Frequently Asked Questions
At what age should my child start?
We have some students as young as three years old, however, the age at which your child starts karate training depends on his or her listening, motor, and other developmental skills. We encourage parents to allow their child to try out a few group or private lessons before choosing a program to ensure that your child’s karate training will be a positive experience.
How much does it cost?
Pricing for each individual student depends on various factors including the type of lessons you choose and how often you train. We suggest that all students try a week of lessons with our free trial, at which time you can discuss different programs and payment options with an instructor to find a program that fits your schedule and goals.
How often should I train?
Our Dojo offers three group classes per age group per week, and one private lesson per week. It is recommended that you come to at least two of the three group classes to maintain momentum and make progress toward your next belt test.
Will I have to fight?
Most students do take part in sparring at some point, but our students don't “fight” in the Dojo. Sparring is a controlled fight with set rules and a judge or referee. The goal is not to hurt each other; sparring teaches students how to apply the techniques they have learned in a realistic situation, and helps to develop the student’s timing, agility, control, accuracy, and speed. It is a necessary step in preparing our students for a real-life situation, should it ever occur. It is always conducted in a matted area with safety gear including headgear, gloves, a mouth guard, a groin protector, and optional gear such as shin guards or knee pads. Students begin with very light sparring and can eventually graduate to heavier contact sparring as they improve and move up in rank. Since every student has their own personal goals, it is not a requirement for all students to spar or compete in tournaments, but it is highly encouraged if the student wishes to progress to the higher ranks.
Will I have to compete in tournaments?
United Studios of Self Defense hosts a few regional tournaments every year. Although competing is not necessary for belt promotions, we encourage our students to compete in the forms, point-sparring, and weapons events. Events are categorized by age, gender, and rank, to keep them fair and safe. Tournaments help students build self-confidence, set goals, and learn good sportsmanship in a fun and safe environment. It is also a great opportunity to represent Team Dana Point!
How long will it take to get a Black Belt?
One of the most exciting experiences of your Martial Arts training is rank testing for your next colored belt. This is an earned opportunity based on United Studios' structured system of required material for each belt rank. This structure ensures that you are continuously expanding your skills and gaining the necessary physical and mental principles for each belt rank.
The amount of time it takes to achieve a Black Belt varies from person to person. With consistency and practice, both inside and outside the Dojo, a dedicated student can expect to reach Black Belt level within 5 to 8 years. Various factors play a role. For example, some students are naturally more coordinated or flexible, while others have better memory or technique. These skills will improve with training, however, some students will progress through the ranks more quickly if they excel in these areas.
It's important to note that students shouldn't feel pressure to achieve a Black Belt as fast as possible. Mastering Kempo karate takes time, and what's more important than a piece of cloth is what it represents - growth as a Martial Artist and mastery of what he/she has learned.
The belts from beginner to Black Belt are as follows:
White (white gi)
Purple (black gi earned)
3rd Degree Brown
2nd Degree Brown
1st Degree Brown
Black (1st of 10 Degrees)
Be a Star Program
At USSD Dana Point, we offer incentives to encourage our students to be active, focused, and hardworking, both inside and outside the Dojo. Students enjoy earning patches to add to their uniforms.
How To Earn Star Patches
In order to receive star patches, students must complete karate homework. If demonstrated properly, students will receive a colored star patch for each type of homework completed.
Below is a list of star colors and their requirements.
Defense Maneuvers (200 Reps)
Kempo Techniques (200 reps)
Club or Knife Techniques (200 reps)
Forms (50 reps)
Weapons Forms (50 reps)
Attendance (every 25 group lessons)
Good Grades in School
(must bring report card)
Red, White & Blue
Placing 1st - 4th in a Tournament
Practicing regularly is the only way to become the BEST that YOU can be!
Remember: A black belt is just a white belt who never quits!
SAVE TIME by printing and completing your waiver(s) before you come in