Noss Karate - El Dorado Hills Sports Club
Japan Karate-Do Hayashi-Ha Shito-Ryu Kai
Yamanni-Ryu Okinawan Kobudo 

The Traditional Difference
Karate Taught as an Art

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Frequently Asked Questions:

How is this different from Korean Karate, Chinese Karate, or other martial arts like Tae Kwon Do?

The word “Karate” is in fact an Okinawan and Japanese term meaning empty hand. It has been incorrectly brushed stroked across all Asian martial arts as a catch-all name. Although there are similarities shared throughout Asian martial arts, in actuality only the karate from Okinawa or Japan is truly karate. Tae Kwon Do is a Korean martial art that borrowed many of its kata from Japanese Shoto-kan karate.

How long does it take to get a black belt?

There is no schedule or prescribed time frame to obtain Sho-dan or 1st Degree Black Belt. There is no “Black Belt Program” or contract, so the time it takes to achieve this level depends on the individual student. Typically the time frame is within 4 to 5 years of uninterrupted study, and sometimes much longer. It’s extremely important to understand that a black belt is NOT the objective of the traditional martial artist, even though it has unfortunately been promoted that way in movies, TV shows, and therefore often by non-traditional franchise schools looking to sell memberships.

Can someone with a physical or mental disability study karate?

Absolutely. We have successfully instructed students with a wide range of disabilities. Since traditional karate is generally an individual activity with no preexisting schedule for advancement, each student progresses at the rate appropriate to their capability. The art is about the journey, not the goal. Many legends of karate’s long history began their study because they were “sickly” as children and wished to gain better health.

I already have martial arts training - do I have to start over?

This depends entirely on the type of martial arts training the student has received. To advance in traditional karate you are responsible for all the basics, fundamentals, kata, and technical proficiency of the rank that you are tested for. We have welcomed many students from other styles, and each individual’s experience and abilities are their own and therefore relevant to their ability to advance.
It is customary to enter a new style as a white belt, and let the instructor decide if a higher rank is deserved.

Is there weapon training involved?

Yes. Part of Shito-ryu’s long tradition is incorporating the study of the weapons of Okinawa martial culture. Therefore, the study of kobudo (also called kobujutsu - Okinawan weapon arts) is integrated after typically 1-1.5 years from beginning karate training. The weapon style of the royal Okinawan families, Yamanni-ryu, is taught under the authority and guidance of its Senior Master, Toshihiro Oshiro, of San Mateo, CA.

What about tournaments?

While there are many “traditional karate” tournaments across the US every year, tournament competition is not emphasized in Noss Karate Dojo. The entire karate tournament infrastructure was created in just the past 40 years, and therefore has little historical significance in the art of karate. That said, there are some benefits derived from the pressure of tournament competition, and if a student wishes to pursue that training, we can accommodate that individually.
Sensei Noss was active in tournament competition  for nearly 15 years. He has coached regional, national, and international champions.

Are there age requirements?

We accept students 7 years of age or older. Certain special circumstances may apply. No one is too old to begin training.