Wee Flippers & Dragon Flyers:
For both boys & girls, 18-months to four years. This class is 45 min long. Young children are introduced to basic positions and beginning tumbling skills, as well as the basics on beam, bars, vault & our tumble track. We also explore a variety of other loco-motor skills. Emphasis is on exposure and exploration, not mastery of skills at this level. Children 18-36 months must be accompanied by a "Team mate" (aka: mom, dad, adult).
Boys & Girls, Ages 5 and older. This class is one hour long. Children work on beginning tumbling skills and also the basics of bars, beam, vault & tumble track. The curriculum focuses on the basics and is designed for students just entering our Progressive Program.
Girls Level 2/3:
Once our students have completed the skill cards for both Level 1&2, a slightly higher commitment level is required. This class meets for 1 1/2 hours, twice weekly and students begin to expand their repertoire of advanced skills. This is the highest level in the “progressive” program.
TNT, tough n-tumble Boys:
For boys 1st grade and older, the class meets for 1 1/2 hours. The curriculum builds on skills in USA Gymnastics Levels 1through 3. The extra 1/2 hour is necessary as students begin to learn more advanced skills. This is the highest level in our Progressive Program.
Our Boys & Girls Progressive Level classes follow USA Gymnastics' Junior Olympic Developmental Program. The skills they learn in class are progressive and build on the previous level. As our students work in each developmental level they are building strength, flexibility, balance and spatial awareness which are inherent in gymnastics. These elements lay a great foundation that will enhance and support any sport they choose to be involved in. Our Progressive class students will work on all the appropriate gymnastics events and also work tumble track trampoline, and a variety of mats and equipment designed to facilitate learning.
Students move from one level to another in our progressive program by mastering specific skills. Only when certain skills are mastered, can we be assured of our student’s safety and success in the next level. We train our teachers to emphasize fun, safety and to create a positive and constructive learning environment.
WHAT IS SHOTOKAN KARATE?
There is a lot of misunderstanding about the word “karate”. Some popular martial art styles use the word strictly for marketing purposes, because it is a word that is widely recognized and respected. But they are not karate and bear little resemblance to karate. The word “karate” is a Japanese word comprised of two kanji characters. The first means “empty” and the second means “hand”. Oftentimes the art is called “karate-do”, with “do” the Japanese word for “way”. Thus the art is often written and referred to as “the way of the empty hand”.
The art of karate originated on the island of Okinawa, where it was simply called “te” or hand. Over the centuries Chinese diplomats, sailors, and military advisors visited and lived in Okinawa. Some of them were experts in Chinese fighting and self-defense techniques. Their teaching was incorporated into the native “te” to form a unique and formidable fighting style. Additionally, in 1609 the Shimazu clan from Japan invaded the island and banned all weapons. This only served to further the Okinawan’s efforts to practice and develop their native fighting arts. Karate was practiced in secret for centuries.
Shotokan style karate originated with an Okinawan school teacher named Gichin Funakoshi. He trained for many years under several masters while living in Okinawa. In 1922, while living and teaching school in Japan; he gave a demonstration of karate during the first National Athletic Exhibition held in Tokyo. This was the first time the Japanese people had seen the Okinawan fighting art. His exhibition created a minor sensation, and karate was adopted by eager Japanese.
Shotokan is a blend of several ancient styles. Shotokan is characterized by low, powerful stances and explosive strikes. Shotokan is a complete fighting system; with throws, chokes, strangulations, and joint manipulations. But it is primarily a striking art. Shotokan karate is a traditional martial art; with plain uniforms, few frills, and utmost respect paid to each other. There is no better self defense style in existence, and no better way to build strong character in its practitioners.
Shotokan karate classes stress etiquette and good behavior above all else. What we teach and learn is serious business, although we try to have fun while doing so. Classes will generally consist of a formal opening and closing, and at the closing the Dojo Kun will be recited aloud. Please come and visit a class if you'd like to hear it. Typically, classes will consist of three parts:
- KIHON: This is instruction in the basic techniques. There are many strikes and blocks and stances, and this is the part of class where they are taught and practiced.
- KATA: This is instruction in the preserved forms of karate. Each kata is unique and based on the teachings and style of a past master. They consist of a series of self defense moves arranged in a particular sequence, and resemble a choreography. They must be performed in the correct sequence, with the correct stances, timing, breathing, and technique. BUNKAI, or "application" is taught as the students begin to master their kata movements. This teaches them the meaning and use of those mysterious arm waves and foot placement.
- KUMITE: This is instruction and practice of combat moves, typically in a fighting scenario. There are a number of KUMITE drills, each of which is geared specifically to the rank and abilities of the student. Lower rank students are brought into this instruction very slowly.