Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

I have heard this question from almost every age group. The answer of course, is no. Regardless of how old you are, you will be just like everyone else: a beginner. Your goals and capabilities will be unique to you. The training will make you stronger, more agile and most importantly it will give you the ability to defend yourself.

Not at all. A lot of people start to get in shape. Whatever your abilities or fitness level is, the instructors will help gradually integrate you to tolerate a higher level of intensity. Everyone starts somewhere!

Periodically through the year, the dojo will host gradings in which students can test for their next belts. To ensure a positive experience, students are to be invited by an instructor prior to the grading date. Steady work makes steady progress.

Getting a black belt takes no time at all. Earning a black belt will depend on you. Your patience, attitude, consistency and effort all play a factor. There is no exact or approximate answer for this question, however if you do achieve a black belt it will be well deserved.

Seminars are extra long classes that cover extra material. These are meant to add depth to your training and enhance your overall experience. Topics may include katas (from other styles or more advanced forms), board breaking, guest instructors teaching different martial arts and more!

Once you have been training long enough and are comfortable with your fundamentals, you are welcome to help in classes that are junior to your training classes. Remember, this is encouraged to help your training, but this is not for everyone. Being an assistant requires a great deal of patience, courtesy and enthusiasm.

The answer to this question is often hard for some people to believe. The best way to ensure your progress is consistent and you enjoy your training is quite simple. Forget about the belt. Over the years I have found solid evidence that students (both children and adults) who chase belts progress far slower than students who train for the purpose of improving.

Injuries can happen at anytime. The dojo has a structure that will reduce the likelihood of injuries. However, if you are suffering an injury, the best thing to do is speak with an instructor. Most of the time you can still train at a more relaxed pace, even if it means you are working on your own during a class. The important thing is to allow injuries to heal, but not let it hinder us too much from our goals.

For Parents

Most children would prefer just to attend their classes and forget about training until the next time they are at the dojo. This is normal. Of course, to progress and solidify the information they are being taught, it is extremely beneficial that they practice at home. Start with small increments. Even if they spend 10 minutes, twice a week practicing there will be improvement. As long as they do not feel the practice is part of their “chores” or “homework”, a lot of students will happily practice. Some will even practice to take a break from other tasks.  Remain positive about practicing, and encourage them when they do.

Everyone usually knows the answer to this question, but as parents become invested in their child’s progress, sometimes it’s easy to forget. Every child is different and will have different aptitudes when it comes to martial arts. It is more important to validate their progress rather than compare it. No one wants to be or should be compared to anyone else. Trust the instructors to help the students flourish at their own pace, this way when they grade for belts they know they’ve earned it and it was an accomplishment based on no one else but them.

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588 Edward Avenue, Unit #36, Richmond Hill ON, Canada


Shoshin Martial Arts Center, 302 Wellington St. East, #3, Aurora, ON, Canada, L4G 1J5