Student Guide

Parents of our Tigers (3-6 years of age) please go to our separate page.

Glossary of contents: click the link to taken to the section you are looking for or scroll down to read the entire manual below.

For those of you interested in our dojo philosophy we highly recommend you listen to our weekly podcast. Our show is released every Thursday.



1. Keeping your contact information up to date.

One of the highlights or our dojo is our organization. Your correct email, phone number and address is important so that we can stay in touch with you. You can update your contact information any time via email and we will update it for you.

2. How to find things on our web site.

Our web site is huge! It's designed to be your complete one stop resource to find anything and everything you need to know about our dojo and your lessons. Our web site is fully searchable; if you're looking for something simply type in what you're looking for in the search box at the bottom of any page.

3. How to find out what's going on.

In the student information section of this website are links for our "Calendar" for events.

We also send out emails from time to time. Just fill out the form and “opt in” with your confirmation email to get on our list. On rare occasions the first email or two will get caught in your spam folder. If this happens to you please mark it "not spam" so that your updates will come directly to your inbox. 

You can also like our Facebook page by clicking the like button at the bottom of this page. After you have "liked" our Facebook page all future updates and posts will be available to you.

School Closings Due to Weather:
If the dojo is closed for bad weather we will post it on the top banner of our website (It's a red or black bar). Generally we close for level 2 snow emergencies - but we also sometimes have to make a judgement call because our class hours are different than most work or school hours. Your best option is to double check here on the site. (Always hit "refresh" when you visit.)

4. Dojo Etiquette

Please only call the dojo phone before 4:45PM. We will be on the mats with others after five, but we make every effort to answer phones and return calls during the day, so as a courtesy to others who are in class please call before classes. Naturally you can call and leave a message at any time and we will make every effort to return your call as soon as possible.  The very best way to reach us is by e-mail at and we will make every effort to respond as as soon as possible. (Usually within 24 hours)

Let Sensei and the staff know if you will be absent for more than one week.

Often lessons are planned based on who is expected to be in class. Letting us know of an expected absence is the best way to show involvement and respect. 

Maintain good personal hygiene.

    - Keep yourself clean - check the bottoms of your feet especially during summer months

    - Uniforms should be clean and neat. Shirt should be tucked in

    - Keep your fingernails and toenails trimmed.

Always remove your shoes upon entering the dojo.

Please advise family members of this important rule. Removing your shoes indoors keeps our dojo clean of dust, dirt, and sometimes even invisible glass. It is also an Eastern custom that shows respect for your dojo and your practice. Please place shoes in the shoe rack and not on the floor if room permits.

Make every effort to keep speaking to an absolute minimum during class.

It's really an illusion to believe that when we are speaking we are learning. Learning always takes place in silence. Try not to ask questions during your practice - but instead hold them until the end of class and ask then. Often while you practice questions you have will be answered by observing those around you, and you will begin to train your mind to stay present and listen "the first time" a technique is shown. Advanced students should also avoid doing very much explaining to newer students during practice; their will be plenty of time for explanation after the practice is finished.

Please remember we love your questions - and the only bad question is one that is not asked. But please try and view your practice as having two phases - an active phase for training, and a passive phase for study and contemplation. What you want to do is to develop the habit of asking your questions during the passive phase so that you do not interrupt the flow of your own practice.

Remove all Jewelry before you practice. This keeps both you and your partners safe.

Do your best to arrive on time. Punctuality shows enthusiasm for learning; minimizes disruption; and sets a good example for other students. If you do arrive after class has started, bow onto the mats and wait at the edge for your teacher to ask you to join the class. 

Try your best to be on time - but above all else - if you are going to be late DO NOT USE THIS AS A REASON TO SKIP PRACTICE. We want to see you - and if your late it's not a big deal - you are always welcome! The same rule applies if you have to leave early; simply let us know in advance.

Always bow when entering the dojo and when stepping on and off the mats.

Turn your cell phone off or to vibrate. Parents and spectators should take calls outside of the dojo area.

Participate in dojo activities whenever possible.

Do not bring food or drink into dojo. (except a water bottle if desired)

Check in on attendance sheet and read our emails regularly. It's also helpful to visit the student section of our website frequently.

Always wear your uniform. Our uniform makes us unique; the uniform allows you to let go of all that is personal and makes you part of our group. By wearing a uniform what you are saying is that you are allowing yourself to be part of something bigger and simply lose yourself in class. In uniform your economic status, race, and even athleticism is left behind and you can feel free to be a student again and be treated equally. Remember to take this important part of our etiquette seriously by always being in uniform.

