should I wear or bring to class?
If you’re a beginner
coming to your
first classes with Stanford Kenpo, you should wear athletic clothes
feel comfortable moving around in.
Typically students practice karate in bare feet, so you need not worry
about footwear. Once you’re ready to
commit to the class, you can buy a gi package for $50, which includes a
(black karate pants and top), a white belt, a mouth guard (for
sparring) and a
Stanford Kenpo Karate Association t-shirt.
Men must purchase athletic cups on their own and wear them to each
much does it cost to participate?
As with all club
fees are $50 for students/faculty/staff. Quarterly fees for
affiliate members is $100. Make checks payable to ASSU Stanford Kenpo
Association and indicate your Stanford I.D. on the check (if you have
Checks are greatly preferred, but cash is accepted.
is a typical class structured?
Class begins promptly
at 6:30pm on Monday and Wednesdays and 10am on Saturdays.
Students line up in two lines by rank facing
the front and salute the head instructor.
Class begins with 20 – 30 minutes of warm-ups and group
exercises. Students are then split into instruction
groups by belt rank and work on martial arts skills, forms and
appropriate to their rank. At the end of
class, students line up again and salute the head instructor. We
bow upon entering and leaving our dojo
(i.e. – the gym).
if I arrive late to class?
The club expects
students to arrive
on time to class out of respect for themselves and their instructors,
whom are volunteers. If you must arrive
late, you should walk to the front of the class and wait for the head
instructor to acknowledge you. Once this
instructor has acknowledged you and bowed to you, you may join in the
you actually hit each other? Will I
The instructors at
are committed to having class be an educational and safe experience for
everyone. Beginning karate students are expected to make little or no
with other students when practicing to ensure that no-one gets
hurt. If ever you are uncomfortable with the level
of contact in class, you can let your fellow student and/or an
and he or she will make adjustments. The level of physical contact you
make with other students will increase as you gain experience and
levels of control over your strikes.
Once you reach an intermediate level, you will be expected to make
contact with fellow students in order to demonstrate that you can
defense techniques effectively and in a controlled manner.
- What is Kenpo? How
Does It Compare to Other Martial Arts?
Some martial arts are
more "martial" and some are more "artistic." We like to say that
Kenpo has a great blend of both.
focuses on practical self-defense techniques for attacks that might be
encountered in any street situation. We practice for attacks such
grab from behind, an arm pinned behind your back, a punch, multiple
punches, a push from the front, and so on. A kenpo student learns
wide-ranging set of self defense moves in response to these attacks,
which can be used and adpated in any situation.
Stanford Kenpo also
incorporates light sparring into our training, which teaches students
speed, agility, and improvisation. When
students are sparring, the emphasis is not on winning or hitting hard;
rather it is on learning from one another, improving skills, and making
sure that no-one gets hurt in the process.
addition to the practical self defense aspect of kenpo, there is also
an artistic aspect. Students learn katas (or forms) which are
choreographed sequences of martial arts moves that allow for self
expression and creativity. Practicing katas helps students to
stances, transitions between moves, flow, timing and so on.
- I have
Done Kenpo Elsewhere. How Will Your Club Compare?
Kenpo Karate is rooted in
Parker Kenpo, but has evolved somewhat over the years to meet the needs
of the Stanford community. If you have
kenpo elsewhere and come to our club, you will most likely notice that
our stances are a bit different than what you're used to and that our
techniques are differently
named, although the content of most
techniques and katas remains the same.
Fast Do Students Advance? What are
the belt ranks?
progress depends on the individual student and the amount of time and
effort they devote to learning the art. Students test for and
to a new belt rank once their instructors see that they have mastered
the skills and techniques required at that level. The course is
designed such that all beginners who attend regularly should receive
their first belt (yellow) within one quarter. The next belt
is typically attainable in two quarters, but after that it depends on
the student. The belt order is white, yellow, orange, purple,
brown and black. Once students reach intermediate rank (blue), they
train to become assistant instructors. At Stanford Kenpo, it
years or more to achieve a black belt.
9. Do you compete with each other or in
No. We do,
however, perform demonstrations from time to time for student groups on
will I learn in the first couple classes?
You will learn some really cool things
in the first classes! You will learn blocks, kicks and strikes,
to get hit by a punch, and also how to kiyai, or yell at the top of your
lungs. Within the first couple classes, you'll go home knowing how to
defend yourself against an attacker on the street.
I have to be athletic or particularly strong to do karate?
at all! Kenpo Karate is designed to work for all different body
and athletic abilities. Kenpo relies on tecnhnique, not strength
If I Can Only Come to 2 of 3 Classes each Week?
are grouped by belt rank. It is difficult to teach a class when a
student's attendance is inconsistent, as it holds back the progress of
the entire class. Please make sure you speak with an instructor
can not attend on a regular basis. In general, the student should
to average more than two out of the three classes a week in order to
keep from falling behind.
Do I Need to Do In Order to Get Course Credit?
Kenpo is officially a club sport, but there exists an optional
course for credit.
For course credit, enroll in course
78M in Axess. In order to obtain satisfactory credit for taking
course, the Athletic department requires a minimum of 21 hours of
participation. Of course it is recommended that students acquire
than the minimum number of participation hours, since advancement of
skill comes only through practice.
14. Why do you guys like kenpo so much?
People love Stanford
Kenpo for a lot of different reasons, and these are just a few:
- It's a great workout and keeps us from getting fat
- Yelling, hitting and kicking pads and/or
fellow students is an amazing stress reliever
- It's great to know that you can defend
myself if you're attacked
- It feels so good to finally master a
difficult move or understand a technique
- The instructors are great and really care
about your experience
- You build a lot of trust when practicing
karate with others, and those others
often end up being great friends
- Sometimes you just need a class in your
schedule that's NOT intellectual