Frequently Asked Questions

Starting to train at a martial arts school can feel like a big step. Here are some questions we recommend you ask any school before you begin, and our answers:

What makes your school different?

We do not charge for belts and testing, and we will not test anyone until the Head Instructor is satisfied. We have no financial incentive to promote people before they are ready, so our students have a genuine sense of personal achievement. Many of our blackbelts have been ranked in other systems, giving our student body a grounded understanding of how our style compares to other martial arts. Our high ratio of blackbelts ensures extremely high quality training in a personal setting.

Do you require long term contracts?

No. Many martial art schools require students to sign contracts to become members. When students sign legal documents they are required by law to pay fees even if they no longer attend class. Students at Zen Budokai East, LLC do not sign contracts. Students attend class and pay fees because they want to learn martial arts and be members of Zen Budokai East, LLC not because they are legally obligated by a contract. Students are free to leave when they please.

Are there any “extra” fees?

Many martial art schools require students to take periodic tests and may charge several hundred dollars in addition to their monthly fees. Students at Zen Budokai,EastLLC are never pressured into taking tests for rank. All testing for rank is conducted at Zen Budokai EastLLC by certified Instructors at no additional charge to the student. We sell equipment, but only as a convenience-you can purchase it anywhere. All you need to start is a heavy-knit gi. Eventually, you may wish to puchase sparring pads.

Do you accept kids? What is the right age to start?

Due to the self-defense nature of our style, we do not train kids under 12. Between age 12 and 18 will be accepted based on discretion of the instructor. If a child is capable of paying attention and following instructions for 90 minutes, they’ll be fine.

Is your school “better” than the competition?

Many people are looking for the “best” style or the “best” school. There’s really no such thing – there’s the one that works for you. We train seriously, and generally have a lot of fun doing so. The best way to find a school is to watch a class, and talk to instructors and students. If you find yourself feeling uncomfortable, move on.

Do you allow students to attend seminars or competitions outside of your system?

Absolutely. We’re about promoting learning in all forms. Hundreds of years ago, martial arts schools could afford to be proprietary. Today, martial arts are being refined at an enormous pace via Ultimate Fighting Champion and other venues. It only makes sense to constantly explore and expand your horizons. In an effort to promote learning in all forms, we host and attend seminars on a regular basis. Fresh insights are always welcome.

Do I need to be in great physical shape before I begin?

No.  One of the reasons many people start with us is to find a way to get exercise that is more engaging than going to the gym.  If you feel like you have to be in good shape before you begin to work out, chances are you’ll never start.

As with any exercise program, you should consultant with your doctor if you have a condition that you feel might make participation a challenge.