If you are planning to come to the Pro Martial Arts Waterloo karate studio (aka dojo), this article will help you understand what to expect.
We recommend that you show up 10 minutes early to allow time to get ready.
Your student should wear comfortable clothes and bring a water bottle as we will usually give the students short breaks to stay hydrated.
Our classes are scheduled back-to-back so it is sometimes a little busy during class change but please come right in.
Once through the doors, students should remove their shoes and socks and stash them in the cubbies directly in front of the door. All new students will be greeted by one of our friendly instructors and they will demonstrate how to bow onto the mat. Students are taught to always bow on and off of the mat as a demonstration of respect. We recommend that parents stick around for the first few classes to get a feel for the program but for regular students, karate time is often used by parents to catch up on groceries and other errands.
Once on the karate mat, students will start with some fun warm-up activities to get their blood flowing and help their body get ready for the workout ahead. All of our classes include students with a range of abilities and we work hard to make sure that nobody feels intimidated by those of higher rank (karate slang for those who have earned a higher belt by demonstrating their skills). All students were new at one point and you can count on everyone being supportive and encouraging.
Throughout the class, our black-belt instructors will demonstrate various punches, kicks and blocks and then lead the class through repetitions of the movement to help students learn them and perfect their form. Our Little Rhinos program for our younger students (ages 3-5), has a focus on listening skills and following instructions as well as learning basic karate movements through more game-based learning. Every class in both Little Rhinos and the Basic program will have a character education “mat chat” focused on our character education topic for the month. For our Basic students, we encourage them to attend a weekly Armour class which is dedicated to discussion about self-improvement, anti-bullying and predator awareness.
At the conclusion of the class, students bow off with a giant smile and get their shoes on to leave. As they walk out the door, they can usually be heard asking when they can come back again.