Welcome & Basic Class Guidelines

For Beginning Students

Thanks for choosing our school to learn the martial arts. Please take the time to read this and familiarize yourself with these basic guidelines of training with Oakstrong Martial Arts. It is our goal at to share the good values of the traditional martial arts – to help people reach high, yet attainable goals, and further develop themselves as a whole person.

Welcome! — Kyo Sa Neville Loberg

You probably already have an idea about what karate is. Some of you will have read about karate in books or magazines, and seen karate on television and at the movies. Some of you will have heard about it from friends and acquaintances. We ask you to forget about these ideas for a moment and approach the subject with a clear mind, or “beginner’s mind”. This is the ideal way to approach karate. Some guidelines regarding our classes and training…

Our instructors take a personal interest in each student’s progress. Personal conferences with your instructor are encouraged – please feel free to address any concerns or questions you may have. Always let your instructor know if you are injured or ill or if know if you expect a lengthy absence from classes.

We encourage open dialogue and communication. Feel free to ping your instructor (via mobile text message) with any questions. Occasionally your instructor might ping you regarding schedule changes, class confirmations, reminders or other time-sensitive information. These messages are intended to coordinate logistics, not to impose pressure to attend classes. All classes are posted to the schedule on the Oakstrong website – it’s always updated and accurate.

Class and instruction begins promptly at the indicated class start time. You are encouraged to arrive 15 minutes early if you need to change into your workout clothing/gear and to be ready for line-up at the scheduled class time.

  • We provide a waiting/changing area while other classes are in progress – please be respectful by keeping noise to a minimum and do not interrupt any class in progress. Please silence your phone on studio arrival.
  • Please take care of any business transactions immediately after class. In order to give the best possible experience, generally the instructor is setting up and preparing to teach prior to class.
  • Please, no food in the studio – however, certainly bring a bottle of water to drink during pauses in class.
  • If you are late to class, please enter the studio, stand in the back, and wait for the instructor to ask you to join. Students generally will not be permitted into class after warm-ups are completed as they are an important part of the training and help in the prevention of injury.

Students should wear proper attire, consisting of a clean sports clothing (for beginners) or uniform. Only martial arts shoes or clean, non-marking gym shoes are allowed in the studio. For safety reasons, please remove all jewelry with the exception of wedding bands and post-style earrings/jewelry – if not sure, ask the instructor.

A typical class consists of:

  • Bow-in/Meditation – Respecting our ancestors and clearing the mind.
  • Warm-Ups – a consistent set of movements to get the blood and qi moving.
  • Karate Practices – individual techniques, multi-technique combinations, classic forms, and free-sparring.
  • Self-Defense Strategies – physical defense techniques, psychological aspects, and safety approaches.
  • Cool-Down/Qigong Exercises/Meditation – gathering what we have learned and practiced.
  • Questions/Discussion and Announcements – getting clear and looking forward.
  • Bow-out – Respecting our colleagues and our teachers.

All classes begin and end with a formal ceremony in order to show respect for our country, our ancestry in the art, our instructors, and the fellow students. Bowing is used both as a sign of respect and a greeting/farewell as well as a sign of mutual respect. At first students feel awkward. This is understandable, but once students realize that the bow acknowledges respect between people that is much deeper than a hand shake or other form of acknowledgment, it will become second nature. A bow should be used when first greeting the instructor and students should bow to each other each time they are to commence and end training with each other particularly when practicing together – application of technique, self-defense, or sparring.

Please follow all instructions your instructor gives you to get the most out of the lesson and to maintain safety and focus. Accept advice on technique with humility and in the spirit by which it is offered – to help you grow in the art and its many aspects. We will not ask you to perform beyond your capabilities. For many reasons, only an instructor is permitted to teach material – do not ask for, nor offer instruction unless specifically asked to do so by the instructor. Also, always request permission to use any of the equipment.

Questions are encouraged and requested regularly. When you have questions, please wait until the appropriate time between activities, raise your hand and wait until the instructor calls on you.

All students are required to have their own safety equipment in order to participate in a sparring portion of class. Sparring for new students begins after about four classes. For beginners, equipment includes – minimally – l a mouthpiece and groin protection (for males). Students must wear/bring equipment in all classes. For advanced students further sparring gear will be utilized to further the training and for safety reasons.

Consistency is the key to success in your martial arts training. Everyone starts in the martial arts for different reasons. Regardless of your reason for starting, it is best to train on a consistent basis to achieve your individual goals. We recommend a training program consisting of two classes per week along with practice.

The techniques you will learn here are very effective. Oakstrong Martial Arts will make you quicker, stronger, more confident, and better able to defend yourself. As a student of any traditional martial art you have the responsibility to use what you have learned strictly for self-defense. Oakstrong Martial Arts reserves the right to deny training/terminate without refund any student at any time if they are deemed to be lacking discipline, displaying misconduct, taking inappropriate action, or in any way endangering themselves or others.

We wish you all the best in your study of Tang Soo Do and we hope that your effort and perseverance will bring you as much happiness as it brings to us! Enjoy the fruits of your efforts.

Thanks for training with us, and we look forward to class together!

Kindly let me know if you have questions – call or text – I’d be glad to discuss.