Help keep the dojo clean. A Martial Artist has a sense of reverence for their practice space. In the ancient translation, the word "dojo" literally meant: "Place of Enlightenment"; a dojo is literally considered a sacred space. Always leave the dojo better off than what it was when you entered. After class, stay and help clean - even if for only  a few minutes or even seconds. The basic rule in Martial Arts is "Leave everywhere you go better than when you arrived". This Martial attitude should be applied EVERYWHERE; (not only the dojo). Because of the attitude of reverence at our dojo, and our students habit of cleaning up after one another, we are blessed with one of the most beautiful practice spaces you will find anywhere.

Parents of younger students -. Please do not bring children to class more than a few minutes early. Our dojo atmosphere is designed to be focused, disciplined, and foster etiquette. If a child enters the dojo and is allowed to treat it as a play area, it is difficult to get that same child back to a focused state when class starts. Similarly for younger children in class - it becomes difficult for them to focus if they see siblings playing while they are in class. In these situations we recommend a tablet to keep younger children occupied while there siblings are in class.

It is for this reason we do not offer play nights, sleep overs, or birthday parties in our facility These activities can be lucrative in a commercial school - however they deteriorate the culture we are trying to communicate with our students. 

5. How to get the most from your study

Make a commitment on every visit. In every class make a point tell someone else when you will be in next. Never allow yourself to step out the dojo doors without making a small commitment to someone else. If for some reason you can't keep the commitment you made call or email us and let us know. Over time these tiny little commitments will have a huge impact on your practice.

Fully participate in the dojo. Learn how rank testing works and set a goal to get involved, participate in special events, read the announcements and emails regularly, ask questions at the end of class. The simple truth is the vast majority of people who fail to succeed in Martial Arts do so because they never really get INVOLVED in the dojo in the first place. Get involved, be part of things, make the dojo a part of your world.

If your doing all the above  here is the most important advice that can be of benefit. These two practices have helped me more than anything else over the last 35 years of practice.

First: Don't try and learn everything introduced to you in any give class, instead make up your mind to learn one new thing each night. The new thing could be a simple as remembering to touch your heels together when you bow, or as dramatic as learning to shift your hips when you punch, but pick one thing and consider a class a success if you can name it. It's that simple.

A great visualization that I often use is to imagine a great Master waiting at the edges of the mat for you. He is going to look you in the eye and ask you to tell him one thing you learned today. Go into class with the mission of having a good answer for the Master. Each time as you bow off the mat at the end of class imagine telling him what it was that you learned that day. Your answer should be clear, concise and simple. Your answer does not need to be or sound profound - just one little thing you learned that you didn't know before.

Second: Make a commitment to practice Martial Arts for a minimum of five minutes every single day (yes, even on Christmas, and on your birthday!). Don't practice for an hour one day and skip the next, practice for five minutes every day! In this way you will begin to make Martial Arts a way of life, you will begin to view yourself as a Martial Artist, and you will see profound changes.

As simplistic as these things sound I can't tell you how powerful they are. If you will simply do these two things, make a commitment every class, and get involved in the rank testing program, you have everything you need to set the stage for becoming an excellent Martial Artist!

6. How to ask questions about your study.

At the end of most classes Sensei or your instructor will ask if there are any questions. This is the time to ask about your practice of the Martial Arts. There is no such thing as a bad question! Chances are if you have a question there are others in the room who don't know the answer either. Some of our best students even write their questions down before class so they will be remembered at the end.

Please do not go up to your teacher after class is finished with your questions - Instead ask them during the Q&A time at the end of class.  It's important to ask your questions on the mats at the end of class - instead of afterwards - for two reasons. 

First when you ask questions privately, it deprives the rest of the student body with the answers to your question, so no one else has the opportunity to learn. Secondly, we want to be focused on the Martial Arts experience of all of the students; so when you speak to us individually our attention ends up caught in one place and we are not able to help other students that may need help or may be too shy are deprived of our attention. 

Please understand that we love to talk about Martial Arts, we love to answer questions, it's just that the time and place for this type of questioning is at the end of class, on the mats, not at the counter or in the waiting areas. Thank you for your help in this important part of our culture.

7. Rank and Testing (Opens to a separate page).

8. Lessons in Mindfulness

Lessons in Mindfulness is a program available to our adult students only. Lessons in mindfulness is a comprehensive program designed to help you learn the internal and philosophical aspects of the Martial Arts. You will learn how to breathe and focus the mind, how to meditate, and how to bring your practice into a deeper understanding of how it affects everything in your life.

