"Ask, if you don't know. Too many times students lose their way because of blindly following an instructor, getting brainwashed by anything they say. Listen to what your instructor says by all means, but don't be afraid to challenge it. A real master of his / her Art will be able to show you all sides to the Arts, and be open about his School and his policies. So if a question you need to ask is not listed below, let me know."
I have heard martial arts are dangerous, could I get hurt?
Any martial art is potentially dangerous, but so too are many sporting activities. With our School, your safety is of paramount importance to us and we will ensure your safety at all times.
1-2-1 Training must be very expensive, why don't I just join a group ?
Of course you can join a group, but with such clubs you will be expected to go three-four times a week to learn the same stuff. With this School, the expectation is you come once every 7-14 days, and practise hard between lessons. One hour with me will be more valuable, and you'll pay less than the three- four times a week you have to pay at clubs, just so that the instructor notices you turn up.
How much are the lessons ?
Nothing wrong with the question itself, but if you only think of the training in financial terms, it would be better to train elsewhere instead. The training is not for you to 'buy'...it is the instructor's time you are getting for your investment, so think about it along those lines instead. Personally, I would find the expert instruction of an instructor, invaluable. You could not really put a price on it. The real, serious students won't put a price on the training either.
Can I train with my partner / family member / friend ?
Of course. And there is only one charge for the two of you. In other words, you pay for your session only, not for how many there are of you. Some of my students do this and enjoy their training immensely.
Are the Classes Suitable For Everyone?
Yes, we have both male and female students of all types and ages. We have specialised sessions for children and - subject to availability, will run daytime self defence courses for women and businesses.
Do you run regular group classes ?
Due to a rather full 1-to-1 schedule, I am not running regular group classes. However, if you are interested, and prepared to wait, I may put you on a list for this, so you can train with people of your level.
How long will it take me to reach black belt/expert level?
There is nothing wrong in asking the question, but if you focus only on this, you will miss out on so much along the way. Expect to take up to between 5-7 years training (based on one intensive 1-2-1 session per week in order to achieve this. Some get there quicker than others.
What is important is that whatever grade you hold with me, it will be a quality one, in which you can hold your own against other stylists. I say this because I truly believe my system, of teaching works for everyone, providing that students work hard to learn the system.
How often do you promote students ?
The simple answer is, when they are are ready to be promoted. The longer answer is, that if is you are here to 'collect belts' you are the wrong student for the School. Promotions are entirely up to the instructor, who will knowwhen you are ready to be tested in a promotion. The system is progressive, and not intended to hold anyone back who shows real ability, so there aretests every three-fourth months for lower grades and six months for seniors. However could be longer or shorter depending on the student.
Am I Too Old/Young To Start?
The most likely answer is no. We have students from 5 to 70 years of age. Older students do tend to find it more difficult as they are more 'set' neuro-muscularly. Younger students tend to lack focus and discipline. However, they do progress and tend to improve well. The biggest problem is the students' own expectations in that they have so much enthusiasm but the results don't come quickly enough.
If you realise it is a marathon not a sprint you will tend to relax and take each step at a time, and not look too far ahead! Just enjoy it!
When can I expect to take a grading? In Tai Chi Chuan, with our School, there are no grades, but we regularly assess your progress according to our program. Similar for Jeet Kune Do, although there are proficiency levels you must reach after one to two years training before moving up to the next levels.
With Kung Fu and Karate, we would expect you to take your first grading within 12 hours of personal training with our School. This means that after 3 months of training you should be well on the way to advancing in your chosen style. Karate gradings remain at every 3-4 months up to 6th Kyu - Green Belt, and for Wing Chun Kung Fu the gradings take place every three to four months with senior grades taking place every six months (same for Karate after green belt).
Why do I need to take gradings when some schools don't have them?
Generally students who do Tai Chi are not looking to use techniques to punch or kick someone, so regulating the Art goes against the very idea of Tai Chi. Kung Fu / Karate / Jeet Kune Do students often want to be gauged for progress, and in Japan the system is you are either a white or a black belt for Karate, nothing inbetween. In China, few schools have a belt/sash system but for those that do, you earn those promotions.
