please feel free to ask questions as they arise.


When does my student get the next belt?

With each belt, new techniques, as well as new responsibilities, are expected. Like our own unique personalities, we all learn at different paces. Some students have greater coordination, some learn defensive techniques and forms easier, some are more disciplined.

The total outlook the student exhibits in their behavior and demonstration of skills determines when they are ready to test.

How do I tie my student’s belt?

One of the senseis can teach a parent if desired. Belts are put on once inside the workout area. Teens and adults should wait until the instructor tells them to tie their belt.

(Put the middle of the belt on your belly button and bring both ends back to front. Wrap left end over right and tuck left end under both loops, Wrap right end over left through just one loop and pull tight.)

Why do we bow before entering/leaving workout area?

The dojo is considered a sacred place of learning. We bow as sign of respect for where we learn not just how to protect ourselves, but life lessons.

How will I know when my student has been invited to test?

The Chief Instructor will provide you with a test form. The form will have the date, time, test fee, and belt rank. Students testing must wear their full uniform (gi) with their SDSS patch sewn on the upper left side.

Why are other children testing faster and/or with a different skill level?

Master Steve closely evaluates every student’s personal skill level, participation, and effort to decide when testing is appropriate. Testing is a very personal experience, and students are evaluated on their own attributes rather than as compared to other students.

Parents are encouraged to talk with Master Steve if there are questions regarding the approach for evaluating rank promotion.

Why are stripes given out at the end of each class?

The stripes recognize the efforts of junior students in each class, and help the Chief Instructor understand when a student is ready to test. There is no set number of stripes required to test, but generally, the higher the belt, the more stripes, as the material is more complex. Once the student achieves blue stripe belt, they receive one stripe for proper demonstration of their defensive techniques, kempos, jiu jitsus and forms. At this more advanced rank, students have more patience and discipline.

What if my student has their whole belt full of stripes?

A student with lots of stripes can mean several things. If a student desires to move up faster, there are solutions discussed later. It also may be an indication that the student attends fewer classes per week, an interruption in regular lessons due to sickness, vacation, behavior issues, etc.

What can I do to help my student?

Simply put, “practice makes perfect.” Students can practice at home (instead of playing computer or video games), increase frequency of lessons (Two group lessons per week are recommended for ages 7 and up), take a private lesson (these are like 3-4 group classes in instruction) and, most importantly, reinforce the 3 dojo rules at home: Self Control, Respect and Discipline. A manual is also available.

How often does the student come to class?

It is recommended that all students participate in at least 2 classes per week, as this will help the learning process. We offer flexible schedules and semi private / private lessons for those students/parents who have challenges in making 2 group classes per week.

During class, how do they use their time?

Classes at all levels include cardiovascular work, stretching, drills, and defensive techniques. Exercises are geared toward the age level and physical abilities of each student group. Yes – you’ll all work hard, but you will have fun! We continually discuss how to practice and maximize results. Put in good effort, repetition, good technique, and ask for help.

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A dojo is a Japanese term that literally means “place of the way.” It’s also known as “Kwoon” in Chinese. 

It is tradition to treat your dojo with respect, to protect the integrity of the martial arts and to provide a safe, enjoyable experience for all who enter our doors.

  1. Be on time.
  2. Please be kind to our workout mats. Remove your street shoes and wear clean martial arts shoes or socks. Bare feet is okay if feet are clean.
  3. Keep your dojo clean. Please pick up any litter (even if it’s not yours) and keep the bathroom neat for the next person.
  4. Always bow when entering or leaving the workout area as a sign of respect.
  5. Wear clean uniform pants and a gi top or SDSS t-shirt. You may want to have extras just in case.
  6. Help keep our waiting area uncluttered by putting your coats and backpacks in the back hallway.
  7. Behave respectfully in the dojo. Speak quietly and maintain an attitude appropriate for serious practice. Refrain from eating, drinking, chewing gum, and using cell phones.
  8. Treat students in training with respect. If you arrive early, quietly wait in the back hallway.
  9. Junior students are expected to look to higher rank students for guidance and treat them with respect and consideration.
  10. Senior students are expected to set a good example for juniors, protect them from injury, help them learn, and treat them with respect and consideration.
  11. Wear your full uniform (gi pants and top) when testing.
  12. Uniform etiquette is white gi through orange belt, black gi from purple belt up and only mixed black and white uniform (pants/top) when black belt.