Martial arts virginia beach

Virginia beach martial art schools

Throughout Virginia beach you will find a large variety of martial art schools, each with a different focus.  A recent Google search of the Virginia Beach area, there were no less than 133 'martial art schools', and in general they fall in to one of the following categories.

In general there are 3 groups of schools

  1. Fun and cardio work out ( like jazzercise )
  2. Sport. (This is broken down as a game of Tag, Pinning, Restraining your opponent & gladiator)
  3. Traditional or Authentic Martial art schools

Lets take a look at each of these categories:

Fun and Cardio martial art schools

These schools offer what appears to be at first glance, martial arts. They teach Kata, Kihon ( basics ) punching and blocking techniques & their students wear a traditional Gi.  A couple of years ago I attended training camp and one of the Kyoshis (7th degree black belt or higher ) had this to say, and I am paraphrasing:

"What some schools teach may look like Karate, but it ain't Karate"  I would go on a limb and say that the vast majority of Martial Art schools in the area aren't teaching Martial arts, but what they teach might look like it.   So, how can you tell?

For starters, break down what you see.  A traditional Karate school, teaching authentic Karate or Martial arts, are generally going to have their students wear a GI, their GI may have one or two patches, the association patch and maybe the school patch.  The schools tat are faking it generally will have their GI's adorned with a multitude of patches, stars, and other 'Merit' patches.  

Look at how the instructors move & explain concepts, ideas.  Consider posture, head position, shoulders, back etc.  Do they have the posture & grace of movment of a Samurai?  Or are their movements more indicative of a penguine trying to gain its balance?

These schools will generally focus on quick classes, a lot of warm-up drills, fast kicking drills, running drills, and will run through kata quickly with little or no attention to making corrections to students.

Sport Martial Arts  

Sports martial arts are all about racking up points in some way.   In 'sport karate', tae kwon do & the like the goal is simply make somekind of contact to the opponent and the first to get to 10 points wins the match.  There are so many rules, that any skills that the fighters,I use that term losley, may want to use they are generally not allowed to.  Techniques that allow control of the opponent are banned, sweeps are generally banned, grabbing or locking an arm is generally banned. 

Unlike sport karate and tae kwon do, there are schols that claim to teach MMA ( Mixed Martial Arts )  These schools consists of some combination of 2 or more 'styles' with at least one that has kicks and strikes, the other usually involves take downs and wrestling moves.  The object with these schools is sport, seeking a "tap out" by restraining the opponent in some kind of hold, arm bars are very common.  This is the realm of the UFC, which is a gladiator sport.  

Traditional or Authentic Martial art schools

Then you will find the rare old schools that teach karate to stop and control the opponent. These schools teach their students not to go to the ground, not to fight for points but to survive an encounter.

These schools teach Kata, Drills and Kihon.  Kata are taught in such a manner as to provide guidance and instruction to the students.  To know only the moves is to know a dance, to learn to flow effortlessly with power and control is to understand karate.  This level of understanding does not happen over night or in the span of 12 or 24  months.  It is an accumulation of the student practicing in and out of the dojo for many years, receiving corrections from senior students and applying those corrections. 

Learning kata teaches the student timing, control, correct breathing, quickness of the feet and hands, short, quick, hard movements and so much more.  

Caution:  Don't fall for a Black belt in 24 months, Dont be taken by monthly testing, don't be fooled by a large number of belts that can be earned.  Seek a school with fewer belts, fewer tests.  On that note, the test should be about the Karateka's knowledge of Karate, it is not a physical fitness test.

In a traditional dojo, the students will practice hard whether they are with someone or by themselves. Serious Karateka ( Karate students ) do not take their training lightly, it is a serious thing, not a game or social hour.  Also, in traditional karate there is only one Gender: Karateka.  Everyone trains the same, everyone receives corrections the same, everyone punches at each other the same, with the same intent.  Only in fantacy land are woman treated gently.  The fact is that women needs to learn to fight a man.  Women are more prone to be attacked by men, therefore the training a woman receives must be the same as what a man receives, if the dojo refeuses to teach women the same as they do men in every regard they are doing a disservice to the female student.  If a dojo teachs woman differently, you need to question their motivation.   

 

If you are looking to learn the true meaning of Martial Arts come visit the only school in Hampton roads that teaches karate in the manner it was intended, OBI Karate School of Virginia at 4565 D Virginia Beach Va. 23462.  757-499-4474

 

Sean Schroeder

I have been studying under Under Kyoshi Noel Smith since 2009, I started with him in 1974. In fact Shorin-ryu is the only system I have studied. Full time real estate agent, technology enthusiast