faqs

general:

is studying traditional martial arts good for self-defense and fitness?

Any martial art will make your life safer.  More specifically, the traditional Okinawan karate we teach is good for practical self-defense because it was made for exactly that. In terms of fitness, all classes involve movement, whether at low or high intensity, so the fitness elements of muscular endurance, flexibility and strength are always present.  Beyond that each student is really in control of how much they want to push themselves in terms of weight control and cardiovascular endurance.

how traditional is 鶹ӳý and do you only teach karate?

We maintain our foundation of Uechi Ryu, an Okinawan style of karate.  In the modern martial arts landscape, this makes us very traditional compared to "combat fitness", MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) and even mainland Japanese and sport karate.  That said, our approach is accessible to all and due to the experience of our teachers, we draw from elements of other martial arts and schools of movement and thought.  Some of these include Kobudo, Judo, Japanese Kempo, Wing Chun, Muy Thai, Boxing, Wrestling, Yoga and Feldenkrais.

what is the background of your teachers?

One of George Mattson's first students in Boston was Al Ford, best known as a painter and founder of Gallery East with his student Duane Lucia.  

Before meeting Al Ford, Sensei Duane Lucia ran hurdles and pole vaulted in high school.  He then worked as a health club manager and personal trainer while attending the University of MA where he graduated with degrees in psychology, sports medicine and movement education.  This, and an injury, led him to martial arts.

Noah Lucia grew up in his father's dojo and also studied judo at Tohoku Judo Club in Cambridge, MA but his real focus early on was ice hockey, which he played for 20 years and at Norwich University.  After graduating in 2008, he moved to Japan where he taught English and delved deeper into Japanese culture.  He also studied Japanese Kempo which, like judo, he continues to incorporate into his lessons.  

children:

how old should a child be before starting karate?

Our Kiddie Karate program is for students ages 4-6 years old but exceptions are made for those with good behavior or those who join with parents/older siblings.  

is there fighting in your children’s classes?

We call it sparring.  New and especially young students are slowly introduced to contact, first through spatial awareness and controlled games, and later touch-sparring. Ultimately, what we are teaching is CONTROL and the children hear that from the first day they join.

what are the most important lessons my child will learn?

All children join for different reasons so everyone benefits in different ways but overall, bowing and eye focus are most important for the young students.  This helps with their posture and control and then other goals like balance, body awareness and mind/body coordination are more easily achievable. 

adults:

how long does it take to get a black belt?

All students are different in their natural ability, class attendance, learning speed and practice routine so their progress varies just the same. 

how intense are adult classes?

Adult classes are a mix of high and low intensity exercises.  Some include traditional stretching and breathing, movement drills and technical analysis involved in learning kata. We also do free sparring at all levels according to the students’ level and teacher’s instructions. You will leave your comfort zone but we’ll bring you right back.

do you teach self-defense without the traditional karate aspect?

Yes.  Our Savvy & Safe: Personal Safety and Self-Defense program is separate from our martial arts school and focuses on a more psychological philosophy of prevention and problem solving. We typically offer this in partnership with private organizations and at adult education centers.