What are the general expectations of students who train at Shaolin Studios?
- Be on time.
- Always bow when entering or leaving the workout area as a sign of respect.
- Behave respectfully in the dojo. Speak quietly and maintain an attitude appropriate for serious practice. Refrain from eating, drinking, chewing gum, and using cell phones.
- Uniforms are required in class. Wear clean uniform pants and a gi top or Shaolin Studios t-shirt. You may want to have extras just in case.
- Wear your full uniform (gi pants, top, and Shaolin Studios t-shirt) when testing.
- Uniform etiquette: students from white belt through brown belt may choose to wear either a white gi or a black gi. Only Black Belts may mix black and white uniforms (pants/top).
- Please be kind to our workout mats. Remove your street shoes and wear clean martial arts shoes or socks with grips on the bottoms. Bare feet are okay if feet are clean.
- Treat students in training with respect. If you arrive early, quietly wait in the lobby or back hallway. If you arrive late, please take a place in the back row until asked to join your place by rank.
- Senior students are expected to set a good example for juniors, protect them from injury, help them learn, and treat them with respect and consideration.
- Junior students are expected to look to higher rank students for guidance and treat them with respect and consideration. Always kneel when a Black Belt is tying their belt, out of respect for their work.
- Keep your dojo clean. Please pick up any litter (even if it’s not yours) and keep the bathroom neat for the next person.
What is a dojo?
A dojo is a Japanese term that literally means “place of the way.” It’s also known as “Kwoon” in Chinese.
It is tradition to treat your dojo with respect, to protect the integrity of the martial arts and to provide a safe, enjoyable experience for all who enter our doors.
When does my student get the next belt?
With each belt, new techniques, as well as new responsibilities, are expected. Like our own unique personalities, we all learn at different paces. Some students have greater coordination, some learn defensive techniques and forms more easily, some are more disciplined.The total outlook the student exhibits in their behavior and demonstration of skills determines when they are ready to test.
How do I tie my student’s belt?
One of the Senseis can teach a parent if desired. Belts are put on while kneeling once inside the workout area. Teens and adults should wait until the instructor tells them to tie their belt.Learn to tie your belt with our blog, here.
Why do we bow before entering/leaving workout area?
Bowing signifies respect to our instructors, to the generations of instructors who passed down their knowledge to us, to our fellow students, and to ourselves. The dojo is considered a sacred place of learning, and we bow as a sign of respect for that space.
How will I know when my student has been invited to test?
The Chief Instructor will provide you with a test form. The form will have the date, time, test fee, and belt rank. Students testing must wear their full uniform (gi) and of course their belt.
Why are other children testing faster and/or with a different skill level?
Master Michele closely evaluates every student’s skill level, discipline, and effort to decide when testing is appropriate. Testing is a very personal experience, and students are evaluated on their own attributes rather than as compared to other students.
Parents are encouraged to talk with Master Michele if there are questions regarding the approach for evaluating rank promotion.
Why are stripes given out at the end of each class?
The stripes recognize the efforts of junior students in each class and help the Chief Instructor understand when a student might be ready to test. There is no set number of stripes required to test, but generally, the higher the belt, the more stripes, as the material is more complex. Once the student achieves blue stripe belt, they receive a stripe for proper demonstration of their defensive techniques, kempos, jiu jitsus and forms, for four strips total. At this more advanced rank, students are expected to have more patience and discipline.
What if my student has their whole belt full of stripes?
A student with lots of stripes can mean several things. It may be an indication that the student attends fewer classes per week and therefore takes longer to remember all of their material. An interruption in regular lessons due to sickness, vacation, behavior issues, etc. may also mean that the student will progress more slowly; but that is part of learning. If a student desires to move up faster, there are recommendations discussed below.
What can I do to help my student?
Simply put, “practice makes perfect.” Students can practice at home, increase the frequency of lessons (two group lessons per week are recommended), take a private or semi-private lesson and, most importantly, receive reinforcement of the Shaolin rules at home: Self Control, Respect, Honesty, Patience, and Discipline.
Our Student Manual, which every student receives, provides a list of the material required for each belt rank. Students should use the manual as a guide for remembering the material that goes with each belt rank. Some students find it helpful to write out the steps in each new move they learn in order to remember it. Other students have family members film them doing a technique in class so they can practice it later. Talk to one of the senseis if you’d like other tips for helping your student remember their material.
Why can’t my student remember his/her techniques and forms?
In most cases, additional practice will build memory. This is where discipline and patience are needed. Is the student actually listening to their instructors and practicing while in class? Writing down or videoing their material may help them to remember it when practicing outside of class.
How often does the student come to class?
It is recommended that all students participate in at least 2 classes per week, as this will help the learning process. We offer flexible schedules and semi private / private lessons for those students/parents who have challenges in making 2 group classes per week.
During class, how do they use their time?
Classes at all levels include a portion of class that includes cardiovascular and strength work, stretching, drills, and basics (punches, kicks and blocks). The other part of class is spent practicing each student’s belt rank material including defensive techniques, forms (depending on rank) and jiu jitsus. Exercises are geared toward the age level and physical abilities of each student group. Yes – you’ll work hard, but you will have fun! We continually discuss how practice can maximize results: put in good effort, repetition, good technique, and ask for help.