Class Schedules and Descriptions
Classes are on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
Children’s program 6-9 yr olds 5:45pm to 6:30pm.
Youth Beginners program 10 – 13 year olds 6:30pm – 7:30pm.
Youth Intermediate/Advanced program 10 – 13 year olds 6:30pm – 7:30pm.
Adults 14 year olds and up 7:30pm to 9pm.
Karate and the traditional martial arts teach us to cooperate and to seek perfection of character of oneself. While karate does indeed foster physical fitness, flexibility and ability to defend oneself, it is also about character development and pacifism. The balance sought through training and physical conditioning as well as through the exploration of martial philosophy, using the tools of intelligence and introspection, results in a richer life through deeper understanding of the self, and an appreciation of others around us. Through the pursuit and spirit of martial arts, one makes a choice to forge a steadfast and principled philosophy of life, establish a peace-oriented view of the world, cultivate physical strength, learn the values of courtesy, patience, self discipline, and a never give up attitude to endure, and pave the way to forge lasting friendships and a spirit of family in the Meibukan.
In the current fighting arts such as the Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) and Ultimate Fighting Championships (UFC), if you lose a rule-based, submission style fight you can train for another month or another year and maybe win your next match. In traditional karate, you train for a real live self-defense situation where you have only the moment. There is no second chance; either you are injured (sometimes critically) or you call upon your training and defeat your attacker.
Adults 14 years and up.
Adult Beginners -White, Yellow and Orange Belt
The focus of your training time in class will be to concentrate on basic techniques, introduction to kata, Bunkai (self-defense), dojo etiquette, physical fitness and introduction in the orange belt level to basic Kubudo (weapons) bo, sai’s and tonfa. Additionally, you will be exposed to basic Okinawa karate terminology and phrases; a brief history of martial arts and more specifically, of Meibukan Gojyu-Ryu karate. At this level we hope to challenge your personal limitations physically and mentally to develop a strong foundation for future learning.
Adult Intermediate -Green and Blue Belt
Training time in class will be spent continuing to develop basic karate skills and learning about Bunkai. The concepts of proper breathing and the exploration of ki energy, through the study of the kata Sanchin begins to broaden at this level. Karate theory, history and philosophy will continue to be embraced at more in-depth levels.
Adult Advanced -Brown to Shodan-ho and up
Training time in class will concentrate on more advanced technique, kata and kubudo, as the student prepares to grade to Shodan, 1st degree black belt. A greater understanding of the ethics of karate will be undertaken and the role they play in our lives will be more closely examined. In-depth knowledge of martial arts history, history of Okinawa Gojyu-Ryu, history of our International Meibukan Gojyu-Karate Association, and terminology is expected. The classes at this level are designed to challenge and test the student. First kyu and second kyu students are encouraged to take leadership and teaching roles within the dojo, either by participating in the children’s classes and/or assisting new adult students.
Children and Youth Classes
The spirit of traditional karate can be summarized in the final written words of the founder of Okinawa Gojyu karate, Master Chojun Miyagi, (1888-1953). “Do not be struck by others. Do not strike others. The principle is peace without incident”. Children are taught and exposed to national safety programs as well as “anti-bullying”, “anti-gang involvement” and street self-defense tactics and kobudo (weapons). The attitude of “Karate ni Sente ni Hanshi” – “there is no first attack in karate” is instilled from the beginning, which is contrary to the philosophy of free sparring or fighting.
Additionally, the way of hard and soft teaches the karate-ka that punches are not always the most effective. Most people no longer condition their hands because of our technology-based culture. Yagi, Sensei often says “Teeth are very hard and over time will break down and fall out. Your tongue is soft and you will have your tongue from the time you are born until you die”. Children are taught to strike, stab and slap with open hands to the soft points of the body. It is more practical that young children especially, understand they can be just as effective in protecting themselves using soft techniques rather than brute strength.
Ages 6-15 year olds
Children’s Beginner -White, Yellow, Orange belts
There are 2 classes available for this age group, offered Tuesdays, Thursdays. At this age we begin a more serious study of karate. Besides physical and mental growth, we work on developing character and leadership skills, through personal challenge. The older children are encouraged to be role models for the younger ones and ethical principles are regularly discussed. Topics include anti-gang involvement, introduction to street awareness and a variety of the nationally promoted safety programs.
Children’s Intermediate -Green, Blue Belts
There are 2 classes available each week for this group. This is a continuation of the children’s beginners’ class. In a positive, yet disciplined environment, the student begins to progress in the art of karate as new skills are taught and old ones are refined. At this class level they begin their study of kubudo (weapons), which include the Bo, Sai and Tonfa.
Children’s Advanced -Brown Belt to Shodan-ho
There are 2 classes available each week for this group. At this level, new skills will continue to be added. There will be greater stress on the development of leadership skills, as well personal and social responsibility. The students will begin to take a more active role in assisting those younger or less experienced than them. Those who succeed to this level will often advance to black belt.
The aforementioned class divisions are currently in effect at the Kitchener-Waterloo Meibukan Karate Dojo and are subject to change at the discretion of the Chief Instructor. Changes in class scheduling will only be made for the betterment of the overall student body.
Children’s Advanced Class – within this age group, the highest ranking a child may be presented is Shodan-ho, a black belt encircled by a white stripe. As a member of the International Meibukan Gojyu Karate Association, no child may receive a full dan ranking, i.e. full Shodan, until the age of 16. At this age, the karate-ka is considered mature enough, both mentally and physically, to have conferred upon her/him, all the rights and privileges of an adult Black Belt, within our Association.