Frequently Asked Questions
The HIS Karate-Do sensei's have many years of experience (over 45 years each) in the practice and teaching of Karate. They are volunteers who spend time sharing Shotokan Karate due to their love of the art. HIS does not emphasize the sport aspects (tournaments and sparring) of Karate but offers solid training in its technical aspects and philosophy of life. The training is structured so that interested students of all ages and abilities can train together in a safe environment.
It always depends upon their ability to focus and interest in trying out karate. Generally speaking, we'll allow a child as young as 5 years old and always encourage one or both parents to give it a try alongside their child. Families are always welcome to try together, which is one of the reasons we cap the monthly dues for the entire family.
$10 per month for Individuals
$20 per month for Families
Classes are held at:
Momilani Community Center
715 Hoomoana St.
Pearl City, HI 96782
Classes are on:
6:00pm - 7:00pm (All Belt Levels)
9:00am - 10:00am (All Belt Levels)
10:00am - 11:00am (Advanced Belt Levels)
Just that you always try your best. Karate-Do is not just about exercise, it's about improving one's mind, spirit and body. As time goes on and the student gets better and learns more, it becomes increasingly difficult to improve. Complacency can set in and one can practice on "automatic" and come away with the minimum - a decent work-out. The biggest obstacles to progress are 1) loss of motivation and 2) a growing frustration as the kihon and kata become more advanced. Patience and perseverance are two important traits to cultivate in Karate-Do and will help you in training and in life.
- Refer to the instructors as “Sensei” and senior students as “Sempai”. Do not address them by their surname inside the dojo.
- Always bow upon entering and exiting the dojo, when you are bowed to, when addressed or summoned by a Sensei or Sempai, and upon meeting or leaving any student during partner practice.
- Always acknowledge the Sensei with a bow upon arrival and departure of the dojo.
- When standing in a straight row, face the front of the class and align yourself by rank with the highest ranking Sempai at the far right.
- Good hygiene should be observed and gis kept clean.
- Try to get to class early to help prepare the dojo. You should participate to whatever extent you can as it is part of the training.
- If you have a limitation or need to leave class early, let the Sensei know beforehand.
- If you arrive after class has started, just sit in seiza position in the back, raise your hand, and the Sensei will signal you in.
- If you are injured or unable to continue training, seek the attention of the Sensei to explain.
- If you need to adjust or tidy up your gi during training, first turn 180 degrees away from the front of the class. Once done, you can turn back to the front of the class.
- If you know that you will not be able to train for a lengthy period of time, let the Sensei know.
- Place your monthly dues with your name and month in the plastic jar near the sign-in sheet.
- Observe the Momilani Community Center rules and marked no-parking zones.
We design training to allow the students to be able to train together for much of the class. Depending upon age and skill-level, we do separate into groups during class, as we usually have enough senseis and sempais to give each group appropriate attention.
Classes run one hour including approximately 10 minutes of stretching/warm-ups. Emphasis is on body movement, posture, and learning the Shotokan Karate-Do system. We concentrate on kihon (drills that build strength, flexibility and speed of kicking, striking, and blocking techniques), kata (the pre-arranged Shotokan movement forms ). We do not dwell on kumite and sparring/sport aspect of Karate-Do and eschew tournaments. However, when the student is ready, we do begin sharing the accelerated kihon associated with kumite.
Uniform (gi) is optional, though most students who stay beyond a few lessons will invariably want to purchase a gi. Until then, comfortable exercise clothing like t-shirts and either long shorts or loose pants can be worn to class.
Karate supplies can be purchased online or locally at:
Hawaii Martial Arts Supply
2909 Waialae Ave.
Honolulu, HI 96816
In Shotokan Karate-Do, there are 10 different kyu (colored belt rank) levels, but each step to the next level isn't always equal. For example, the difference in technique and knowledge between a 10th kyu (white belt) and a 9th kyu (first blue belt) is far smaller than the difference between a 6th kyu (2nd green belt) and a 5th kyu (first purple belt). Even more so, each of the three brown belt levels (3rd, 2nd, and 1st kyu) takes a longer period of time to attain and comes with higher expectations than at the lower kyu levels. It is said that the gap between each dan (black belt rank) levels might be compared to the difference between a 10th kyu beginner and a 1st dan black belt. As such, exams are taken with more frequency at the lower ranks than at the higher ranks and more is expected from you as you progress. Please see Ranking on our Resources page for more information.
In a regular dojo, training three times a week, having high potential and taking every promotional exam, a shodan (1st black belt) is possible in about 4 years. At HISKF, classes are twice a week and we accept students of all ages and all abilities - service to the community and sharing a solid understanding of Shotokan Karate-Do is our primary goal. It is not our intent to create a selective, elite, technically advanced group, available to and attainable by only few gifted individuals. Our students share an interest in this martial art but attend only one to a maximum of two classes a week. Progress is, therefore, slow - but is still possible through investing training over a longer period of time. A dedicated, talented student may attain the black belt in 6-8 years at HISKF. We emphasize that gaining the 1st dan is like finally becoming literate - learning one's ABC's and being able to finally read, only means that the "Way" to greater knowledge is now unlocked.
Exams are to evaluate a trainee’s readiness for promotion to the next level. Since students will usually want to attain a higher rank, some dojos tend to use this as a “carrot stick” to help sustain membership via the promise of promotion. Some dojos consider exam fees, which can be hefty, as an additional form of income to supplement the tuition they charge. At HISKF, we are more community service oriented, instructors are not paid for sharing their knowledge of Shotokan Karate-Do. Therefore, our exams are strictly to evaluate progress of the individual and are only held every 6-9 months.
Exams are not mandatory. You should never feel pressured to take an exam; it is totally voluntary. On the other hand, simply showing up for class does not guarantee you’re ready to test whenever the next exams are scheduled - testing is a privilege. That means that you must always try your very best in class and realize that you are preparing for the future. If the instructors feel you’re not quite ready to test, they will let you know…so you can refocus on training for a future exam.