The first step in you or your family’s Martial Arts journey has officially been taken; you are doing research (aka reading this post)! Now that you’ve conducted some research, you are looking to visit some local dojos, shop around, and see what they are all about.
Well, let me tell you, no two dojos are alike. They may teach the same form or style (e.g. Karate, Tae Kwon Do, Jiu-Jitsu, etc.), but that’s where a lot of the similarities will end.
Empire Dojo is a technique-based school (focused on self-defense), not a competition based school. We are focused on teaching the art form from the basic understanding of the technique, all the way through to the advanced level of that technique. You will also learn how to counter that technique should it be done to you.
Why are we focused on technique and self-defense? Simple answer, we want to make sure every student who dedicates the time to learn from us will not only learn a beautiful Japanese martial art but also be able to use those skills in real life situations should it be needed.
The owner of Empire Dojo and head Sensei, experienced a very scary real life situation when he was brutally attacked as a young adult. He thought that his childhood Martial Arts training (he was in a competition Tae Kwon Do school) would protect him. It did not.
When his physical injuries healed, he sought out learning different styles of self-defense. He ventured back to Martial Arts and started training under a new Sensei. After some time he decided to open his own dojo and train his students to the best of his ability, while also making sure they had the skills necessary to protect themselves in real world situations. He doesn’t want anyone else to go through what he went through.
So what exactly sets Empire Dojo apart from the others?
- Focused on self-defense, not competition
- Family atmosphere
- Our instructors know how to engage with children
- Our instructors attend child development and child psychology seminars
- Our instructors provide one on one instruction with students during classes
- Our instructors teach children how to deal with wins and losses
- Every belt is earned. No participation belts or trophies.
- Every child is given the opportunity to pursue a leadership role
- Every child has access to schedule one on one private lessons with the Sensei of their choosing
- Adults are provided an inviting atmosphere with no egos; perfect for those who have never done a martial art before
Let’s also compare Empire Dojo to other schools:
- Competitors: Require (at minimum) a 1 year commitment with no early termination option. If you quit prior to 12 months you are still required to pay the remainder of your contract. NO exceptions!
- Empire Dojo: Does NOT require a 1 year or 5 year commitment. Members are only required to give a 60-day (2 month) notice in writing if they need to end their membership.
Basic Uniform Cost (Approx):
- Competitors: $140 with no school patch
- Empire Dojo: $50 with school patch
How often do you need to buy a new uniform:
- Competitors: A new uniform every year
- Empire Dojo: A one time purchase, unless student outgrows it
- Competitor: $40
- Empire Dojo: $25
Upgrading, Ranking Up, or Belt Testing:
- Competition schools require you to upgrade or test every few months.
- Empire Dojo does not.
- Competitors use competition grade weapons (fiberglass) which are not made for traditional techniques. And will oftentimes require the student to buy a weapon to match the year.
- Empire Dojo uses traditional gear (wood) which is made for long term use. The same type of gear that’s been used for hundreds of years. One time purchase.
Belt Graduation Ceremony:
- Competitor schools require all those in attendance (parents, guests, spectators) to wear formal attire. If you do not wear formal attire you will not be allowed in to watch the ceremony.
- Empire Dojo doesn’t require a dress code from our parents and visitors who come to watch our ceremony. All are welcome to join us (however, we do request everyone has clothes on!).
- I know what you’re thinking. Did I really include water? Yes, I did. If you have ever exercised or exerted yourself you know how important it is to stay hydrated. You also know how easy it is to forget to bring your water bottle, especially for kids. Can you imagine spending 45 minutes doing physical activity only to realize you forgot your water? That would be horrible.
- Competitors: Make you pay for a bottle of water
- Empire Dojo: Provides free water and cups for our students.
These are just some of the things that help set Empire Dojo apart from other martial arts schools. I could go on…
Let’s also not forget about our staff… We have a wonderful staff! They not only make you feel welcome and a part of the family from day one, but our staff members truly care about every student and help them be the best that they can be inside and outside the dojo.
If you are looking to learn martial arts or looking for a safe place for your child to do so, please come check us out! We are always here and ready to welcome new students.