Dojo Guidelines

Etiquette

The Right Attitude:

Enrolling in a martial arts school is not like joining a gymnasium or health club. Martial arts training is rooted in ancient traditions designed to improve a student’s life on a physical and spiritual level. Martial arts training helps you calm down, control your behavior and respond to the challenges of life in a relaxed manner. In the dojo, you are not competing against other students but rather you are competing against yourself. The martial arts challenge you to learn more about yourself and how to conquer your fears and limitations. Wherever the art is taught or practiced, both teacher and student should preserve the traditions that create an atmosphere of respect and reverence for the art.

Understanding the Student/Teacher Relationship:

In many martial arts schools, the student/teacher relationship is rooted in the Asian tradition. Passing on the martial art traditions is considered something very serious and sacred. Eastern masters have left potential students waiting at the door for years before even acknowledging their presence, let alone allowing them in the training hall. Once inside, many masters have also been known to train a student for years without uttering a single word. In the East, teachers are respected and students are very loyal to them. The dojo is like a family and the instructor is considered the head of the family. The instructor represents what the student is striving to achieve through his martial arts training. In addition to physical skill, a martial arts teacher seeks to pass along the characteristics of discipline, dedication, and loyalty. Therefore, it is the teacher’s responsibility to guide the student to these goals through instruction and correction. This way of teaching is not what we are used to in the West. Beginning students must understand this and abandon old ideas of how a martial arts teacher should act. Sometimes the teacher is very stern in correcting or disciplining a student. Do not get insulted if your instructor corrects you or speaks in a harsh tone of voice. It is better to be corrected by your instructor than to hear sweet and pleasing words in order to keep you happy. This is not martial arts. It is the teacher’s job to demand the most from you. When a teacher corrects you, do not argue or get offended. The student should not take it personally. The best way to respond is to control your personal feelings and concentrate on improving your technique and self discipline. Students who apply themselves will later have revelations regarding the teachers actions which will help lead them to a greater understanding of the martial arts.

Bowing:

Why Bow? Bowing is very misunderstood in Western cultures, especially in martial arts schools. It goes far beyond simple respect, although this is a fundamental aspect. Bowing has nothing to do with subservience or superiority since the other person always bows back. It’s purpose is to help promote “right attitude”, i.e. a mind that is calm, concentrated and focused, and not caught up in self importance, opinion or agitation. The importance of “right attitude” cannot be stressed enough in any true study of the martial arts. The significance of bowing is deeply rooted in the Zen teachings that also gave birth to the martial arts. Bowing is essential etiquette in traditional schools.

When to Bow?

* When entering and leaving the School.

* To Calasanz, your head instructor, and the senior instructor at the end of training or class.

* Whenever Calasanz, your head instructor, or the senior instructor comes over or departs during training.

* When approached by more advanced belt

* When beginning and ending an exercise with another student.

* In salutations, and when beginning and ending each class.

Hours and Scheduling:

Please observe the training schedule you have chosen with your membership. In order for the School to maintain its flexibility in programs and operating hours, students must call:

* To cancel or reschedule Private, Special Training or Sport Kids Programs.

* To come at a normally unscheduled time.

Dress Code Policy

While we want our students to feel comfortable and enjoy their training experience here at Calasanz, we are a martial arts school and in keeping with tradition, would ask that all students please follow our dress code.  The following forms of attire are acceptable:

Traditional Black or White Karate Gi – Any gi must be approved by Calasanz or your head instructor. The appropriate belt must be worn and properly tied at all times.

Wing Chun/Kickboxing/Calasanz Physical Arts/MMA/Boxing Uniform – T-shirt, optional sweatshirt, shorts, and/or sweatpants bearing the Calasanz patch or insignia.

Belts – A student’s rank is designated by the color of the belt worn as part of the student’s uniform. This tells us that the student has achieved a certain level of proficiency in the martial arts. Belts must be worn at all times with a gi, or when participating in traditional group classes. Otherwise, students are not required to wear their belts but must have them readily available at the School.

Use Common Sense and Common Courtesy When Training:

We tend to treat the people and things we respect with great care. Respect for the School, its instructors, equipment and fellow classmates should be self evident. If you arrive at the School for an open workout or before your formal class, and you have already had your first month of basic training, discipline yourself to go through your workout routine and basic techniques without having to be prompted or directed by your instructor. Avoid the question “what do I do now?” Start with your conditioning exercises. Afterwards, you may practice your forms (katas) or work on a particular technique that needs some practice. You may also ask a senior student or classmate to assist you with a particular technique or exercise which may be giving you difficulty. Individual practice and conditioning ensures that you get the most out of your formal class time and that you develop the discipline and maturity of a true martial artist.

If you have finished your class or workout, be considerate regarding the use of equipment. If the School is busy, limit your time on mats, ballet bars and wooden dummies so that other students have the opportunity to use these training aids.

Use of Training Equipment:

We ask that all students observe the following rules regarding use of mats, wooden dummies, and ballet bars in order to ensure that all students have an opportunity to use them:

* On busy days, limit your use of mats, wooden dummies and ballet bars to fifteen (15) minutes per piece of equipment. If the School is not busy, feel free to spend as much time as you please.

* Ankle weights must be used in accordance with the following guidelines:

If you are using three (3) pounds: two (2) days per week for thirty (30) minutes.

