Our dojo has a training cycle where we start with the most basic material. Over the course of three to four months we add new material until we culminate in a grading/testing day. We hold three gradings per year. One in late January/early February, one in late May/early June, and one in late September/early October.
New students with no Shotokan background can enroll at the beginning of a training cycle. In this way, the beginner does not need to feel alone, but has a group of fellow travelers who can share the experience. Also, this causes the least amount of disruption to the already established class.
New students who have a Shotokan background can start at any time during the training cycle. Our dojo practices JKA style Shotokan; meaning that it uses the teaching methods developed by Masatoshi Nakayama and the Japan Karate Association. In general, students who hold rank from instructors/organizations which use the JKA methodology will have their rank and seniority recognized.
For students who hold rank from Shotokan instructors who did not teach JKA style karate, we will do our best to help you get up to speed. At the same time, we recognize that there may be some significant technical differences that may present a challenge. Kyu holders may wear their current belt and retain their current rank. However, within six months, they must test with the understanding that they might be promoted, they might retain their current rank, or they might be awarded a lower rank. Dan holders may wear their black belt and retain their current rank for up to one year, at which time they must test with the understanding that they might be promoted, they might retain their current rank (with or without seniority), or they might be awarded a lower rank.
In all cases, the technique we show on the floor speaks for itself. We do our best to make sure that the belt we wear around our waists reflect that fact.
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