The primary method of instruction is by utilization and demonstration of movements. Training aids such as focus mitts, heavy bags, kicking shields, makiwara stands and striking pads/bags are used to develop power, focus, speed, and control of the technique demonstrated.
The etiquette of bowing at the beginning and the end of class and in certain exercises is a Japanese custom that is retained as a valuable cultural aspect of Karate that reinforces the Karate concept of harmonious unity, respect and discipline. The purpose of “Karate-Do” is to integrate the mind, body and spirit in unity that allows the individual to reach his/her fullest growth.
Although the origins of Martial Arts have a long association with Buddhism, karate as it is practiced today has “NO” religious connotations. It does, however, set very high standards for moral attributes as the chief aim of the practitioner (etiquette, effort, character, self-control and sincerity). Many people of different religions CAN and DO practice Karate without any fear that it will damage and/or compromise their religious practices. As we mentioned earlier, the bow must not be confused with bowing in church, temple, etc. Bowing in Karate is for “respect” not “worship”.
Welch’s Okinawan Karate-Do has open enrollment throughout the entire calendar year. Students begin the course with the basic fundamentals of Karate without interruption during their enrollment. Students must be at least 3 years old for enrollment. Students must have their white uniform, with school patches, within one month of enrollment. No Exceptions. This is MANDATORY. Uniforms are available at the Dojo. Only!
Our course teaches the skills necessary to develop balance, attitude, coordination, self-esteem, competitiveness, self-confidence, motor skills, and good sportsmanship within the student.
All students will work whole classes, in small groups and one-on-one to absorb the school’s structure and to go forward at their own pace. The need and will to practice on your own and to take personal responsibility for one’s own progress are emphasized. Students are expected to arrive “15 minutes” before class time to allow for individual practice. All students should have a minimum of “2 classes” per week to make steady progress. However, 3 or more class is recommended.
Our grading periods begin in February and are repeated every three-month, thereafter. Each student will participate in a formal test that will evaluate the student’s progress for his/her particular belt rank, class attendance and attitude. The belt ranking for our Dojo is White, Yellow, Orange, Blue, Green, Purple, Brown and Black. There are 2 ranks within the Green, Purple and Brown Belts.
At different times, we have special training seminars with exceptionally qualified instructors. We have had HANSHI SHUGORO NAKAZATO, Masaru Yonamine, Kenpo Kinjo, Bentoku Ifuku, Tadashi Yamashita, Jiro Shiroma, J. Doug Perry, Chuck Merriman, Jody Paul, Eddie Bethea, Larry Isaac, Vic Coffin, Jim Thompson, Kimo Wall, Bruce Heilman and many other well-known instructors.