How do I get started?

All new students must take an Introductory Course. This consists of 3 private 30 minute lessons with one of our instructors.  The cost for the Introductory Course is $75.

For people new to the martial arts this will consist of an explanation about the customs and history of karate, an orientation to our school and how we teach,  as well as learning some fundamental techniques and self-defenses.  This course will give you a good idea if martial arts is something you would like to pursue, and if so you will be able to smoothly transition into regular classes.

If you have previous martial arts experience, the Intro Course will serve as in orientation to a school so that you may understand any etiquette rules that differ from your old school, learning fundamental techniques in our style, and getting to know our instructors.  At the same time, we will be evaluating your ability to determine which of our classes are best suited for you. Please keep in mind the old martial arts saying, “First, empty your cup so that it may be filled.”!

To set up an Introductory Course please contact us.

Do I need a uniform to participate in the Introductory Course?
No.  Please wear comfortable clothing that you can work out in, such as sweat pants and a t-shirt.

Once you start attending regular classes, you will need to wear a traditional white karate uniform.  All female students (adults and juniors) are required to wear a clean white t-shirt under their uniform.

We have uniforms available for $50 and t-shirts available for $15.

What is the Class Schedule?

Please Click here: Schedule

I am an adult and don’t want to train with kids, do you have classes for me?

Yes.  The majority of our students are adults, and our training and teaching is geared towards adults.  We have separate classes for younger students.

How old does my child have to be to start?
Typically, we do not accept children under 7.  A child must know their left from their right, be able to stand on spot , communicate with the instructor and fellow students without crying or hiding, and follow instructions without coaching from his/her parents.

Please keep in mind that at our school  juniors are required  to learn the same material as  adults,  they will be practicing REAL martial arts from their first day of class.  If your child is too young or not mature enough for our program, most other schools have a “Tiny Tykes” or “Lil’ Dragon” program that  caters to younger students.

I want to sign up with my child, can we work out in the same class?

Yes.  Our Kids & Family Class is especially for you.  The class is slower paced than our adult classes, but it covers the same material.  We also incorporate drills  to allow the kids to develop their martial arts skills while still having fun.

If you would like to progress faster or get a harder workout, once you are a member you are welcome to attend our adult classes at no extra charge.

My child is younger than 7, but he/she is exceptional and I want to sign them up anyway.

Before scheduling an Introductory Course for anyone under 7 years old, you and your child must visit the school, watch the kids class, and your child must be evaluated by one of our instructors.   Introductory Courses will NOT be scheduled from e-mail or phone inquiries for any child under seven years old. Please keep in mind that your child must know their left from their right, be able to stand on spot , communicate with the instructor and fellow students without crying or hiding, and follow instructions without coaching from his/her parents.  If they cannot do this they will not be able to follow our curriculum and they will slow down the class, which is not fair to other students. No exceptions.

How much do classes cost?

The price depends on how long you sign up for.

12 Month Course:      $100/mo (x 12 Months)      = $1200 Total

6 Month Course:        $125/mo (x 6 Months)           = $750 Total

3 Month Course:        $150/mo (x 3 Months)      = $450 Total

Month-to-Month:      $175/mo (x 1 month)             =$175 Total

You can add an additional family member to any program for an additional $50/month

Discounts available if you “Pay-in-Full”.

Is there a limit to the number of classes I can attend?

No.  Once you are a member, you can attend as many classes as you would like.  However, some classes are only open to certain ages or certain ranks.

Are private lessons available?
Yes. Private lessons are available under our Executive Program.  This program is intended for professional adults who’s career or schedule prevents them from attending our regular group classes.

We also offer private lessons to people who are preparing for movie roles, have specific self defense requirements, or need some other form of specialized training that is not focused on in regular classes.

Private lessons are generally not offered to our regular members. If you attend group classes, you will find that the instructors and senior students will happily go out of their way to give you extra help before class, after class, and even on their days off!

How long are your classes and what do they contain?

Classes are 60 to 90 minutes long. Typical classes consist of a thorough warm up with calisthenics tailored for martial arts training, practicing striking  techniques, combinations, and self defense situations.  Depending on the class and instructor, we also work techniques similar to those found in boxing such as hitting the heavy bag, sparring with fellow students (kumite), practice training routines passed down from the old masters (kata), and training with weapons (Okinawan Kobudo, bo, tonfa, nunchaku, sai, Jodo, Iaido).

Each of our instructors has decades of experience, and brings their own unique insights and personality to each class.

Do I have to be in-shape to start?

No. Our classes can be physically challenging, we are training to get in better shape as well as improve our skills as martial artists. However, students of any fitness level are welcome, and you will be surprised how quickly you see improvements in both your conditioning and your physique!

Over the years, we have heard many perspective students say, “I want to get in better shape before I start training.”  Unfortunately, in the 50 year history of the school, not a single person who has said this has ever come back to start classes.  The best way to get in shape for martial arts is to practice martial arts, and the best time to start is right away!

