Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is the difference between Shorin-Ryu and Tae Kwon Do or other martial arts?

A: Shorin-Ryu Karate was invented on the tiny island of Okinawa, Japan. Developed through centuries of trial and error karate is known around the world as the most effective self-defense system ever created. Our karate is known for it’s “hard” techniques. Hard techniques are strikes with the hands, feet, elbows and knees, usually delivered in an efficient straight, rather than circular, path to the target. These skills produce incredible destructive power, are fast and are undeniably effective. We spend an equal amount of time developing both kicks and hand strikes providing you with a well-rounded defense system.

At our dojo, we teach karate as it is done in Okinawa with an emphasis on discipline, structure and respect. Advancement in our school is done on a case by case basis and all students must meet the standards in Okinawa in order to move forward.

You will NOT see any 8 year old black belts in our school. It takes a great deal of responsibility and maturity to become a black belt and our minimum age is 13-16, the same on Okinawa.

Q: When is testing held and how are students eligible?

A: Testing is held every month only because we have a large student body and everyone advances at different times of the year based on their ability. Testing is only on a case by case basis and students are nominated by the senior instructors when they can demonstrate 100% proficiency of the requirements listed for rank located in the student handbook. However, physical ability is not enough as the attitude of the student is also evaluated. In

order for children to be allowed to test, they must have a letter of reccomendation from their school teacher as well as their parents. Students are evaluated on their adherence to discipline, demonstration of dojo ettiquette and 100% effort in all that they do in the dojo.

In some commercial dojos, students are allowed to test after a certain number of classes or based upon what “program” you have bought(masters club, black belt club). There are no such things on Okinawa and these are methods for these schools to stay in business and make a profit. We teach traditional karate that through training, students earn only what they work for. It is symbolic of life.


Q: My child or I have a belt in another style of karate. Can I wear my belt?

A: No. All students start at the beginning level when joining our dojo. The only students that are allowed to keep their belt are those who have moved from another Shorin-Ryu Dojo within our association or from a related Shorin-Ryu school. However, they will must be evaluated by our chief instructor and if the requirements or expectations of rank are too dissimilar, they will be asked to start over at white belt.


Q: What if I have a black belt in a similar style of Shorin-Ryu?

A: Black belt students from related Shorin-Ryu systems are accepted on a 1 year probationary status and will be allowed to wear their black obi but will not be accepted at their dan rank from their old school or system. This is typical of all traditional schools on Okinawa.


Q: Why does my child or I have to start over if we already are ranked in another style.

A: First, this is a traditional dojo and we follow the outlines of the karate schools in Okinawa and Japan. Even though some styles are similar, they are not the same and require that you study them from the ground up. If you have had previous training, your rate of learning will most likely be faster than a beginner. For those who feel that they should be able to wear their belt from another style, this is probably not the best place for you to train.

Keep in mind they will always be the belt that they have earned in another school, we are not taking that away from them, but if their rank is from another style, then it does not apply to our school or style. If they are to be accepted at our dojo, they must start over at the beginning and learn our style of karate like any other student.


Q: Do all students have to participate in Kumite?

A: Yes. All students begin to learn kumite at yellow belt level. Kumite is taught in a very safe manner and students are carefully trained through drills first. Kumite training is important and builds reaction skills as well as physical stamina, focus and spirit.


characters shorin