Let us answer some of your questions...
Where Are You Located?
We are located on the very top floor of the NYPENN TRADE CTR building on main street in Johnson City. Our address is 435 Main Street Johnson City, New York 13790.
How do I call you?
Please call Mr. Henderson at 607-343-5625
At What Age Can My Child Start Karate?
The appropriate age depends on the specific style in question, the type of dojo, and your particular child. At Binghamton Martial Arts, traditionally age 4 is a good time to begin. With that said we have had some students as young as 3 years old that do well within our program. As mentioned earlier, it truly depends on the child.
For pre-school /younger children
Our goal at Binghamton Martial Arts for this age range is to teach your child the very basics of Karate, along with positive behavioral habits. Hopefully you will see these habits carry over into their pre-school and home life. That said, if you find a school with the qualified staff for teaching this age range, it is definitely worth trying it out! Regardless of age, be sure to watch a class before signing up. Watch how the instructor(s) interact with the children. While no improvement is instant, a good instructor for this age range will be able to get children to interact positively. If you see signs of frustration in the instructor, or the staff seems under qualified, you may want to look elsewhere.
What Styles Are Good For My Child?
Parents considering putting their children into a martial arts program need to consider their child's mental maturity and physical development, as well as the style of martial art and the difficulty level that is involved. Choose a style that improves flexibility and agility for your young children. Thus, arts such as Shotokan Karate, Tang Soo Do and grappling arts such as Judo, Wrestling or Brazilian Jujutsu are great for kids. In addition, hard-contact styles/arts are not really physically appropriate for children until they are into their high school development years. By this, I mean arts such as Boxing, Muay Thai and MMA. It's better to find a style that your child can practice with little fear of incurring severe injuries like broken bones, facial and head trauma that could affect his/her learning ability. These hard-contact styles also tend to have more stresses on the joints that are not good for young bodies already struggling with the considerable demands of growth spurts.
How DO I Choose The Right School & Instructor For My Child?
It's a good idea to shop around before picking a school for your child. Seeking out recommendations from your neighbors and friends should be your first step: see if any standout for their excellence or if anyone warns you about the teachers at a certain school.
You'll want to visit the school
Do the kids look like they're having fun? Are they bright, enthusiastic, and display at least a little bit of skill? What about the teacher's method of instruction? Is the instructor patient with slower kids, does he stress patience and respect when he teaches? What kind of one-on-one attention does he give to the students?
Ask, and see what your child thinks
Do they think the teacher looks like a nice person? Is this the kind of thing they'd like to do? (When they answer that last question, make sure you stress that saying yes means making a commitment; make it clear that if they really wants to learn, they'll be expected to go to every class and practice at home. This way, your child will be learning a valuable life lesson right away.)
Check the instructor out
Call your local better business bureau and see if there have been any complaints made against the school. Then check with your local police department to see if there have been any complaints filed against your instructor. Obviously reading reviews online about the instructor and/or the school are good ideas, but talking to the parents of already enrolled students to get their personal opinions is a good idea as well.
Consider how much emphasis the school places on competing in tournaments. This is a personal preference; At Binghamton Martial Arts we believe that it's good for kids to participate in a tournament every now and then. But some schools don't believe in competing at all. You'll want to pick a school that meshes with your parenting philosophy.
What If I'm Afraid my Child Will Use Their Karate On Brothers, Sisters Or at School?
This is a typical concern. At Binghamton Martial Arts, we stress to each and every young student that they are never to misuse their martial arts. As a matter of fact #2 of our school commandments at BMA states that, "techniques must be used for legitimate self-defense only". At BMA it's our goal to instill excellent character qualities in your child, including; patience, control, and self-discipline.
Will my child get hurt during karate?
Minor bumps, bruises and sore muscles are not uncommon. However serious injuries are extremely rare. At BMA your child will be in a safe and professional environment with highly trained and experienced instructors. Also karate naturally emphasizes physical and mental control, as well as respect for your training partner(s). It can be argued that karate is considerably safer than many other popular sports such as football, basketball, soccer, etc.
What is the difference between traditional and non-traditional schools? ...and which are you?
Binghamton Martial Arts is a traditional karate school. We uphold the traditions of honor and integrity. Our Shotokan Karate, is an American take on the traditional Okinawan style of Shotokan Karate, which is one of the oldest and most practiced forms of Martial Arts in the world. Our classes are taught in English, however there are Japanese language terms, names and commands you will learn such as Katas, stances, strikes and counting.
In the Dojo, we train in traditional all white uniforms (gi's). However, during sport karate tournaments you have the option of wearing competition gi's. Our belt ranking system is based on traditional Shotokan Karate as well, but for students in our EPIC Youth program we implement split belts to better assist with motivation and advancement for our younger students.
What is the basic structure of a karate class?
Class curriculum changes from time to time to keep our students challenged, but the basic format of our classes are as follows:
- Formal bow-in
- Basic movements and foundation drills
- Kata (or sparring if it's a Wednesday)
- Formal bow-out
For information on the structure of our Art of Combat or Kick-Box Aerobics classes please contact Rick Henderson.
how often should i (we) attend class?
It's important to make training a priority for you (or your child), and if you want to see real results and benefits we highly recommend attending every class as much as possible. However we know that it's not always possible with our busy lives. For karate classes, at the absolute minimum students should attend class twice per week. Karate classes are offered Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. BMA also offers private lessons for families with busy schedules, that can't always train on a routinely basis.
For our Art of Combat program, classes are offered Tuesdays and Thursdays and we recommend students attend at least once per week at a minimum but again, we recommend coming to both if at all possible for best results.
Our Kick-Box Aerobics program is offered Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Attending all classes will yield the best results but attending at least once per week is considered the minimum.
When are classes?
Please see the class schedule page for details.
how much are classes?
Pricing depends on which BMA program your interested in. We give you the opportunity to try any of our programs for free to see if you want to officially enroll.
I am an adult, do you have adult shotokan karate classes?
We occasionally have adult training events based on interest. BMA is eager to grow and one of our goals is to officially start an adult karate class. Please contact Rick Henderson for updates on this, or perhaps private lessons may be of interest.
When do you accept new students?
Binghamton Martial Arts has open enrollment and students are able to enroll anytime.
what should my child wear? Do i need to buy them a uniform?
Yes, Karate students are required to wear a traditional uniform (gi) during class. However beginner students are not required to wear a gi during the first week of training. If after your child's free lesson you decide to officially enroll them, we will take their measurements and order a karate gi, which usually takes 5-7 days to receive. In the meantime any kind of light clothing that can stretch and move easily in is OK.
For Art of Combat and Kick-Box Aerobic there is no official uniform. We have BMA branded shirts that are available for purchase in our pro-shop but wearing any kind of light weight clothing that you can stretch and move easily in is OK. Clean sneakers that you have for indoor use activities is recommended as well.
Is previous martial arts experience needed?
No, most of our new students have no previous experience. We also welcome students with previous experience in karate or some other forms of martial arts as well.