The systems taught in this school are traditional in the spirit of their teaching, as well as in content. Martial artists pursue their particular systems as a lifelong endeavor that fosters good health, discipline, humility, a strong spirit, courage, a natural morality, wisdom and inner peace … all in addition to, and equally important as, the capacity for self defense.
Anyone can benefit from martial arts, from the basic breathing techniques and simple forms of Ch’i Kung to the moving meditation of Tai Chi Chuan or the most demanding of physical forms, Kung Fu. Our school has something for everyone.
Every student receives personal instruction from our instructors in each class. You may also receive assistance from senior students. You attend class with three teachers: Your instructors, your ears and your eyes. You are expected to pay 100% attention at all times. Even though good friends are made here, we socialize after class. It’s more the brotherhood of the Martial Artist, the underlying spirit that binds us in a common pursuit. Through many years of diligent study, one may reach enlightenment.
Students in this school require three characteristics:
Desire. The student must want not only to achieve the physical rewards of martial training, but to accept the responsibilities that accompany the knowledge. A student’s desire must be supported by patience, just as the pond will not freeze one foot thick on the first cold night, ancient wisdom does not suddenly happen.
Dedication. Success in martial arts training relies more on the regularity of practice and the passage of time, than any other factor. The student must be dedicated to attending classes, as well as maintaining a personal practice schedule, time permitting. Outside practice is necessary to achieve true progress. A form learned, a test passed is a beginning, not an end, and should be thought of as a license to practice. It is said that a form is not “yours” until you have practiced it one thousand times.
Discipline. Martial Artists are healthier, stronger, faster and more in control because of a disciplined lifestyle. Setting goals and carrying them out, beginning to end, pushing limits and developing new abilities are part of a martial artists plan for success. Discipline yourself to maintain your training schedule, whatever it may be, even if you are tired, because training is cumulative. In the real world, neither your opponents, nor any other form of stress will relent simply because you are tired. Only half of what martial artists achieve is physical, the other half is, of course, mental. Discipline fosters both physical and mental endurance … crucial qualities for the martial artist.
Conduct and Etiquette
- Students should show respect for the studio with a “traditional bow” as they enter and leave through the “moon gate” entrance.
- Students should attend class with a serious attitude. Extremely poor attendance may result in expulsion. The wise student will take advantage of the optional Saturday classes. These classes are conducted by a rotating schedule of senior student instructors. Practice in a proper setting and receive personal assistance from advanced students.
- Students are expected to push themselves (especially in Kung Fu), but it is important to do so correctly to avoid injury. In the case of joint sprains, muscle strains and other injuries; our approach is to avoid all exercises which aggravate an injury. However, it is often wise to pursue with increased vigor those which do not aggravate the injury. Your overall fitness has a great influence on your body’s healing powers.
- Humility is a very important characteristic of the martial artist. Our studio is to be shared equally by all students. Show respect to others, regardless of their ability or gender. Students should show respect to senior students and above all, show respect to your Sifu. Address him as “Sifu”.
- Appropriate posture when watching other students review forms, or when not practicing, is as follows: feet shoulder width apart, back straight, hands clasped at waist behind back or in front (especially where weapons are being used). “Lounging” or postures with crossed arms or hands on hips are considered rude and inappropriate.
- Tai Chi Chuan requires quiet for maximum concentration. When classes are in session, visitors, as well as students should respect the quiet of the studio setting.
- Aggressive behavior or cursing others is ground for expulsion. Conflicts of the outside world should remain outside the “moon gate”. When you enter the studio, you are there to learn. We believe you should “avoid conflict, and do not seek it out.”
- During all drills and form reviews at the end of class, students should line up according to seniority. However, slower students should respect the right of others that go faster. Students should not crowd each other during drills, leaving half the length of the studio between people.
- Students should not try to learn or practice movements without proper instruction from Sifu. Students are forbidden from teaching forms or self-defense moves, formally or informally, to non-students.
- Students should not use weapons in which they have not yet received training. Do not use any weapons when children are present on the studio floor. Use only practice weapons (non-edged), and exercise extreme caution when using weapons as a group. Unsupervised weapons sparring is not permitted.
- Students may not enter any martial competition (forms or fighting) without expressed consent from Sifu Tokuda.
- Student uniforms (school shirt, kick pants and appropriate shoes) are required in all classes and should be kept clean. A mandatory black sash for Kung Fu students is required to support and protect the vital organs during vigorous exercise.
- We respect the building, training hall and equipment; keep them clean and free from damage. Students should not use training equipment without proper instruction from Sifu or an appointed senior student.
Sparring (rules of engagement)
In our school, the purpose of sparring is to train students in the theory and techniques of their chosen self-defense system. Our sparring is a controlled form of non-contact or “touch” sparring. The principle goal is to train the defense reflex (evasion), while offering the opportunity to practice offensive techniques learned in class. Because no forceful contact is allowed, no protective equipment or padding is required. In Kung Fu sparring, one student stands in the center of the studio and defends against a number of students, one-by-one, using the style he or she is currently studying, until Sifu calls for a replacement.
The following guidelines are extremely important and should always be adhered to:
(1) Sparring always consists of a set sequence of offense/defense
situations. The designated sequence must not be changed by any
participant. Free-sparring is allowed only with Sifu’s permission,
only by experienced students and only under supervision.
(2) Sparring participants are always responsible for each others
safety. All strikes and kicks should be “pulled” as if expecting each
other’s evasive maneuvers to fail. New students should never “go
all out” until they become experienced in our sparring methods.
“Contact sparring” is not allowed, and careless injury of another
student can lead to expulsion.
(3) Students sparring outside of class assume complete
responsibility for their actions, injury to themselves or their partner.