Peak Performance offers a number of ways to introduce karate in a safe, encouraging environment.
The options range from a 6 week introductory class for youth as young as 4, to adults of any age. The Dojo is operated by Sensei Chris Johnson (Chief instructor, 6th Dan) and Sempai Dan Mathieu (3rd Dan). We are also honored to have Sensei Gene Smith (6th Dan) and Sempai Luke Aho (1st Dan) as instructors.
The introductory youth classes are a good way of letting your child test the water, and see if this is something they would enjoy. There are two introductory levels available through the dojo and the New Brighton/St Anthony Community bulletins. To find out the starting dates, please check with Community services, or leave a message at the Dojo phone # (651-631-2379).
For the youngest students, (4-6 years) the 6 week program runs on Wednesday evenings from 4:30 to 5:15. The lessons involve some basic techniques, karate manners, and of course there are games as well. There is no uniform required for the introductory Pre-Karate class. We ask that parents make sure their children are comfortable on the first night, and then we find it is often easier for the students to focus if the parents aren’t there during the class. The students receive a workbook with some of the lessons we are working on, and they are encouraged to review them with mom or dad, color them, draw in them, and bring them in each week so we can see their work and give them stickers.
If the students enjoy and do well in the pre-karate sessions, a more advanced opportunity is also available. Students who have completed the pre-karate session and receive the instructor’s approval can attend advanced pre-karate classes. These classes are also on Wednesday evenings, from 5:30-6:15. Students in these classes do wear the karate uniform (gi), and are preparing to move up to the older youth classes where they can begin formal testing. We still play some games, but develop new basic skills and stances. Students are always welcome to come to more than one of the introductory 6 week programs before moving up. Comfort level and the ability to focus well are as important to the next step as age or skill level. Feel free to talk to the instructors at anytime if you have questions or concerns.
For older children (7-11 years). The introductory classes are also a 6 week program, that run on Monday evenings from 5:30 to 6:30. No uniform is required, but the gi (white uniform) is available for $25. Students will learn some fundamentals, stances, basic techniques, and Dojo etiquette. They will also have a better understanding of the training involved if they wish to pursue obtaining kyu ranks (belt levels).
Typically a youth student that completes the 6 week program would have 2-3 more months of practice and additional skill training before testing for their first belt.