soreness might be your thighs from the stances, but each individual will judge for themselves the right amount of effort. In the beginning you have to discover that place that is challenging but not to the point of making you sore. We do lots of stretching in the beginning of each meeting. Some participants choose not to do sparring; for the folks that do the sparring, there is still only soft contact, if any. As for the hitting and kicking, you never actually *hit* a person. You practice moves (punches and kicks included herein), but you never actually *fight*.)



113 Trescony St. • Santa Cruz, CA 95060 •
• Phone/Fax: 831.425.2249 • info@sczenkarate.org