This program was written exclusively by my teacher of Kung Fu,  Sifu Robert Brown. I know of no better tool that will help you transform into an authentic practitioner of the Martial Arts.

Lessons in Mindfulness is divided up into twenty-four individual lessons. Each lesson is designed to be studied and internalized before you move to the next. You should spend approximately one month on each packet. Discipline yourself to take the time to go through the exercises, the introspection and work with the material for thirty days before moving on to the next session. The time you spend doing this correctly will pay you huge dividends throughout your study.

Lessons in mindfulness is password protected and is only available to those involved in the serious study of Martial Arts at our dojo. For information on how to receive your personal password please contact us via e-mail.


Lesson 1                    Lesson 13


Lesson 2                   Lesson 14


Lesson 3                    Lesson 15


Lesson 4                    Lesson 16


Lesson 5                    Lesson 17


Lesson 6                    Lesson 18


Lesson 7                    Lesson 19


Lesson 8                    Lesson 20


Lesson 9                    Lesson 21


Lesson 10                  Lesson 22


Lesson 11                  Lesson 23


Lesson 12                 Lesson 24


9. What else should I buy?

Most of the items you will need are available in the dojo. It’s a great idea to purchase a pair of hand pads (Adults use Phoenix Gloves and children under ten use regular hand pads).

After you purchase your hand equipment bring them to class every time. (We do provide used equipment for the students who might not have their own yet; but the number of "loaners" we have is limited so please bring your own whenever possible).

While your putting things in your bag, also put an old pair of tennis shoes in your bag and keep them there. When the weather breaks we sometimes love to take the class outside to get a chance to practice on different surfaces and in a different environment. Since you never know when we will go outside just keep the shoes in your bag for every class, you'll be glad you did

Also you should plan on buying either a gi jacket (for teens and kids at 26.00) or a frog button jacket with pants (for adults at 59.95) This will complete a formal uniform and will be worn when you test for a rank.

All students participating in "Lessons in Mindfulness" should pick up the book "Zen in the Martial Arts" (8.00) but it really is a recommended book for all ages. (We no longer stock this item, but it is available through Amazon or Barnes and Noble.)

I would also ask you to consider my book: "Break The Chain!" and the second book “Break The Chain V2; both. Available on Amazon I wrote it to explain to the public how to use the mind to bring more effectiveness and joy into life. It is also the ground work for the internal aspect of our art (SMT).

Pretty much that's all  you need but of course there are other items that you will want as you become more advanced and more types of training become available to you. Always check with fellow students or staff.

10. How do I make a purchase?

Because you have an account with us, you do not need to bring your wallet or checkbook with you into the dojo. If there is something that you would like to purchase, you can simply request to have it put on your account. At that time we will simply charge your purchase to your tuition account.

There are two easy ways to make purchases to support your practice.

First you can order your equipment directly from our web site.

This is also true when we have special events or seminars. If you want to attend all you need do is sign up and let us know you want to put it on your account and we will take care of the rest.

11. Family Tuition Plan

We have one of the most aggressive family plans ever! 

If you have two family members practicing in the dojo then you are on a family plan and that means anyone else in the immediate family is INCLUDED at no extra charge!

Join the Family Program here.

12. Jiu-Jitsu Focused Class, Advanced Class, Chin Na Class and requirements

Adults Grappling and Chin Na: Our style called SMT. It is a mixed art, and therefore you will learn ground technique and stand up chin na as part of your regular curriculum. No separate grappling or joint manipulation class is needed for you to get full benefit from our program. However, we do offer a solid block of time to work specifically on ground technique part of our program. You must be 2nd White or above and attend 2 additional core classes per week to attend this class. Our Adult class that is held on Tuesdays at 8:00PM and most Saturday's at 12 noon.  If you would like to join the class a Judo Gi is required and can be ordered for 99.00 (price subject to change slightly).

Youth: We also offer an extra class for Youth on Friday's at 6PM. This class is available to any student who has earned the rank of Bright Orange belt. The class focuses on giving kids an opportunity to focus on the ground portion of our program and also learn to free grapple. The requirement for this class is for each student to attend two regular core classes each week. Students should also purchase and bring there own equipment to participate (head gear, hand and foot and shin protectors).

13. Change Billing Information, Upgrade Your Program, Or Cancel Your Contract

Go to our account management page.