At Chico Shotokan dojo our practice is simple and straight forward. Students and visitors are expected to remove shoes and bow when entering the dojo training area as a sign of respect to our place of practice. Class begins in a traditional Japanese style with seiza (sitting), mokuso (meditation and personal reflection), followed by rei (bowing) to the instructor) from a kneeling position. After this practice begins with a warm up. Upon completion of the warm up the focus of practice will begin. Practice can vary depending upon the students, and core SKA curriculum for the month. Typically every practice will include kihon (basic techniques), Kata (forms), and kumite (controlled engagement). At every practice each student will receive direct attention from the instructor as well as guidance on how to improve. At the end of practice our dojo ends with seiza (sitting), mokuso (meditation and personal reflection), followed by rei (bowing) to the instructor from a kneeling position. At the completion of practice in the summer month we begin soji (cleaning) of the dojo in the traditional Japanese method of pushing rags across the floor. All students are expected to participate unless they have an injury or medical reason they should not.
During practice there are a few rules to be followed:
- Show up on time with enough time to change into your keikogi (training uniform)
- All students are expected to push themselves.
- Refrain from questions until completion of practice, unless the instructor has encouraged questions at the current point in time.
- Do not leave the practice area without permission.
- Notify the instructor of any injuries prior to the initiation of practice.
- Remove all distractions (Cell phones, pagers, music, etc)
- Do not come to practice if ill and contagious.
Kyu tests (Rank advancement) are held twice a year; One in November and the other in April, to coincide with Funikoshi Sensei’s birth and death. Kyu tests offer juniors an opportunity to have their seniors undivided attention. Consequently the senior(s) will then offer an assessment of their progression in Shotokan Karate. In Shotokan Karate of America we do not offer colored belts or stripes, but stick to the more traditional white, brown, and black system. The philosophy behind this is that rank is something more internal and does not need to be distinguished so readily. Our junior ranking system begins with Un-ranked, then it runs from Hachikyu (8th Kyu) to Ikkyu (1st Kyu). Un-ranked to Yonkyu (4th Kyu) wear white belts. Sankyu (3rd Kyu) to Ikkyu wear brown belt.
Advance rank, or black belt, is only attainable after attending at least one Special Training the assessment begins right after. The SKA holds only five ranks in black-belts; Shodan (1st Dan), Nidan (2nd Dan), Sandan (3rd Dan), Yodan (4th Dan), and Godan (5th Dan).
Dues and Finances
For anyone to practice regularly at Chico Shotokan Karate of America SKA dues must be paid. After the initial first month of practice a student will be expected to pay their SKA dues yearly. The first year costs $75, subsequent dues are $100 per year.
As our dojo is not run out of a sports club we require students to pay monthly dues. The price is $50 per month, and can be paid monthly or in 3 month groupings. If an individual has a true desire to practice, but is unable to afford monthly dues they may speak to the instructor regarding alternative forms of payment.
These are the only two costs for practicing with our dojo and within the SKA. There are no joining fees, grading (kyu test) fees, or other miscellaneous fees. Karate is simple, pure, and straightforward.
You may also train at other dojo within the SKA group with advanced notice for when traveling or on vacation.
Additionally, we are now vendors for CORE Butte Charter School and South Sutter Charter School.