HOW TO GET STARTED
Grand River Karate has a very welcoming atmosphere. Our instructors are all volunteers who enjoy all aspects of the art. They'll answer your questions, support your training and encourage your progress. Whether you have never taken martial arts before or are coming from another style we will do our utmost to help you with learning or transition. Here's how to find out if Grand River Karate is the right fit for you.
Free Trial Lesson
Come out for a free trial lesson. All you need is a T-shirt and track pants or shorts. Please arrive at least 15 minutes before class so we can show you the facilities and answer any questions.
Since this is a volunteer organization you will not be pressured to join. If you feel Grand River Karate is a fit for you please feel free to ask Sensei Fortunato or Sensei Torsten any questions, how to register or just thank us for the class.
Never Taken Martial Arts Before?
No need to feel uncomfortable. Grand River Karate has a very friendly and supportive atmosphere. Train, take your time and have fun. You will be amazed at how much you will learn in just a few weeks.
Coming From Another Style?
We have many students who have come from other martial art styles and are now training Shidokan Shorin Ryu at Grand River Karate. All of our instructors have trained in other style as well. We believe there is no one style superior to another. They are simply different and should all be respected equally. Many karate practitioners are interested in going back to the roots to learn Traditional Okinawan Karatedo. Okinawa is the birth place of Karate and Shorin Ryu is the original style. We are very fortunate to be affiliated and train with North America's highest ranked Okinawan master - Hanshi, 10th Dan, Seikichi Iha.
What to Expect at Your First Class
You'll need to sign a release form before starting your trial class. We're considered an athletic program, so you'll need to sign this form for insurance purposes.
Please let us know if you have any health issues or injuries so that our instructors are aware of your condition.
It is required you remove jewelry, watches, bracelets or wristbands of any kind, as these could get damaged or accidentally injure your partner while you're training. Medical bracelets are acceptable.
The classes typically consist of a warm up, stretching, basics blocks, punches and kicks following by kata, partner drills with an emphases cooperation, control and supporting one another.
(a dojo is Japanese for "training hall" or "place of the Way")
When you enter the foyer, please remove your shoes and line them up neatly with the other shoes by the left wall. No shoes are allowed in the dojo. We train in our bare feet, so it is important that it is kept as clean as possible.
Bowing: Students are to BOW as they enter and leave the dojo. What does bowing represent?
It shows respect for the art and the people involved
It is a reminder that you are ready to train at your fullest for each class
When leaving the bow is to remind you to take the knowledge of what you have learned into your daily life
Students are to call black belt instructors sensei ("sen say"). Sensei means "teacher" in Japanese.
Students may call the non-black belt assistants or those of higher rank sempei ("sem pie"). Sempei means "senior" in Japanese.
Students are expected to use the restrooms prior to class, not during. If you absolutely need to use the restroom during class, you must let your Sensei know first. This is so we know where everyone is, for their own safety.
Students are not to talk during class, especially while a Sensei is speaking. The only time you may talk is if your Sensei is asking questions.
If you are late for class and have missed part of the warm up, please do push-ups and/or sit-ups to warm yourself up.
If you have any questions please Email Us
How to put on your Patches
You will need to sew each patch on to your gi (uniform).
We suggest you pin the patches in place first before sewing.
See sample photo below of Sensei Torsten in his gi.
Grand River Karate round patch
- Right sleeve of gi top.
- Half inch below the sleeve seam.
Shido-kan patch (Japanese lettering) - Left chest of gi top
- Put gi top on first to help you position the patch
- See photo to help you determine what is the top of the patch so you do not place upside down.
- Pin patch.
- Take off uniform and sew patch.
- Note: If you try to place the patch on the uniform top without wearing it may end up sewn on crooked.
For Beikoku Association members.
- Mandatory for 3rd kyu and up.
- Left sleeve of gi top.
- Half inch below the sleeve seem.