What “Style” of Karate do you Teach?

The primary style of Karate practiced at the Kosho School of Karate is “Okinawan Shuri Ryu Karate”.  This is the style taught by Robert Trias, who in 1946 became the first person to teach karate in the United States. This system of karate is very well rounded as it incorporates strong fast striking and punching, powerful kicking, solid stances, and practical self defense techniques. It also incorporates grappling techniques such as sweeps, throws, chokes, and joint locks similar to those found in Judo or Ju Jitsu.

I used to study a different martial art, can I wear my old belt?

No. Because the ranking system between schools and styles is widely varied in both color and quality, it is impossible for us to correspond your old rank to ours.

However, you may wear your old belt and uniforms during your Introductory Course.

New members will start at the beginning rank of White Belt in the style of Karate practiced at this school, Shuri-Ryu.  New members with a rank in another style will retain their rank in that style, however you will only be allowed to wear belts that you earn here.  Please keep in mind, you are not starting over, you are starting something new.  Exceptions may be made, especially if you belong to an organization we are familiar with or trained with an instructor that we know, but only after a review by Sensei Hamann and the senior instructors.

Most of our instructors, and many of our members, have received ranks in multiple martial arts. The only way to accomplish this is to start from the beginning, listen to the instructor, and work hard.  There are no shortcuts. We teach several martial arts at our school, and students must wear the appropriate belt and stand in line according to their rank the class they are in.

Please keep in mind the old martial arts saying, “First, empty your cup so that it may be filled.”!

What are some general etiquette I should follow?

Be polite!

As a courtesy to your training partners, please have good personal hygiene!

A clean uniform shall be worn at all times.  Remove all jewelry including rings, earrings, necklaces, or basically anything that is metal. Fingernails and toenails shall be cut as short as possible and be clean. Body and hair must be clean and groomed.  Long hair must be tied back or the student must wear a headband, this applies to both men and women. Students arriving at the dojo dirty must shower before attending class.

Ladies must wear a clean white t-shirt underneath their uniform.

Do not use profanity or foul language in the school, and do not run-down fellow members.

Bow when entering and exiting the school and the training area.

Remove your shoes when entering the school and only have bare feet on the training area.

Listen to the instructor and follow his/her directions at all times.

Why do you bow? Bowing in martial arts is a gesture of respect, much like a handshake. It is not meant to indicate “subservience” and it has no religious significance. None!

What should I call the instructor? The head instructor of our school is David Hamann, and he is referred to as “Sensei”, the Japanese word for “teacher”.  During class, instructors should be refereed to by their last names, i.e. Mr. Volz, Mr. England, Mr. Thompson, etc. After  class and outside of the dojo, this formality can be relaxed.

There are so many terms of address in the martial arts it can become overwhelming: Hanshi, Renshi, Tachi, Shihan, Professor, Master, Grandmaster, Sempai, Kohai, Sifu, Sah-Bom, and more sport-oriented schools even call the instructor Coach!   Of course, you should always follow the protocol of the school you are in. However, “Sensei” is the only term used in Okinawa (the birthplace of karate) and it is also the only term that we use at our school.

How long will it take to get my black belt?

A long time. In order to maintain its reputation and keep in line with other top schools around the world, The Kosho School of Karate maintains extremely high standards for advancement.   In recent years, many martial arts schools have simplified their curriculum to cater to younger and younger students and awarded faster and faster promotions to make a quick dollar. This has, unfortunately, given many people an incorrect understanding of true Karate.  More dangerously, the students at these school have received a false sense of accomplishment, are not actually learning what they signed up for, and are practicing techniques that would not work in a real-life situation.  In order to preserve the art of karate for future generations, traditional schools like the Kosho School of Karate, continue to maintain the highest standards of performance.

Technically speaking, the minimum amount of time required to be promoted to black belt is 3 years, however most people take much much longer to attain this goal. 5 years is considered fast, and it is not uncommon to take 10-15 years, or even longer.  In addition, no one under 17 will be promoted to Black Belt at the Kosho School of Karate.  Receiving a black belt means you have attained a certain degree of emotional maturity as well as technical ability, and it takes time for both. When you receive a black belt at our school, you have truly “earned” it, you don’t just “have” it.

You will not find any 6 year old black belts at our school, as there is not a 6 year old in the world that can meet the strict performance requirements to be promoted to black belt at a traditional karate school.  This is only seen at schools where the standards of advancement have been lowered to an unrecognizable level.

Will I get to spar? / Do I have to spar???

Yes. Sparring, also known as Kumite, is a vital part of the training used in most martial arts schools today. Such contests, if properly conducted, afford the student an opportunity to test his/her abilities in a sporting contest and learn important lessons on distance, timing, and technique. Sparring at our school is safe, controlled, and has no bearing on promotions or advancement. After learning your fundamentals, you will spar in a safe and controlled way with instructors and fellow students, usually after a few weeks of training.