If you are using five (5) pounds: one (1) day per week for thirty (30) minutes.

Please put away any weights, mats or other training devices after using them. This is another form of respect for your School, your instructor, your classmates, and yourself.

The Boxing Ring:

The boxing ring is one the most expensive pieces of equipment in the School. Please refrain from consuming any liquids in the ring or placing any liquids or sharp objects on the ring itself.

Basic Martial Arts Terminology

Beginning martial arts students should become familiar with several basic terms used in our School. As you progress in the martial arts, you will learn more advanced terms as they become relevant to your training.

Dojo: A dojo is the training hall where karate is practiced. You may use the term dojo when referring to the School.

Sensei: A Sensei is your karate instructor. As a form of respect, address your teacher as “Sensei.” Make sure you bow to your Sensei when you address or speak to him or her.

Kata: A kata or form is a series of techniques performed against one, two or a group of imaginary opponents.

Kiai: A kiai is a yell commonly associated with practitioners of the martial arts. The kiai brings power to a blow or strike and is also used to confuse an opponent.

Gi: Traditional pajama-like karate uniform worn with a belt designating one’s rank.

@Training

Avoiding Burnout

Study of the martial arts involves concentration and an open mind. Therefore, it is important when entering the dojo to empty your mind so that you will be able to absorb what your teacher has to offer. It will be hard to learn if you are distracted and worried about what other people are doing or about work or family problems. This is why many schools start their classes with meditation. In the martial arts, meditation is not a religious practice, but a process of emptying the mind so that you may learn without distraction.

The atmosphere in the dojo is one of respect. Respect your instructor and your classmates. While proper respect is to be shown to higher ranks, you should strive to help lower ranked students and encourage them in their training. Proper courtesy should also be shown to all visitors and guests of the dojo.

In the Training Frequency section of the dojo guidelines, Calasanz has recommended a specific training schedule for his students. This schedule reflects the many years of experience Calasanz has had in training students and understanding how they can effectively learn the martial arts. Calasanz has encountered many students over the years who sign up for lessons and then want to train every day. Unfortunately, this type of student tends to burn out quickly and starts to complain that he’s not learning anything. The problem is that he is trying to absorb too much too soon and the body and the mind start to rebel. The martial arts has so much to offer that it is literally impossible to completely learn even one style of martial arts in one’s lifetime. The student must pace himself and follow the guidelines established by his instructor if he is to enjoy martial arts training and reap the benefits. In addition to following the Training Frequency guidelines, Calasanz has these suggestions for combating student burnout.

Take A Break:

If you take a break for a week, two weeks or even a month, getting away from training for a while may rejuvenate you. This is one of the best ways to recover from burnout. Students who are committed to the martial arts find that after a break, they really look forward to returning to the School.

Set Goals For Yourself:

This is not only a good way to cure burnout, it is also an effective way to prevent it. If you set goals in your martial arts training, you will have personal challenges to keep you motivated. For example, say you want to improve your side kick. Ask your instructor for some tips on how to accomplish this and write them down. You may need to stretch more, improve your balance and practice throwing a certain number of kicks per day. If you put yourself on a schedule (in addition to your formal classes), you will find that within a short period of time, your side kick will improve dramatically. Now that you have improved one technique, move on to the next. This time you may want to focus on the requirements that will take you to your next rank level. Make a list of all you must master for that to happen and break each task up into smaller tasks. Recording your goals and progress in a training log will motivate you when you look at all you have accomplished.

Time Your Training:

We all have different body rhythms that dictate our energy levels throughout the day. Sometimes, our energy levels change as our bodies and lifestyles change. Switching from a morning workout to an evening workout or vice versa may bring you in line with your particular energy level so that you can enjoy training once again.

Mental Motivation:

Students tend to appreciate the mental aspects of the martial arts after they have been training for some time. If you are experiencing burnout, you may rejuvenate your interest in training by appreciating the academic side of the martial arts. Reading books on martial arts philosophy such as The Tao of Jeet Kune Do by Bruce Lee or other publications may get you out of a rut. Martial arts movies can also inspire you to go back to the School.

Training Frequency

Calasanz recommends that you train no more than three (3) hours per week. This will ensure adequate recuperation and avoid injury due to overtraining. The Calasanz System includes a variety of muscular isolation and isometric exercises. In order to reap the benefits of these exercises, Calasanz advises that they only be performed twice a week.

Arriving Early for Warm-Up / Staying Late for Review

Formal instruction is only available during scheduled class times. If you wish to arrive before class to warm up or stay after class to review, you may work out on your own for a period of 15-30 minutes. Instructors are not available for formal instruction either before or after class, so please observe the following guidelines:

If you arrive early: Spend 15 minutes stretching and warming-up. Spend the remaining 15 minutes practicing the techniques you have learned, coaching, performing your katas, or going through your floor combinations.

If you stay late: Spend up to 30 minutes after class reviewing the techniques you learned, coaching, performing your katas, or going through your floor combinations.

Weekend Only Students:

If your schedule allows you to train on weekends only, please limit your workouts to no more than three (3) hours per day, if you train on either Saturday or Sunday. If you plan to train on Saturday and Sunday, please limit your training to no more than two (2) hours per day.

Traveling Students:

If you travel a long distance to train with us, you may extend your training sessions to fit your schedule. Traveling students must consult with Calasanz or their head instructor regarding the frequency and content of their training schedule.