Tulane Karate Club     

 

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Frequently asked Questions


How do I join the club?

If you are a beginner it's best to start at the beginning of the Fall or the Spring semester.  You may come to our demonstration/introduction or just show up in the beginners class. 

People with previous karate training may come and try a class anytime. 

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Do I need to have white karate uniform before I can join?

If you don't have a karate uniform, just wear some exercise clothes.  After you join, the club will order one for you at a discounted price.  

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Do I have to have any martial arts experience to join the club?

No, you don't have to.  Our club welcomes everyone with an interest in practicing this traditional martial art and the will to train hard.  Most of our members joined the club with no previous experience in karate or any other style at all.  

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What if I have experience in another style?

You are most welcome to try ours, JKA shotokan.  Depending on how similar what you have practiced is to what we do, you may  wear your earned belt in our practices.  What we mostly ask of you is an "open mind." 

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Is what I will learn at the Tulane Karate Club good self-defense ?

It is the best self-defense you can possibly learn, if you are interested in becoming able to better defend yourself against aggressors, and in developing an awareness and attitude that will help you avoid dangerous situations.   As a word of caution, the ability to defend yourself will be developed gradually;  while you will be getting better at defending yourself with more training, there will always be aggressors out there who you will not be able to defend yourselves against.   We believe that systems that give people the confidence that they can defend themselves successfully against all aggressors are spurious at best.  No matter how good you become, there will always exist aggressors who can surprise you or who will be better fighters than you.  So, while your training will make you better at defending yourself, this simply means that your chances of successfully defending yourself will be getting better and not that you will ever become attack-proof.

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What if I am attacked and forced to fight with someone who practices commercial, self-proclaimed "more realistic" martial-arts systems?

If the aggressor is about the same age, built, height, weight, talent etc. as you, and has trained more-or-less the same amount of time as you, then you definitely want to be the person who trained at the Tulane Karate Club. 

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Will I learn how to fall, how to apply joint locks, how to grapple, or is it just kick-and-punching?

As a beginner you will be taught the most basic and most useful self-defense techniques: blocks, evasions, counter strikes, distance from an aggressor, and how to avoid a dangerous situation.  If you stick with it, you will also be exposed and get a "working knowledge" of throws, joint locks, chokes etc.   Successful karate self-defense implies that you should not be forced to grapple with a criminal, the reason is that if you do and you end up winning, you can still get scratched/bitten and be infected by very harmful - even deadly - germs, which the aggressors will be likely to carry.  So the ideal self-defense is to not get in trouble, but if you do, to finish the fight before they can grapple with you. 

See also  What is Karate   Beginners Classes   Tulane Kata-Applications Clinic 

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Why should I pick up karate vs another sport?

Unlike many sports that favor the left or the right side of the body, or different body parts, e.g., arms vs. legs, karate is a complete, ambidextrous physical activity that involves all the body's muscles.  It provides both anaerobic and aerobic workout, it builds strength and flexibility, and promotes general mental and physical health.  It may be practiced independently of weather conditions, in any place, and at any time.  The cost is relatively low, and the time investment - unless you really get into it as some of us have -  is moderate.  For those living close to Tulane and train three times a week, expect to spend a maximum of six hours a week including transportation and chatting before and after class. 

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How is the club atmosphere?

The club atmosphere is warm and friendly.  You will be treated with dignity from day one, and you will be expected to treat others with respect.  During practice, we expect everybody to try hard to improve their technique, without hurting their partners.  Self-control and control of one's technique are of paramount importance, for senior and junior students alike.  The only thing we may have an issue within our members' private lives is violence.  The nature of the club is such that cocky, abusive individuals have somehow stayed away from our club.  

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Where does training take place?

Training takes place at the Reily Recreational Center, main floor, in the UPTOWN GYM.  

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How much does it cost to join the club?

For all full-time students the membership fee is $25 per semester.  Non-students fee is $50 per semester.  Those who have no membership to Reily Center also need to buy a $35(?)-per-semester Reily pass that allows them entrance at the times of karate training. Beginners will need to purchase a karate uniform, which is procured through the club at a discounted price. This is the traditional all-white two-piece Japanese Karate uniform called a Gi (pronounced gee).   Click also this.

Are there any additional fees?

If you only join for a brief time and are not interested in rank advancement, then : No, there are no additional fees.  If, however, you want to test to be promoted through the color-belt system that leads to black belt, then the fees are as follows:  Each belt test costs $18 for students ($35 for non-students), and you must also become a member of ASKF, which has a yearly membership of $30.  So, your first test which takes place at the end of the semester will cost you a total of $48 (or $65), though subsequent tests taken within the year of your valid membership will cost only $18 (or $35).  When and if, after a few years, you test for your JKA black belt, the fees are significantly higher as a lot of those dollars go to the world headquarters in Tokyo. 

Some students (a minority) also choose to attend seminars and camps, or enter tournaments, which are frequently outside of New Orleans and therefore can be expensive.  None of these are required.  Click also this.

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I'm not athletic or flexible.  Can I still practice karate?

Yes.  Everyone is different and has her/ his own physical limitations.  Karate helps develop one's physical fitness, strength, flexibility, coordination, self-confidence, self-defense ability, etc.  It cannot be denied that athletic talent is an asset and gives the individual a better chance to become good in karate.  However, in our karate trainings we expect you to compete only with yourself - i.e., endeavor today to become better than the self of yesterday.  The flexibility of your mind and strength of your spirit are more important than those of your body.   

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Will I be expected to compete?

No.  However, if you choose to compete, you will be prepared for it. See also  Tournaments  Recent Tournament Results  All-South Champions

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Is this martial art suitable for women to practice?

Yes!  There are several women in the club currently, and some have become quite accomplished.  Three of the instructors recently we women (Sharon, Cindy and Ashlie).  It should be noted that karate is not injury free, though free-sparring is not taught to beginning students, and students can choose whether to do it or not.  We believe that the practice at the Tulane Karate Club is an excellent self-defense training method for both women and men.   (Read the FAQ relating to self defense above)

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How fast will I learn karate? How long will it take me to get a black belt?

It depends on many factors, such as age, shape, physical limitations, talent etc.  A few of our undergraduate members, who started training as freshmen with no previous experience in martial arts at all, have managed to earn their 1st-degree black belt before graduation.  Consistent training and effort are very important.  Students who practice diligently and consistently obtain the best results.

For some students, karate is something they get exposed to for a semester or two.  Others like it so much that they continue to do it even after they graduate, some indefinitely. 

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What is the JKA and the ASKF?

The JKA is the organization that first exported and spread authentic karate outside Japan.  Many books have been published about JKA karate, but to get briefly introduced to our organization, please visit JKA  (Japan Karate Association) and JKA  (FAQ)The ASKF is a JKA member organization that represents JKA karate in the southern USA.

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