Please note that sparring in a karate school is different from the “UFC” matches that you have seen on tv. Karate sparring is “full-speed” not “full-contact”. Karate practitioners must learn to execute their techniques with absolute precision so that they do not injure their training partners, or be able to apply their techniques with full power on an actual assailant.  Poor control, “head hunters”, or anything that results in the unnecessary injury of fellow students will not be tolerated.

I am new to the Martial Arts, what are the differences between the them?

If you are new to the martial arts, you might be wondering about the differences between Karate, Kung Fu, Tai Chi, Tae Kwon Do, Krav-Maga, or the recently popular Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and “Mixed Martial Arts”.  All of these martial arts share similar fundamentals, but there are important differences in their origins and the way they are practiced.

Karate originated on the island of Okinawa, but due to its effectiveness it quickly spread throughout Japan, United States, and the rest of the world. It focuses on strong, fast, and powerful practical techniques. Karate uses about 75% hand techniques and 25% foot techniques and also incorporates grappling techniques such as sweeps, throws, chokes, and joint locks. Karate emphasizes a practical, “real-word” approach to self defense, meaning that you will be able to respond appropriately whether someone is yelling at you in anger or is attempting to take your life. Karate is a versatile martial art with many different facets including Self Defense, Physical Fitness, Sport, Mental Aspect, Morality, and Philosophy.

Tae Kwon Do originates from Korea and emphasizes acrobatic kicking techniques and is tailored for closed competition and Olympic qualification.  While there are many excellent Tae Kwon Do practitioners, it has unfortunately gained a reputation for inflating ranks.   As it was gaining in popularity in the 70s and 80s, many practitioners exaggerated their ranks to gain more students.  At this time it was not uncommon for someone to be a legitimate brown belt one day and a self-promoted 7th degree black belt the next. This resulted in all the ranks below the instructor being watered down, causing the notorious promotions of 6 year olds to black belt.  In recent years, many Tae Kwon Do practitioners have been working to rehabilitate its reputation. If you want to train in Tae Kwon Do, please use caution to ensure you are training with one of these reputable instructors.

Kung Fu is a general term for martial arts originating in China that focus on speedy and fluid animal-like movements, the techniques tend to be graceful and exaggerated with colorful names like “Embrace the Tiger and Push the Mountain”.

Tai Chi is also from China and is a specific type of Kung Fu. Today, Tai Chi is usually practiced in slow-motion with a focus on fitness and relaxation, and the self-defense applications of the movements are not typically taught.

Both Krav Maga and Haganah are martial art created for the Israeli military.  In recent years, they have gained a following for their violent self defense techniques and for scenarios more common to the battlefield than the street.

Judo is a type of Japanese wrestling that emphasizes throws, pins, joint locks, and chokes.  Judo, like Tae Kwon Do, is an Olympic sport, and depending on the individual club they might emphasize tournament play and Olympic qualification or focus on self defense and the more traditional side of the art.

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu actually has its roots in Judo, as the Gracies originally learned from Japanese Judo masters. Brazilian Jujitsu began differing from Judo as it placed a greater emphasis the ground techniques that were most successful in the hours-long challenge matches that took place in Brazilian wrestling rings.

“Mixed Martial Arts” is a general term for taking a few techniques from one type of martial art and a few techniques from another and mashing them together. This works well for specialized sports such as kickboxing, the UFC, or even cardio kickboxing classes at a fitness club. But this approach may also prevent a depth of understanding of body mechanics and the nuance of how to apply techniques in a variety of situations. Many people incorrectly believe that Bruce Lee took this approach, however the reality is that he spent decades training in traditional martial arts under some of the best instructors in the world, continuing to refine his techniques until, after more than 20 years, he was able to find what worked best for him, his physique, and his mentality.

There are many qualified “Mixed Martial Arts” gyms and Brazilian Jujitsu schools that prepare people for entering the UFC. However, because of the recent popularity of this sport, the majority of gyms are opened by people with only a few years of training, a basic understanding of a few specialized techniques, and no certification or oversight of any kind. In this type of school you face the real possibility of being seriously hurt by an inexperienced instructor or overzealous students who have not yet learned enough control to train with a partner without injuring him/her. If you feel that Brazilian Jujitsu and Mixed Martial Arts is the best direction for you, please research the subject thoroughly to ensure that you are training with a qualified instructor. But unless you are seriously considering a career as a professional cage fighter, in most cases you will be able to learn your “striking” and “grappling” skills to a greater degree, and in a more welcoming environment, at the Kosho School of Karate. (In fact, many of the top fighters in the UFC have a background in Karate!)

At the Kosho School of Karate we teach several martial arts, but we teach them in their entirety and strive to practice them at the highest level. It is our experience that if you have a complete understanding of these martial arts, you will be able to use them interchangeably when necessary.