The reason I adopt a grading system is because each level of Karate or Kung Fu needs to be constantly worked at. A student still needs to practise hard on the basic syllabus to the one he or she has advanced to. It gives me time to assess you in a 'cold light' as opposed to the lesson format. Ultimately - it puts the student on the spot. Can you do the technique good enough to pass? If you cannot, you will not pass. It is not an easy system, but is one where if you were to ever go to China or Japan, your standard should be viewed in good regard.
Have you got lots of black belt students?
No (though the expert level is increasing) - this is not a Club - it is a School of 1:1 tuition. There are places that will offer short cuts to a black belt,and this is not one of them. The ones who reach black - and beyond are a rare student indeed, however whatever standard reached should be one to be proud of.
Is The Instructor Qualified?
An experienced student, competitor, and teacher, your instructor has over twenty-five years experience in martial arts and has been taught and assessed by teachers in China, Japan, the USA and the UK. If you have any questions about authentication, please ask as we are happy to provide our credentials.
Is The Instructor CRB / Police Checked?
Yes - the instructor holds an enhanced Criminal Records Check, and anyone can request to see this at any time.
Is The Instructor First Aid Qualified?
Yes - with St John Ambulance.
Do you have any female instructors?
No - not at this time, however the gender of the instructor should not be considered all important - what is important is can the instructor teach the students well, and to this the answer is yes.
What Can I Expect At My First Class?
Typically a class begins with a warm up, then progresses to drills for punching and striking efficiency on pads. Many different areas will be worked on, from self defence to visualisation and meditation. Your mental fitness, as well as your physical fitness will feel the benefits right from Class One.
As with our 1-2-1 sessions, this initial session is an opportunity for you to find out more about a particular martial art before you decide what you want to progress in.
Where are the classes held?
1-2- 1 Lessons : We train in an open air environment to keep costs down for students. In this way you pay only for your tuition, not club overheads, which while we understand has to be passed on to the student by other clubs, we do not operate that practise at this School. Location will be given when you come for your first session.
I am not sure which Art to take up. What are the main differences in the martial arts you teach?
Please go to the indvidual links to see detailed info on the specific arts ofKarate, Kung Fu, and T'ai C'hi
Chu'an, and Jeet Kune Do
Should I buy your book ?
That's completely up to you, but I believe it really will help you in your training. The book is a concise collection of theories that I know will work in practise. I'm happy to show you and go through any aspect of my book. It's less than £3 to buy the downloadable version, so you can't really lose. It gives you insights into me and my training methods. I would say that any student would find it a useful aide to your training.
Can you do videos of your forms to help me?
This is not something older teachers did, and I am against for many reasons...if I do a video, and you learn it, it may not be the standard even I want it to be. For this reason alone a student should not ask for a video to be done. Learn from the instructor directly, and use any videos as a guide only.
How much are your classes?
The different Arts have different costs. Contact me using the contact form for more details.In all 1-2-1 classes you have my 100% undivided attention - this class is completely devoted and focused on YOU. Email us here.
What if I cannot make it to a lesson I have booked?
If the lesson is cancelled within 24 hours of the appointment, it is not usually possible to replace you with another student at such short notice. Often the case will be that the instructor will have already gone to the effort of setting up facilities just for you, so you can understand that you will be expected to pay for the missed lesson, or the decision may be taken whereby the missed lesson will be added as an additional one to do as part of your given syllabus (so if your level can be covered in 12 lessons, you may do 13, for example).
Can I have more than one lesson a week ?
This depends on the instructor's schedule. Sometimes it will be possible to do two lessons per week but due to heavy demand, it may not always be possible. Note that pre-pay for lessons will be expected and missed lessons cannot be carried over to the following week.
I'm a prospective new student. When can I start training with you ?
This, again, depends on the instructor's schedule. In general, there is a waiting list of up to three months for training at this School, although many find it is worth the wait, so if you are new, please come for the consultation anyway, and you will get booked into the program.